Vital Features of An Emergency Exit Sign in Malaysia


An emergency exit sign in Malaysia is an indispensable component of any building’s fire safety measures.  

These unassuming yet critical signs play a crucial role in guiding occupants to safety during emergencies, reducing panic, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations.

Continue reading to learn more about emergency exit signs in Malaysia and their role in safeguarding lives during emergencies.

What is An Emergency Exit Sign in Malaysia

Emergency exit signs, also known as “KELUAR” signs, play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of individuals within buildings and public areas.

These signs, which are legally required in all public spaces, especially at the top of fire doors, guide people to the safest and quickest evacuation routes during emergencies.

Emergency exit signs come in various forms, including ceiling or wall-mounted options, and can be categorised as either maintained or non-maintained, depending on their operational characteristics.

In Malaysia, the regulations, specifications, design principles, installation procedures, operational standards, and maintenance guidelines for an emergency exit sign are established by the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (BOMBA) and the MS Standard.

Read More: Fire Extinguisher Maintenance: How Long Are They Good For?

Why is An Emergency Exit Sign Important in Malaysia

1. Life-Saving Guidance

Emergency exit signs provide clear and visible guidance to building occupants during emergencies, directing them to the nearest safe exit.

This guidance is critical in preventing panic and facilitating a swift and orderly evacuation, ultimately saving lives.

2, Legal Obligation

Malaysian regulations and standards mandate the installation and maintenance of emergency exit signs in buildings.

Compliance with these regulations is both a legal obligation and a means of ensuring the safety of building occupants.

3. Reducing Chaos

Emergencies can lead to confusion and chaos, especially in crowded or unfamiliar spaces.

Properly placed and illuminated exit signs help minimise confusion by providing clear directions, promoting organised evacuations, and reducing the risk of injuries and fatalities.

4. Enhanced Safety Culture

The presence of well-maintained emergency exit signs fosters a culture of safety within a building or facility.

Occupants and staff are more likely to be aware of safety procedures and exit routes, contributing to a safer environment overall.

Read More: Fire Certificate Malaysia: Application and Renewal Guide

What are the Vital Features of An Emergency Exit Sign in Malaysia

Here are some vital features and requirements for an emergency exit sign in Malaysia:

1. Illumination

It is crucial to maintain adequate illumination of emergency exit signs for their effectiveness. These signs should be lit at all times, including during power outages or in low-light conditions.

Consistent visibility of these signs to building occupants is achieved through the use of energy-efficient LED lights. LEDs provide the necessary brightness while also saving energy.

Furthermore, to ensure uninterrupted visibility (especially in the dark), emergency exit signs often include backup power sources like batteries.

This guarantees that the signs remain a reliable source of guidance for occupants during emergencies.

2. Visibility

In emergency situations, every second counts, and visible, unmistakable exit signs can make a significant difference in ensuring a safe evacuation.

In Malaysia, emergency exit signs are usually rectangular, sporting a green background with white text and an arrow.

Their design is universally understandable, underlining their vital function as a guide during emergencies.

Furthermore, it’s essential that these signs are prominently displayed and easily recognizable from any point within a building.

3. Location

Proper positioning of exit signs is vital for effective emergency evacuation.

Emergency exit signs in Malaysia must be strategically placed along escape routes, including corridors, stairwells, and near doors that lead to exits, to guide individuals safely.

What’s more, it is crucial to install these signs at a minimum height of 2 metres above the floor.

This ensures they are visible to people of various heights and in different areas of the building, regardless of crowd density or potential obstructions.

4. Legibility

The design of emergency exit signs, including text, symbols, and directional arrows, must prioritise readability from a distance. This requires using fonts that are bold, clear, and easily distinguishable.

Symbols such as the universally understood running man and clear directional arrows are also essential. Their simple and unambiguous design is key to quick comprehension.

Furthermore, an emergency exit must remain unobstructed and free from any visual impediments. Clutter or objects blocking the signs can impede understanding and slow down evacuation efforts.

Regarding the wording on exit signs, it should be direct and concise. In Malaysia, for instance, the term “KELUAR” or “EXIT” is employed.

This is a universally recognised term that effectively communicates the message in a straightforward manner.

5. Compliance

Emergency exit signs in Malaysia must adhere to the safety regulations and standards outlined in the Malaysian Uniform Building By-Laws (UBBL) 1984 and the Fire Services Act 1988.

Failing to comply with these regulations can lead to significant legal consequences.

Not to forget, ensuring compliance is not only a legal obligation but also a measure to safeguard the well-being of building occupants.

The specific requirements for exit signs are detailed in the MS 983:2004 standard.

It provides clear guidelines on the design and installation of emergency exit signs, contributing to a safer environment for everyone.

6. Exit Path Marking

In addition to exit signs, it’s crucial to mark exit paths using photoluminescent or glow-in-the-dark materials, ensuring visibility even in low-light conditions.

This enhances safety by aiding occupants in locating safe evacuation routes during emergencies.

These luminescent markings should be applied along exit paths, including stairwells, handrails, and other essential components of escape routes.

They serve as a continuous and dependable source of illumination, directing occupants towards the safest exit paths.

7. Maintenance

Regular service and maintenance is a critical aspect of ensuring the functionality and reliability of emergency exit signs.

They should be cleaned regularly to remove dirt, dust, or any other debris that might obscure the lettering or symbols.

Plus, in the event of malfunctioning or damaged signs, immediate action is necessary.

Malfunctioning signs should be repaired, and if repair is not feasible, they should be replaced promptly to maintain the safety of building occupants.

8. Testing

Lastly, periodic testing of emergency exit signs and their illumination systems is essential to guarantee their reliability in emergencies. This involves conducting both functionality tests and simulated power outage tests.

Functionality tests are carried out to evaluate the operational status of emergency exit signs. These tests include checking various components, such as bulbs, batteries (if present), and lighting elements, to confirm they are working properly.

Simulated power outage tests, on the other hand, assess the dependability of the backup power system.

This test entails deliberately cutting off the main power supply to the signs, ensuring that the backup power source activates and maintains the illumination of the signs effectively.

Read More: Fire Alarm Monitoring System: Keep Your Building Safe

Ensure Safe Evacuation During Emergencies with Palcon

With more than 40 years of experience in fire safety, we understand the utmost importance of emergency exit signs, as well as other fire-fighting system products, such as:

And many more!

We also strive to expedite safe and swift evacuation by providing a clear fire emergency evacuation plan and have the expertise to:



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