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Exit signs and compliance schedules

You need clearly visible, easily understood exit signs in most new buildings, so check you know what you need and what should be listed on a compliance schedule.

This information was confirmed as current in February 2016. It originally appeared in Codewords newsletters prior to January 2014.

  • Published on 1 July 2012
  • Of interest to Building owners, Building consent authorities, Designers

Compliance schedules

Exit signs must be listed on any compliance schedule when:

  • the sign is illuminated (internally or externally) by a dedicated or back-up power supply that illuminates the sign during failure of the main lighting  supply
  • the sign is photoluminescent and there is at least one other specified system (1 to 6, 9 and 13) included in the building’s escape route (refer to the Compliance schedule handbook)
  • photoluminescent signs are charged by a specifically controlled lighting system. The sign, charging and control circuit must be listed on the compliance schedule.

Exit signs are not required to be listed on a compliance schedule when:

  • they are photoluminescent and do not rely on a dedicated light source for charging
  • and they are the only specified system in the building’s escape route.

Clarification for Acceptable Solution for Signs (F8/AS1)

Paragraph 4.5.1 may suggest that exit signs are not required in some circumstances. This is incorrect.

MBIE issued an erratum to F8/AS1 to remove any ambiguity and clarify the intent of paragraph 4.5.1.

The amended paragraph reads:

4.5.1 Exit signs shall be

  • externally illuminated
  • or internally illuminated
  • or photoluminescent.

All guidance related to F8 Signs

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: