Photoluminescent Egress Systems (PLES)

April 28, 2014

Alternative Surfaces is a certified Ecoglo installer of Photoluminescent egress systems (PLES). Photoluminescent markings provide the most reliable and economical emergency pathway illumination.

Important 2009 IBC Code Changes
The 2009 International Building Code 1024 and the International Fire Code, 4604.23 mandates that all non-residential buildings, both NEW and Existing, over 75 feet in height must install Photoluminescent Exit Path Markings in all enclosed emergency stairwells. As a certified installer, Alternative Surfaces will bring your current properties up to code. Our Life Safety Services Field Specialists have been trained in code requirements and installation.

Alternative Surfaces PLES include Exit Path Markers, Stair Tread Nosings, Aisle Markers, Handrail Markers, Exit Signs and more. These Photoluminescent products can be used in combination to provide a complete visible routing system for safe emergency egress. They recharge from ambient light — whether daylight or fluorescent or incandescent interior lighting — and glow reliably for over 24 hours. All Alternative Surfaces installed Photoluminescent products have received UL Certification and meet or exceed UL Codes. They are covered by a 10 year product and installation warranty.

What you need to know about Photoluminescent (PL) Egress Markings:

  1. Required by 2009 Int’l Building and Fire Codes (IBC & IFC) on new and existing non-residential buildings.
  2. Smart Replacement Choice. If you are replacing exit signs or other egress markings not required by code, Photoluminescent products are a smart choice.
 Here’s why:
    • Energy Savings – this new technology requires no power
    • Maintenance Savings – no bulbs to change or test
    • Green – recyclable; no tritium-like disposal issues
    • Indoor/Outdoor Usage
    • 50 year product-life expectancy – 10 year product warranty

Code Overview

Photoluminescent Egress (Exit) Markings are required by the 2009 IBC and IFC building codes. This code applies to all new and existing commercial buildings and hospitals over 75 feet in height. The code specifies that Photoluminescent exit markings be in place in all enclosed emergency stairwells (including PL installation on each step pad, handrail, and any protrusions with specific markings as to roof access and on exit doors). In addition, local jurisdictions are applying more stringent codes to address local issues.

Here is a list of the US Building Codes that require Photoluminescent Exit Path markings:

  • IBC (International Building Code): In 2009 the International Building Code (IBC) added Photoluminescent (PL) Egress marking requirements for all new and existing high rise buildings. Code, 403.16 & 1024, a requirement that all non-residential building groups A, B, E, I, M, and R-1 for new construction over 75 feet in height must install Photoluminescent Exit Path markings in all enclosed emergency exit stairwells.
  • IFC (International Fire Code): In 2009 IFC Section 4604, requirement that all non-residential buildings groups A, B, E, I, M, and R-1 for existing construction over 75 feet in height must install Photoluminescent Exit Path Markings in all enclosed emergency exit stairwells.
  • NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) 101 and 5000 Section Exit Stair Path markings all buildings. This was effective January 2009.

Contact Alternative Surfaces today for a quote on getting your facility compliant with these new codes.

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