Annual Inspection Requirements For Emergency Exit Signs

It is important to keep emergency exit signs in good working order.

In 2007, 1.5 million fires caused $15 billion in property damage and more than 3,500 deaths, according to the Today’s Facility Manager website, citing statistics from the National Fire Protection Association. Having an emergency exit that is in good working order, with proper signs, is a good defense against fires that endanger lives. Emergency exits and exit signs must be inspected annually.

Annual Inspection

Government safety standards call for annual inspection of emergency exit signs and exit lights. The NFPA and Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards require emergency exit lighting that is adequate, even with a loss of electricity due to fire.

Fire Protection

Along with properly positioning emergency exit signs and lighting, the emergency exit system also should be inspected and tested by a fire department. Fire officials can provide input on use emergency exit lighting as part of an evacuation plan. This will help keep a building compliant with code and help meet requirements for emergency exit signs. The signs should be resistant to a spreading fire and be protected with high-impact thermoplastic.

Routine Sign Inspection

In addition to an annual inspection, some organizations engage in a more routine inspection on a monthly basis. This sort of periodic monthly inspection at Davidson College involves testing the exit sign’s battery backup by pressing a test button and observing if the system is working. In the case of self-luminous exit signs, there is no external power source and an inspection involves making sure the sign is illuminated.

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