Battery Operated Exit Signs On The Cheap
Battery Operated Exit Signs
Battery operated exit signs are seen everywhere. The most common places featuring such lights are commercial properties such as theaters, auditoriums, hospitals and other public places.
How they work
Battery operated exit signs do not just use a typical battery to function. Like all other lights are connected to an alternate circuit. A battery is fitted into the mechanism and this battery gets charged while the light is on. In case of a power failure, the charged battery comes into effect and keeps the exit sign functioning for a particular time. The time for which the battery continues to power the lights depends upon the size of the battery, model, etc.
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The truth about battery operated exit signs
Often, a battery operated exit sign is misunderstood for an illuminated exit sign which runs entirely on a battery. But this is not true. The battery is just a means for storing power and supplying it in case of a power failure. It is like the battery of a laptop. A laptop does not entirely function on its battery. In the contrary, it uses alternate current to run and charges its battery at the same time. When the laptop is unplugged, the battery immediately takes effect and keeps the laptop running for a designated period of time. Thus a battery operated exit sign is not powered by a battery - instead, it just backed up by a battery.
Need for backup
So why is there the need of a backup power supply for exit signs? This is to facilitate exit from a particular building in case of a power failure. Instead of searching frantically in the darkness, the people located inside the building can exit the building easily as there is an illuminated sign to guide them. This prevents people from getting disoriented and lost.
Battery operated exit signs are especially useful for evacuating a building during natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, storms, hurricanes, etc. Power failure is inevitable during such catastrophic events and battery operated exit signs facilitate fast and efficient evacuation without anybody getting trapped inside the building. This helps to reduce fatalities and trauma.
Limited benefits of Tritium signs
There is a limitation to battery operated exit signs. If alternate current is not available before the battery runs out, then the battery will eventually become depleted and the exit sign will turn off. This can be quite irritating and sometimes even threatening. In most cases, the problem is solved by summoning an electrician who either charges the battery using an external source or replaces it with a fully charged one. This problem has been solved by using exit signs which are manufactured using luminous substances like radium, tritium etc. These exit signs absorb light from the surroundings and the word ‘EXIT’ glows when surrounding light becomes absent. Effectively, these exit signs do not need electricity to function. This makes them much more practical and cost efficient.
Exit sign rules
Installation of battery operated exit signs or luminous exit signs in mandatory in certain public places like offices, concert halls, etc. There is an inspecting committee which enforces such rules and regulations to ensure human safety in case of power failures or natural calamities.