BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring all business establishments in the city to provide illuminated and reflectorized exit signages in all emergency exits of their buildings or establishments.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. requires all business establishments such as restaurants, movie houses, supermarkets, shopping centers, department stores, cocktail lounges, beer houses, saunas, colesiums, assembly halls, hotels, motels, night clubs, dormitories, pub houses, auditoriums and others to provide not only illuminated but reflectorized fire exit signs visibly placed on the emergency exists of their buildings.
The ordinance specified the signs must be at least 6 inches in height with letters at least 2 inches wide, except the letter I and that the signs must be reflectorized and illuminated by a reliable light source and that the light must be wired to a standby generator to ensure the power to the sign stays on even during power outages.
The proposed ordinance directs the City Building and Architecture Office (CBAO) and the Permits and Licensing Division to implement the provisions of this legislation and that exit signs have to be no less than 80 inches above the floor to the bottom of the sign.
Further, Yangot explained exit signs shall not in any way be obstructed by any object in any direction and nearby doors and other moving objects must not cover the signs at any time and additional exit signs shall be attached next to the door latch and a sign in braille should also be provided.
For large doors in business establishments that look like exit doors, the ordinance stated that a sign stating that it is not an exit should likewise be placed while reflectorized emergency exit signs must point to the right direction and remain lit during any emergency. Signs should also be securely affixed to the walls and inspectors should check screws or other fasteners to make sure they have not begun to come loose.
The ordinance provided the building or establishment owner shall include in their maintenance works the replacement of defective light bulbs associated with the sign in their regular electrical maintenance schedules, both internal and external, as well as inspecting and maintaining the emergency power supply attached to the said lights that shall include tapping of fuel tanks, lubricating moving parts or even cleaning the environment around the generator itself.
All emergency exit signs should be capable of being illuminated for at least 90 minutes without going out and that a regular inspection will test the same and repair of any lights that do not comply with the ruling must be undertaken.
The ordinance stated establishment owners found to have violated the provisions of the ordinance after due notice shall be fined the amount of P5,000 and imprisonment of not more than one month, or both, at the discretion of the court.
Yangot asserted emergency or fire exit signs and lights are among the most important parts of the safety of the building system considering that in the event of a fire or any other building emergency, people can always relay upon their personal knowledge when it comes to finding their way to safety. By Dexter A. See