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Exit Sign

Exit Sign

An exit sign is a pictogram that forms part of the wayfinding features of a building, structure, ship or aircraft to direct building occupants via a path of travel to a nearest required exit and then on to the a discharge point. An exit sign can be passive (emits no light) or active (emits light).  An active exit sign can be internally illuminated or photoluminescent.

Part E4 or the Building Code of Australia, Volume One sets out the performance requirements (Part EP4.1 - Visibility in an emergency) and (EP4.2 - Identification of exits) that underpin the requirements for exit signs, also known as a direction sign or directional exit sign in buildings and structures.

EP4.1 - Visibility in an emergency

To facilitate safe evacuation in an emergency, a building must be provided with a system that—

  1. ensures a level of visibility sufficient to enable exits, paths of travel to exits and any obstacles along a path of travel to an exit to be identified; and
  2. activates instantaneously upon the failure of an artificial lighting system, to the degree necessary, appropriate to—
  3. the function or use of the building; and
  4. the floor area of the building; and
  5. the distance of travel to an exit.

EP4.2 - Identification of exits

To facilitate evacuation, suitable signs or other means of identification must, to the degree necessary—

  1. be provided to identify the location of exits; and
  2. guide occupants to exits; and
  3. be clearly visible to occupants; and
  4. operate in the event of a power failure of the main lighting system for sufficient time for occupants to safely evacuate.


In preparing this definition, we have drawn from various sources including Legislation, Codes, Standards and industry information, research and knowledge.  Like the english language, these definitions may subtly change from time to time. As such these definitions are provided solely on the basis that users will be responsible for making their own assessment of the definition and and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.