May 5, 2022
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That means lighting solutions that are thoroughly tested for safety and Code Compliance standards.
Exit and emergency lighting is serious business. It's not a stretch to say that, when it comes to exit and emergency lighting, Code Compliance can be a matter of life and death. In fact, many of today’s safety codes have their origins in tragic events.
Iroquois Theatre Fire:
The most fatal single-building fire in the US occurred at Chicago’s Iroquois Theatre in 1903. A spark from the stage ignited nearby draperies. That spark quickly turned into a raging fire that resulted in more than 600 lives lost.
Though Chicago already had some building emergency codes and standards at the time, they had been largely ignored. The Iroquois Theatre owners did not invest in Code Compliance and building inspectors looked the other way. After the Iroquois Theatre fire, building Code Compliance was taken more seriously. Chicago’s theater building codes and standards were expanded to include, among other things, exit lighting that had “a red light to be kept burning over the exits.” Though the codes have been refined and the technology has evolved, today’s required exit lighting still features the now familiar red light illuminating the exit signs.
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire:
In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, in New York City, went up in flames very quickly. All exit doors had been locked and the entire building had been full of the flammable materials needed to produce clothing. Though the fire lasted “only” 18 minutes, 146 young women perished in the factory where they worked.
As a result of the fire, almost 30 new laws regarding building safety, fire safety, and worker safety were quickly passed in New York. New Code Compliance requirements included sprinkler systems, alarms, fireproofing guidelines, and installation of fire extinguishers.
Sure-Lites also offers exit and emergency light solutions that meet New York City Code Compliance. All have been vigorously tested to work as intended for many business applications, including retail, healthcare, education, factory, office space, and entertainment. And all are easily connected to your alarm system.
Cocoanut Grove Fire:
One of the worst fires in American history was at Boston’s Cocoanut Grove restaurant and supper club in 1942. It’s believed to have started when a busboy replacing a lightbulb used a match to help him locate the bulb socket in the dark and the flame ignited some ceiling decorations. The fire spread quickly. It was estimated more than 1,000 people were inside the Cocoanut Grove building when it caught fire; 692 of them lost their lives.
There were fire exits at the Cocoanut Grove building, but some were locked, hard to find, or otherwise inadequate. For example, the doors opened inward. The crush of people trying to escape the fire blocked the doors making them inoperable.
After the fire, new codes were established in Boston, including exit doors that are clearly marked, open outward, and can be unlocked from within.
All of the products in the Sure-Lites line of exit and emergency lighting products feature Code Compliance with Underwriters Laboratories standards, Damp Location requirements, and National Fire Protection Association codes.
For more information about maintaining Code Compliance with Sure-Lites exit and emergency lighting products, please contact your local agent.