A visibility study on photoluminescent exit signs in building corridor

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A visibility study on photoluminescent exit signs in building corridor


Author: Wong, Yee-ping
Title: A visibility study on photoluminescent exit signs in building corridor
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2007
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Signs and signboards -- Lighting.
Safety signs -- Lighting.
Department: Dept. of Building Services Engineering
Pages: viii, 124, 16, 12 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2117606
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3138
Abstract: Emergency lighting and electrically powered exit signs are always considered to be critical provisions for safe egress, but their system reliability largely depends on the maintenance efforts, and not every critical situation could trigger off the systems, if the main power was not off, particularly in situations when there are fires with heavy smoke. To enhance the safety of the buildings, it is essential to have lighting provisions that could be functioned independently in emergency condition, and it is where the photoluminescent signage and way-guidance systems come in effect and influence on recent fire engineering design for safe egress. In this dissertation, the importance of exit signs functioning in emergency situation is emphasized, leading to the emergence of application of photoluminescent system as safety signage and way-guidance system. International standards, fire codes and building codes related to the adoption of photoluminescent signage and way-guidance system for safety provisions are being reviewed. The distance factor, Z factor, to determine the design of signage by viewing distance was discussed, which is the foundation to develop an engineering approach for sign design and application in building fire safety. Experiment was carried out to determine the observation distance and Z factor for photoluminescent signs in different lighting conditions, including normal, emergency situations and in complete darkness, as well as comparison of different classes of luminance performance. Different designs of exit signs according to the Hong Kong code, ISO design as well as UL standard were used for comparison to determine legibility of the sign. Questionnaire was also used to collect the subjective opinions about the applicability of photoluminescent signs in comparing with traditional electrically powered signs. The results from this research shows possibility of adopting photoluminescent sign, while not only limited to the use of low location visual aid, but as alternative exit sign system to enhance safety egress in means of egress against a proper lighting system to give illumination. Also, it works out a framework with the use of Z factor application, thus giving building engineers a flexible way for designing exit signs and directional signs.

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