Maintenance and Disposal of Self-Illuminated Building Signs

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Self-powered lighting is a generic term that describes devices that emit light continuously without an external power source. The signs do not require electricity or batteries, and are most commonly installed where it is difficult to get electric power to the location where an exit sign is needed. Historic and architecturally significant buildings are common uses for this technology, although they are approved for use nearly anywhere.

Early self-powered lighting used radium paint, which posed serious health risks to the workers who manufactured and applied it, as well as to users of those early self-powered lighting devices. Modern devices, however, are generally considered to be safe and effective.

Download the guidance below to learn about reviewing plans for self-illuminated lighting features and inspecting facilities that use or plan to use them. Information on the safe disposal of damaged or unused units is also included.