I need help with comments that a plan reviewer made about egress illumination in a commerial office building. He refered to the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code 1003.2.11 that says "The means of egress, including the exit discharge, shall be illuminated at all times the building space served by the means of egress is occupied." His comments indicate to satisfy this requirement there has to be either a wall switch and light at the egress or night-lighting. This is inside the building, not outside and is not related to the requirements for normal power, not emergency lighting. I have not had this requirement noted on plans before. Is anyone familiar with this interpetation? Are there other ways to satisfy this requirement?
I'm not familiar with NC rules and regulations, but the reviewer is correct regarding the emergancy illumination. All portions of the means of egress that are large enough to require two exits (including outside at the exit discharge) are required to have emergancy illumination. I find the comments a little strange, but the way I always see this requirement satisfied is by placing emergancy lighting at the outside of the exit doors, and all other areas requiring the illumination.
The exit discharge is the area outside the building, giving the fleeing occupants access all the way to a public way (street, parking lot or alley). In these larger buildings, this "night-light" is required to be lit at all times during darkness when the building is occupied, just the same as the EXIT lights and other egress lighting (night-lights or emergency lights) throughout the building. A switched porch light would not qualify as this required egress lighting. A photo-cell or time-clock controlled porch light might fit the bill. All egress and EXIT lighting needs to be on an emergency circuit, or have battery back-up power.