Perhaps the biggest selling point of the tritium exit sign is that it does not require a backup battery pack lost most other fixtures. When AC power to the building is cut, the tritium exit sign will always illuminate the path of egress because it is always on and ready to go.
The tritium exit sign doesn't have a battery that can loose its charging capacity over time, run out of battery, or malfunction. Because this exit sign uses tritium gas, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that is self-powered, it does require an external power source to support incandescent bulbs. Traditional electric exit signs are required by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to provide at least 90 minutes of emergency illumination. This is accomplished through a a nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) battery that, while small, is not as efficient as tritium technology. The downfall of backup battery packs is that they need to be maintained and charged.
The occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires monthly and yearly testing of all backup battery based fixtures. Every month a 90 second test must be conducted, while 90 minutes tests are required once per year. This process is time consuming, tedious, and takes time away from more pressing safety concerns. If an exit sign is found to be inoperable, a new battery must be purchased and installed. Once again, this costs money and time. Even if the battery is in perfect condition, like other electrical devices, wires and circuit boards can deteriorate over time, causing the fixture to fail. If an exit sign isn't working, there is not always one quick fix.
Tritium exit signs dodge the shortcomings of traditional exit signs by requiring no battery pack for emergency power. There is nothing to maintain or replace - if EXIT is illuminated in glowing green, everything is fully functional. The only maintenance requirement for these signs is a quick glance in dim lighting. This saves times and money, but also makes the building a much safer environment. Tritium exit signs last between 10 and 20 years, depending on the fixture selected. This means that once installed, they will provide continuous illumination until the day they die.
For more information on tritium's battery-free operation or to request a quote, please email us or call at 800-379-1129 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.