TJ Quintana and David Mentier of DH Pace both sent me this photo of an exit sign in an unfortunate location.  I know those of us in the door and hardware industry don’t place exit signs, but I have wondered about the requirements when I’ve seen other situations like this.

Here are a few quick tips from the IBC:

  • The egress path must have exit signs when the exit or path is not readily visible to building occupants.
  • Egress doors within exits must have exit signs.
  • The distance from any point in an exit access corridor or exit passageway to an exit sign can not be more than 100 feet (or the listed viewing distance from the sign – whichever is less).
  • Required exit signs must be readily visible from any direction.

Sometimes when I ask people if the door they are asking about is a required means of egress, the response will be “No – there is no exit sign.”  Lots of required egress doors don’t have exit signs.

Here are some locations that are NOT required by the IBC to have exit signs:

  • If a room or area is only required to have one exit or exit access, an exit sign is not required.
  • Exit signs may be omitted at main exterior exit doors/gates that are obvious exits, IF approved by the code official.
  • Group U occupancies are not required to have exit signs.  (If you’re not familiar with Group U or the groups below,  click here to study the IBC use groups.)
  • Individual dwelling units and sleeping units in Groups R-1, R-2, and R-3 are not require to have exit signs.
  • In I-3 occupancies, exit signs are not required in dayrooms, sleeping rooms, or dormitories.
  • Vomitories in Groups A-4 and A-5 are not required to have exit signs on the seating side or openings into seating areas, if exit signs on the concourse are readily apparent from the vomitories.

If you see any other poorly-placed exit signs, send me a photo!

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