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New York City Local Laws

New York City Local Laws

Read on to learn about how different New York City Local Law 26, MEA-certified Exit Path Markings are to NYC Local Law 141, UL1994-listed Egress Path Markings and the most recent NYC Local Law 3 RCNY §505-01 and 3 RCNY §505-02. All markings help guide your building occupants out to safety but with a different set of requirements.

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Permalight® Proven Photoluminescent Performance

In 1994, following the first terrorist bomb attack in the World Trade Center basement parking garage, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey installed Permalight® photoluminescent markings on the steps, landings and handrail top bars of their emergency staircases. Click here to learn more about the original Permalight® WTC installation in 1994. Seven years later, during the 9/11 World Trade Center New York City evacuation, 33% of survivors in WTC Tower I and 17% of survivors in WTC Tower II were aided by the Permalight® photoluminescent markings on the steps, landings and handrails. Learn about the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) investigation at nist.gov.

Based on the NIST findings, the New York City Department of Buildings developed a range of improvements, enforced by Local Law 26 of 2004, which included photoluminescent exit path markings on doors leading to exits and in emergency staircases of existing High Rise Office Buildings 75 feet or taller. The New York City Building Code required that certain materials and equipment were accepted by the NYC Department of Buildings. Accepted products were given an MEA (Material and Equipment Acceptance) Number by the MEA Department.

NYC Reference Standards RS6-1 and RS6-1A from 2005 detailed:

  • where the photoluminescent exit path markings have to get installed
  • what the signs and markings look like, including at that time newly invented L-shaped Step Markers
  • which tests the signs and markings had to pass to obtain the prestigious MEA number
  • how each sign and marking has to be labeled for AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) MEA number verification after installation

Permalight® photoluminescent exit path markings successfully passed the five required tests (brightness, washability, toxicity, radioactivity, flame spread) plus the optional UV-degradation test, giving you peace of mind. Each sign and marking is properly labeled per NYC requirement. Permalight® photoluminescent exit path markings can be found in hundreds of NYC high-rise office building emergency staircases.

March 2007, the City of Fresno, California adopted NYC’s LL 26 RS 6-1 requirements for all enclosed stairways in buildings with 3 stories or more and in any exit pathways leading from the stairways to the exterior of the building.

Permalight products are MEA listed:

Do you need Photoluminescent Exit Path Markings per Local Law 26?
NYC Local Law 26
Or do you need Photoluminescent Egress Path Markings per Local Law 141?

Late December 2013, Mayor Bloomberg signed several new Local Laws that took effect December 31, 2014. Feel free to download the new "Local Law 141 of 2013" here: nyc.gov.

You find the Photoluminescent Sections in:

  • 1024 (starting on Page 778) Luminous Egress Path Markings
  • 1022.8.6 Stair ID Signs and
  • Appendix S for the photoluminescent requirements for NEW Construction and Major Alterations in all High-Rises (except Condo/Apartment)

New Buildings – Alterations to existing buildings

If you submitted your Construction Documents for

  • NEW high-rise hotel / motel, office / administrative, hospital buildings on or after October 1, 2014,
  • Alterations to Existing high-rise hotel / motel, office / administrative, hospital buildings on or after October 1, 2014,

your project falls under Local Law 141.

MEA-certified exit path markings are no longer applicable. The MEA-Office at the NYC Department of Buildings was closed years ago.

This new NYC Building Code Local Law 141 is based on the nationwide IBC (International Building Code). The Photoluminescent Egress Path Markings were tested with ONLY 1 foot-candle of lighting for ONLY 60 minutes. So these UL1994-listed Photoluminescent Egress Path Markings have to accomplish the stringent darkness tests with only HALF the activating light in HALF the time: these markings are therefore a stronger performing Photoluminescent material.

American Permalight®, Inc. offers an extensive range of UL1994-listed Photoluminescent Egress Path Markings per Local Law 141. Again the New York City Department of Buildings requires that each sign and marking is clearly labeled for AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) Code-compliance verification after installation. Click here to learn about our NYC-Local Law 141, UL1994-listed labeled signs and markings.

A brief SUMMARY of the most important Differences between Local Law 26 and Local Law 141

Comparison Local Law 26: MEA Local Law 141: UL1994-listed
Activation 2 foot-candles of activating lighting 1 foot-candle of activating lighting
Length of Activation 120 minutes 60 minutes
Marking of Steps L-shaped Step Markers Continuous full step width marking
Handrails Were not required to be marked Must be marked

The Old: MEA: Existing high-rise OFFICE buildings that fell under Local Law 26 can continue to get maintained with RS6-1 materials (luminance based on an activation by 2 foot-candles of activating lighting for 120 minutes). All Permalight® signs and markings are MEA-labeled.

The New: UL1994: NEW Local Law 141 requirements demand brighter materials derived from the IBC (International Building Code). All Permalight® signs and markings are UL1994-listed and UL1994-labeled.

Take our free CEU course, earn your required Credits and learn about the Building Code requirements:

American Permalight - Courses

Do you need Signs and Markings per Local Law 3 RCNY §505-01 and 3 RCNY §505-02 to mark Group R-1 Hotel/Motel and Group R-2 Apartment Unit door frames?

FDNY (Fire Department of New York) published its Rule 3 RCNY 505-01 & 3 RCNY 505-02 requiring residence door frames, egress stair door frames and duplex & triplex door frames be marked with photoluminescent, retroreflective or other approved material markings, plus wayfinding markings in certain locations if your building is not fully sprinklered.

R-1 Occupancy Type includes Hotels + Motels.
R-2 Occupancy Type includes Apartments, Boarding Houses, Dormitories and similar occupancies.

Call or email us, if this applies to YOUR property.

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Appropriate Product Use

Many factors beyond American Permalight®'s control and uniquely within a user's knowledge and control can affect the use, application and performance of a Permalight® product in a particular application. Given the variety of factors that can affect the use and performance of a Permalight® product, each user is solely responsible for evaluating the product and determining whether it is suitable for a user's method of application and fit for a particular purpose. Questions? Contact us.

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