As a business owner, you are aware of the importance of ADA signage. It’s more than just meeting the legal requirement by the government, but providing your customers, clients, and staff a safe and accessible environment. But one question we hear frequently is, where all do you need to provide ADA signage? The short answer: any permanent room or space. The American’s with Disabilities Act wording:
Section 216.2 applies to signs that provide designations, labels, or names for interior rooms or spaces where the sign is not likely to change over time. Examples include interior signs labeling restrooms, room and floor numbers or letters, and room names. Tactile text descriptors are required for pictograms that are provided to label or identify a permanent room or space. [Review entire ADA regulations]
Permanent rooms require ADA compliant signs. Not sure if it’s permanent? Just ask yourself, “are the walls fastened/attached to the walls, ceiling, or both?” If yes, then it’s a permanent room. If a permanent room has permanent fixtures (ie items that cannot be moved easily), then it should be labeled with the ADA room name signs, not just a number. Examples would be electrical rooms, kitchens, or bathrooms. Rooms that can change function more easily, and don’t have permanent fixtures can be labeled with simple alphanumeric ADA room number signs. Examples would be conference rooms, classrooms, and offices.
While rooms that can change use frequently do not require ADA signs, it’s still a good idea. Making sure your building or site is accessible to everyone is the right thing to do, and the cost of an ADA compliant sign is just a few dollars more than a non-ADA sign. You can even meet halfway and use an ADA window insert sign which has the ADA compliant room number with Braille characters and tactile lettering, with a window to insert a changeable name.
Life Safety Signs
Life safety signs are ADA signs that are specific to the overall building or site, that give direction on things like how to exit during and emergency, where safety areas are, and restrictions during emergencies. Examples of life safety signs would be:
- Fire & Emergency exit plan sign (direction of exit sign)
- Elevator “in case of fire use stairs” signs
- Stair identification sign, stairwell identification sign, roof access sign
- Fire Door Sign: “Automatic Fire Door, do not block”
- “Door to remain unlocked when the building is occupied”
- Fire Equipment Identification Sign
While these types of life safety signs are required for ADA compliance, not all life safety signs must be. Overhead signs or ones that are mounted perpendicular to a wall are not required may not need Braille, but must meet other font and readability requirements. Additional signs like directories, menus, occupant name signs, and instructional signs are not included in ADA code.
Shine On Signs is a full-service sign manufacturer that offers ADA Signs. We can help you navigate the requirements to make sure you are compliant and provide the best safest most accessible site for anyone who visits. Contact us today to get a free site survey and quote.
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