Exit Signs

Exit signs and directional exit signs are significant essential safety measures requiring to be operational during a power failure and in particular, a fire situation. Exit sign positioning must be clearly visible to persons approaching the exit during an emergency evacuation. Exit signs are nominated by the building surveyor/ building certifier in the essential safety measures schedule/ determination.

Building Code of Australia

The Building Code of Australia clause E4.8 Design and operation of exit signs, requires exit signs to be installed in accordance with AS 2293.1-2005 Emergency escape lighting and exit signs for buildings – System design, installation and operation for building approvals. Clause E4.5 to E4.8 of the BCA sets out the installation criteria for exit signs in exit paths, e.g. clearly visible and above or adjacent to exit doors. Directional exit signs must be located to clearly demonstrate the egress direction of exit travel to a required exit.

The following illustration depicts exit sign mounting heights.

The following is a part extract of Clause I1.1 for an Essential Safety Measure and Specification D 1.2 (as appeared in BCA 2013) known as exit signs:

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Exist Signs (including direction signs) Specification D1.12

Specification D1.12 Non-required stairway, ramps and escalators

2. Requirements
(I) Signs showing the direction of the nearest required exit must be installed where they can be readily seen.

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Exit Signs

An essential safety measures auditor should be aware of the provisions in AS/NZS 2293.2:1995 Emergency evacuation lighting for buildings – Inspection and maintenance to ensure fire safety compliance. The auditor should assess the exit signs in the site logbook which records the electrical contractor’s inspection and maintenance regime. Illegal alterations in a building generally render a number of exit signs and directional exit signs ineffective. These illegal building alterations should be highlighted in the essential safety measures logbook to allow for signing the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate of Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement, Annual Maintenance Statement and Annual Occupiers Statement.