Survivors who fled World Trade Center (WTC) buildings after the 9/11 terrorist attacks later told Commission investigators “the funny glowing green stuff we followed” enabled them to find their way down darkened stairwells and outside to safety.
That “funny glowing green stuff” was photoluminescent lighting – glow-in-the-dark material placed on handrails, stairs, doors, and stairwell landings.
After the 1993 terrorist bombing of the WTC, the Port Authority (which managed the WTC properties at the time), installed the photoluminescent markers to aid in emergency evacuations.
Since 9/11, a number of local, state, national, and international building codes have adopted standards calling for photoluminescent lighting and exit signs to guide people to safety.
“Photoluminescent technology saves lives, saves money, doesn’t use electricity, and requires no maintenance,” a power outage that darkens a tall building can cause evacuees to stumble, fall, panic, and even injure themselves. It can also prevent them from reaching areas where photoluminescent markers can help. According to survivors of 9/11, when the power went out, the emergency back-up batteries in the exit signs often failed. This made it difficult to see the exit signs that led to the stairwells.
Photoluminescent markers, on the other hand, aren’t compromised by power outages.
Light from conventional lighting charges photoluminescent exit signs and path markers.
Photoluminescent markers also identify obstructions in stairwells such as protruding pipes or storage cabinets. Should the power go off and shut down the electrical lights, photoluminescent exit signs will glow and light the way to safety.
Light emitting diode (LED) exit signs are also available for those areas where there is less than 100 lux (something like the light given off from a cigarette lighter).
LED signs use no electricity or very little if a light emitting diode sign is used than conventional signs, photoluminescent systems draw no electricity, making them virtually fail-safe in an emergency.
Protecting the environment and your wallet
with no more.......Emergency Light Testing Completed by electricians
90 minute battery testing either using manual testing or circuit breaker testing.
Inspecting and replacing bulbs and lights as needed.
Inspecting and replacing diffusers.
Inspecting and replacing batteries.
Cleaning all light reflecting surfaces to ensure maximum illumination.
Checking for compliance with current safety standards in terms of distance and sign type.
Documenting the tests completed for your safety log book and maintenance book.
Keep in mind that presently the NSW Government Energy Saving Scheme recognises
Electricity and upkeep costs may not seem like a big deal from year to year, but add all those expenses up for one light for its 25 years of service, and you start to see some big numbers.
All of that money could be put towards a more pressing need.
In the end, “funny glowing green stuff” costs little to install, nothing to operate, and nothing to maintain – it saves your budget, the environment, and your personnel.
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