Glow-in-the-Dark Floor Marking

The use of photoluminescent (glow-in-the- dark) technology has increased dramatically in commercial and industrial facilities. In some regions it is a legal requirement. Why? These materials clearly highlight egress pathways during power outages or smoky conditions.

There are three different types of markings that come in a glow-in-the-dark option: floor signs, floor tapes, and floor shapes. The number one use of these materials is to mark the floors for a “lights out” emergency situations and each can be used. Photoluminescent floor signs can be placed ear safe exits, glow arrows can be used to direct people to the proper exit, and photoluminescent tape can be used to create safe paths for workers to travel. Place easy-to-see markings on objects like racks, barrels, forklifts, or anything movable that can be in an unexpected place when lights go out.

Phosphorescent tape is a type of photo- luminescent tape that absorbs energy from a light source during normal operating situations and then releases that energy as ‘glow’ when the light source is removed.


Largely as the result of a report indicating that glow-in-the-dark markings in the World Trade Center buildings played a crucial role in leading survivors to safety, in 2004, New York City approved a building code law making phosphorescent markings mandatory at exit doors and in emergency exit stairwells of commercial high-rise buildings over 75 feet.

New York’s initiative has been adopted as a model for other cities and organizations across the country, including the California Building Code (CABC), the International Code Council (ICC), the State of Connecticut, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

It is important to note the ‘glow’ provided is not sufficient to illuminate an area and should not be used as a replacement for light. It should be used as a backup in emergency situations or in times where full light would negatively impact production.

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