PSA: We’re Looking for New PL Success Stories

In January we’d like to post new PL success stories on the website. You can see examples on this web page:

We don’t need a lot of text–and we’re particularly interested in PL uses that do not involve egress markings. Send your success story in a Word document to me by email (




Bob McLean, CAE
Executive Director
Photoluminescent Safety Association
2001 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1004
Arlington, VA  22202-3617
p 703-370-7435
f 703-416-0014

PSA: Defeat in the State of Washington

The State of Washington’s Building Code Council has eliminated the retrofit requirements for photoluminescent materials in high-rise occupancies as it pertains to the 2012 International Fire Code. The decision was announced today, November 9, at 2:45 p.m. ET.

This issue will next be up for review in 2015.

Al Carlson

PSA: Your Association Participates in Washington State, Portland Code Hearings

Last month the PSA Board of Directors hired Manny Muniz to represent the association before the Washington State Building Code Council. He contacted the Fire Code TAG Committee that reviews the 2012 IFC. Manny’s participation as a knowledgeable consultant was beneficial to the TAG. In fact, the Fie Tag unanimously voted to adopt the 2012 IFC and the retrofit requirements as written. The final vote by the Washington State Building Code Council will be on Friday, November 9. We are all waiting for the outcome of that vote and will report the results the following week.

On another issue, the PSA also sent Manny to Portland and the 2015 ICC hearings. We were successful in not allowing lighting controls in the means of egress path. NEMA will try to list lighting controls to UL 924, so we must stay on top of any attempt to get this language into the codes NFPA or ICC.

Al Carlson
Photoluminescent Safety Association



PSA: Washington State Update–We Need Your Help NOW

With the help of consultant, Manny Muniz, we are putting together an all-out effort into getting the State of Washington to adopt IFC 2009.  If successful, this code would require all existing high-rise buildings in that state to install PL across the entire leading edge in the stairwells.

There will be two very important hearings taking place in Washington during September that will determine our fate.  To help Manny’s efforts we need information and help from fellow PSA members to support our cause.

Please let us know if you can supply information on the following:

  1. We need to prove that installation across the entire leading edge does NOT cause a trip hazard.  Please send any evidence or letters, or any contacts willing to discuss this issue.
  1. We need to get the Building Code Council more familiar with PL products.  Does anyone have installation videos they can share?  The meetings will take place in Spokane and Seattle. Has anyone done an installation there?
  1. Does anyone have a contact in Seattle or Spokane who would speak in favor of PL? A fire official from Washington would be ideal.
  1. We are also seeking contacts nationwide who would be willing speak in favor of PL in the stairwells.  Please let us know if you have a contact or an idea of a contact that can help our efforts.

We urgently need your help.  Please reply back to Bob McLean as quickly as possible. You can send him an email at He will forward your information to the entire board.


Phil Befumo
PSA President

PSA Working in Washington State on Adoption of IFC Requirements

I am happy to report that he PSA Board of Directors recently approved a contract proposal from our consultant, Manny Muniz, to provide code consulting services regarding the Washington State Building Code Council consideration of adopting International Fire Code requirements for luminous egress path markings in existing high rise buildings.

As this situation progresses we’ll provide updates. We will also report on this and other code issues at our annual meeting. If you have not registered, please remember to do so before the August 17 early bird deadline. You’ll find the registration form on the Members Only website. Only members may attend this meeting. Have you renewed your membership?


Bob McLean, CAE
Executive Director

Report on ICC Code Hearing for Changes to the International Building Code, Chapter 10 Means of Egress

This is a summary of the actions taken on the 2012 Proposed Changes to the ICC International Codes at the April 29-May 6 Code Development Hearings held in Dallas, TX, as it pertains to the PSA.

There were several proposals made that, if approved, could have had a negative impact on the Photoluminescent Egress Path Marking. I am pleased to report that based on the actions taken by your Board of Directors all negative proposals were disapproved. Specifically, proposal E-22 through E-28 and E-30 through E32, which in various ways sought to add Motion Sensors into the Means of Egress portion of buildings nation wide.

It is the position of the PSA that motion sensors have a useful function in commercial buildings, but should never be allowed in the Means of Egress within a building. Some of that reasoning is present here for your information future use:

  • If a motion sensors fails, do the building lights automatically come on?
  • Reliability is the issue. People can buy a cheap motion sensor off the shelf with no quality assurance. Thorough technical requirements would need to be specified.
  • Who guarantees that motion sensor is pointed in the proper direction?  Certain Motion sensors come with movable heads.  If sensor is never even pointed in the proper direction during installation … if sensor head is moved during cleaning or by vandals … if the sensor is pointed upwards/ in a wrong direction, people could walk underneath and not set off the sensor.
  • Who guarantees that sensor is properly mounted to catch motion by children / short people/ person in wheelchair?
  • Motion sensors currently do not have to meet stringent exit device requirements. There is no current listing requirement but that has to be essential for such a life-safety reliant use.
  • What happens to motion sensor when smoke is present?  How dark, how thick is the smoke?  No motion sensor testing done through various intensities of smoke.
  • At which distances do motion sensors need to get installed to guarantee gap-less coverage?

Adding Motion Sensors to the path of egress was first attempted in the 2008 building code cycle and disapproved.

One proposal of interest to members is E29, which was approved with modification. This addition to the code allows photoluminescent markings to be used in auditoriums and positions the technology favorable to that of LED lighting. When details become available in late June we will forward them to the membership. The final action hearings will be held in October in Portland, OR.

Jim Armour
Chairman Codes Committee

Site of Tritium Sign Manufacturer of Concern to Health Officials

Health officials near a town in Ontario, Canada, are protesting attempts by the manufacturer of tritium signs to  have its nuclear substance processing license renewed for 10 years. Here are three news stories about the situation involving the plant that, in February 2010, was the site of an accidental release of tritium gas. Click on each link to view the text or video.


Green groups raise Peterborough radiation fears
Toronto Sun
By Jessica Murphy

Parliamentary Bureau Environmental groups say an Ontario company that uses tritium in its products is being cavalier with the radioactive material–and Canada’s nuclear watchdog isn’t doing enough to crack down on the operation.


Nuke regulations too lax on companies like Shield Source: Critic
Peterborough Examiner
The company uses tritium, an isotope of hydrogen gas, in the manufacture of its self-illuminating signs. “Those regulations are laughable. They are ridiculous. They are a licence to pollute. These limits are completely ridiculous.” Tritium is a nuclear . . .


Local News – CHEX Television > Tritium Concerns in Peterborough
Tritium Concerns in Peterborough. April 11, 2012. A local lobby group continues to take aim at . . .