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Emergency Lighting Blog

News and Information for Public Egress, Building Safety and Government Compliance

Monthly Archives: March 2017


Chicago Approved Emergency Light

Chicago Approved Emergency Lights

With the Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park, the Sears Tower and tons of museums, Chicago is a special place, and when it comes to emergency lighting, Chicago is even more unique. Exit signs used throughout the rest of the country will probably not be approved by city regulators.

Why So Strict?

There are 2.7 million people living in the city, and that doesn’t include the scores of workers commuting every day. With so many people packed into one place, the need for greater safety measures exist.

Another reason for the strict codes is Chicago’s history. The city suffered from a number of deadly fires. In just one fire, 300 people were killed and 3.3 miles of the city interior had been destroyed.  The aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire was even worse. 100,000 residents were left without homes. Incidents like these led to tighter codes and restrictions.

What’s Different?

At first glance, a Chicago approved emergency light looks quite a bit like units used throughout the country, but there are three key differences: the housing, the letters and the faceplate. Chicago approved exit signs have larger letters, and those letters always glow red. The faceplate is typically glass, and the housing for the unit is metal not plastic.

How to Keep Up To Code?

You need to know the rules, and the best place to find the building rules is on the city of Chicago website. If you’re short on time, Chicago Decoded is a great resource that briefly explains the rules.

The easiest way to be up to code is purchase Chicago approved emergency light equipment. At Emergency Lighting, you’ll find sections of our inventory solely devoted to Chicago approved lights, fixtures and exit signs. To learn more about our exit signs, or to receive additional tips, contact us online or give us a call at 800-521-4045.