Strontium Oxide Aluminate is the pigment used In Glowscape photoluminescent egress signs and egress path markings. It has the property of emitting light that continues for a length of time after excitation by visible or invisible light has been removed
The International Building (IBC) and Fire Codes (IFC) require exit signs (high-level and floor-level), and luminous egress path markings.
All of our GLOWSCAPE products are proudly made in the in the USA.
In a building, smoke from a fire rises quickly to the ceiling and obscures exit signs that are typically mounted above exit doors or high on walls. Catastrophic fires such as the1980 MGM Grand fire in Las Vegas, the 1993 bombing of the NYC World Trade Center, and the 9/11 attack on the NYC World Trade Center in 2001 all demonstrated the need for national regulations to identify the egress path at floor-level with non-electrical signs and egress path markings that are non-dependent on man-made batteries or emergency generators which have been known to fail during emergencies. Photoluminescent signs and egress path markings have never failed and have an unlimited service life.
Exit signs are required by state and local building and fire codes. The vast majority of exit signs in use in the U.S. today are electrically powered. Electrical exit signs consume electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They require frequent maintenance and bulb replacement for signs from different manufacturers. While new exit signs are limited to 5 watts per illuminated face, there are tens of millions of existing exit signs that consume far more electricity. In a single year, under the EPA’s current recommended standard, each electrically-powered exit sign can consume as much as 88 kilowatt-hours of electricity – ($8.80 at $0.10 per kilowatt-hour). Older types of electrically-powered exit signs can consume as much as 350 kilowatt-hours of electricity – ($35.00 at $0.10 per kilowatt-hour).
Businesses, schools, hotels, hospitals, government facilities and other public buildings pay more than $1 billion every year to power these signs. Every electric Exit sign with a backup battery must be tested 12 times per year. Most exit signs still require manual testing. (Assumes 5 minutes per sign, 12 times per year and $10/hour labor cost.) Bulbs burn out, back-up batteries go dead and LEDs become dim or burnout and require replacing. These parts and the labor to replace them add over $3 Billion more in cost each year. Building operators could be paying as much as $30-50 per exit sign per year just to keep them operating.
There are two alternatives to electrically-powered exit signs:
(1) Photoluminescent exit signs tested and listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Safe, non-radioactive, non-toxic
- 100% reliable with an unlimited service life.
- Non-explosive, so can be used in any environment.
(2) Self-luminous (Radioactive Tritium) exit signs.
- Hazardous, radioactive, toxic (strict US Department of Energy rules & expensive disposal)
- 100% reliable with a service life of 10, 15 or 20 years.
- Non-explosive, so can be used in any environment.
Underwriters Laboratory Standard UL 924 and UL 1994, the International Building & Fire Code, and NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, all require that photoluminescent signs and egress path markings be visible and legible for a minimum of 90 minutes after ambient light has been removed. Practically speaking, Glowscape products will glow for hours afterward.
NYC Local Law 26 of 2004 applies to high rise office buildings and all high rise buildings classified in occupancy group E. The law is retroactive and applies to buildings constructed on or after July 1, 2006 and to buildings in existence on such date. High rise office buildings and high rise buildings classified in occupancy group E in existence on the effective date of this section shall comply with this section on or before July 1, 2007. For the purpose of this section, a high rise building shall be deemed to be in existence on the effective date of this section if on such effective date it is complete or under construction or where an application for approval of plans was filed with the department prior to such effective date and construction commenced within two years after such effective date. Only in existing buildings where photoluminescent exit path markings were installed as per LL26/04 and that need repairs OR replacing of the photoluminescent components does one follow LL26/04 guidelines.
Yes. Building and Fire Codes only provide a minimum level of safety. Buildings owners are encouraged to have a professional examine the architectural design of their means of egress to determine whether the building could benefit from egress path markings and floor-level exit signs. Glowscape photoluminescent signage greatly enhances the evacuation of a building in case of:
- Electrical blackout
- Storms such as Sandy
Why wait for a law or code to make your building a safe place??
With no moving parts, and no consumables, photoluminescent signs are virtually maintenance free. They should be inspected periodically, and signs should be kept free of dirt and debris with simple cleaning with soap and water.
The 2014 New York City Construction Codes – Building Code requires luminous egress path markings in all new high rise buildings, except for egress paths serving Group R-2. They shall be in accordance with Section 1024 and Appendix S.
How do I find out if my building is required by law/code to install photoluminescent signage and egress path markings?
Call your local building department or fire department to find out what edition of the building and fire code applied to your building at the time it was constructed. Based on the edition of the building and fire code, GLOWSCAPE can tell you what photoluminescent signs and egress path markings are required.