When using an exit stairwell, exit ramp, or exit passageway to evacuate a building, it can be difficult to identify the egress path if there is a problem with the emergency lighting. To address this issue, sections were added to the 2009 editions of both the International Building Code (IBC) and NFPA 101 – The Life Safety Code. With the exception of a few modifications, the requirements of the 2012 and 2015 editions are similar to the original sections.
In the IBC, the applicable section is called Luminous Egress Path Markings, and in NFPA 101 it is called Exit Stair Path Markings. Both sections address markings for stairs, railings, door openings, egress hardware, and other components within the exit enclosure. Although luminous material is typically applied to the door openings in the field, it is possible to order panic hardware and fire exit hardware with the coating applied to the touchpad.
This Decoded article discusses the specifics of each of the model codes with regard to luminous markings, and defines which doors are required to be marked. After reading the article, proceed to the review questions below.
1. According to NFPA 101, where are exit stair path markings required?
- Assembly Occupancies
- Business Occupancies
- High Hazard Occcupancies
- None of the above
2. According to the IBC, the requirements for luminous egress path markings apply to high-rise buildings in which use groups?
- A – Assembly
- B – Business
- E – Educational
- I-1 – Institutional
- M – Mercantile
- R-1 – Residential
- All of the above
3. Which of the following is NOT a requirement of the IBC with regard to luminous egress path markings?
- 1-inch to 2-inch stripe around frame
- Luminous coating on threshold
- 1-inch wide strip on actuating portion of panic hardware
- Emergency exit symbol within the bottom 18 inches of the door
Answers: 1 – D, 2 – G, 3 – B