GUEST POST: Measuring Efficient Emergency Products

Although you may not appreciate or even notice them, emergency products in public buildings keep us safe every day. Building safety code requirements have been beefed up over the past 30 years to ensure public safety resulting in the need for many products to remain compliant like exit signage designated near or above every exit, fire alarm systems and emergency lighting for hallways and stairwells. These requirements have saved countless lives and improved the overall survival rates in cases of emergency like fire and natural disasters.

While these products have improved the safety of public buildings there are hidden costs that many miss when they consider what products to purchase to fulfill their safety code requirements, mainly the associated energy costs of running these products. While it may not seem important to energy efficiency many of these products operate 24/7, 365 days a year, resulting in substantial energy consumption.

The problem can be quickly understood when we look at the options for exit signs. The majority of exit signs in use today are of the incandescent or fluorescent type. Incandescent bulbs are still very prominent in many commercial buildings because of the low cost per bulb but are also horribly low in efficiency using 40 watts plus last only around 6 months – ouch! Fluorescent bulbs are better using around 11 watts and lasting about a year, but pale in comparison to LED’s. An LED exit sign, while costing more is miles more efficient than the rest, using only 2 watts with average lifespan of the bulb in excess of 10 years!

To put this into perspective, a medium-sized office building with 10 exit signs would incur roughly $390 in energy costs using incandescent exit signs. On the flip side the energy cost for the same building using LED exit signs would be only $20 per year or 18.5 times less!

With this in mind be sure to consider (and hopefully choose) the energy efficient option for your emergency requirements.

This guest post is by Gerad Hoyt, a green enthusiast with an interest in making business more efficient. He is writing on behalf of, a specialty electrical supplies company that manufactures and distributes over 3,000 products including energy efficient exit signs and emergency lights.

Photo:  tacker