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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

Is there a difference between Emergency Lighting and Exit Lights? 

While the terms are often interchangeable, Exit Lights are the illuminated markers that read "EXIT," whereas Emergency Lights are fixtures that illuminate the pathway leading to the exits. Both fixture types must have an emergency back-up source via batteries or a generator hookup that allows exit signs and emergency lights to remain illuminated for at least 90 minutes during a power outage.

Do I really need exit signs and emergency lighting? 

Yes. During a fire, backup lighting allows personnel to navigate safely through dense smoke to an exit. Clearly illuminated exit signs allow occupants to distinguish which doors lead outside. Egress lighting is also mandated by federal, state and municipal laws and are required to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy.

What is the difference between an Exit and an Exit Passageway? 

An exit can be an exterior passageway, stair, door, ramp, or window leading to the extraior of a building. Exit passageways are a safe means of travel to the nearest exit. Such exit passageways can include enclosed interior stairways, corridors, hallways, tunnels, passages, under floor passageways, or overhead passageways. 

Why is it important to keep exits and egress pathways clear of obstructions?

Objects located in exit passageways, like as boxes, stacked merchandise, refuse bins, etc., can cause occupants to fall, seriously hurt themselves, and even block the exit passageway for others. Keeping exit pathways clear of such obstacles enables people to escape quickly and safely.

How many exit routes are required in a building? 

The absolute minimum for any exit route is two exit discharges. Any escape route can become obstructed during an escape, so having at least two or more alternative exits can literally save lives.

What if the electricity goes out?

All emergency and exit lights must have some form of back-up power, either batteries, central generator or uninterrupted power system. If the electricity fails, the backup power must provide enough light (via emergency lights) to safely lead all personnel from the building. UL and other code enforcement agencies agree that 90 minutes is the minimum required emergency runtime for all egress fixtures.