Commercial Occupancy Signage

I am trying to research the idea of placing signage on commercial occupancies that have special construction hazards. For example, occupancies that have basements with no visable sign from the outside that there is a basement. The idea was brought to me by my chief as a safety measure for responding firefighters.

Does anybody have any experience with this or any recommendations?

Capt. Dave Holtz, Lyndhurst Fire Prevention
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2 thoughts on “Commercial Occupancy Signage”

  1. From the Building Code perspective, a basement is not really a “hazard” and there is nothing in the Code that would mandate signage warning of it’s existence. I realize you just used that as an example and your question is a general one about signage warning of Firefighter hazards. The Code does mandate identifying electrical rooms, elevator rooms for example, but the additional signage you desire would be optional for the building owner and I believe you’d find owners are cooperative in installing signs if you explain why you desire to have them.

    However, a danger becomes present when some buildings have the “signage” while others do not. Like, does a lack of signage mean there are no hazards? Or does it mean the Owner didn’t want the signs? Whatever you do, it has to be consistent in your jurisdiction.

    Otherwise, I’d make sure the hazards are included in your pre-plan. Also, Company Inspections are great if you guys have the time to do that.

  2. Dave,

    While at a car dealership recently located in Wickliffe, I noticed a placard displayed in the main entrance vestibule of the used car showroom. The placard listed the occupancy classification, construction type, and the occupant load. Although there was no specific hazard information, I thought this was a feature that would be very helpful to responding firefighting crews and runs along the same line as your inquiry. It may be worth contacting them for more information, as they may have an ordinance. Their non-emergency number is 440-943-1212.


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