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Required Signs in California

The current ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) sign code in California is governed by the California Building Code (CBC), which is based on the federal ADA guidelines. The most recent update to the California Building Code was in 2019.

Here are some key requirements for ADA signs in California:

  1. Placement: ADA signs must be mounted on the wall adjacent to the latch side of the door, and the bottom of the sign must be between 48 inches and 60 inches above the floor.

  2. Contrast: The sign background and the letters or symbols on the sign must have a non-glare finish and provide sufficient contrast with each other. The contrast ratio must be at least 70% for visual characters.

  3. Tactile Characters: Signs must have tactile characters (raised letters and/or symbols) that are at least 1/32 inch high and have a width-to-height ratio between 3:5 and 1:1. Tactile characters must be separated from each other by a space of at least 1/8 inch.

  4. Braille: Signs must also have Grade 2 Braille, which is a system of raised dots that is used to represent letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. The Braille must be located below the tactile characters and be at least 3/8 inch high.

  5. Pictograms: Pictograms (symbols) may be used on signs to supplement or replace text, but they must be accompanied by tactile characters and Braille.

  6. Signage Height: The maximum height for an ADA sign should not exceed 60 inches (5 feet) from the floor.

  7. Mounting Location: Signs should be mounted on the wall closest to the latch side of the door. If there is no wall on the latch side, the sign should be mounted on the nearest adjacent wall. Signs should not be mounted on doors, unless it is the only mounting option.

  8. Fonts: Sans-serif fonts are recommended for legibility, and the stroke width of the characters should be at least 1/8 inch.

  9. Signage Visibility: Signs should be placed in a location that is easily visible and not obstructed by furniture, doors, or other objects. Additionally, signs should be well-lit and easily distinguishable from the surrounding environment.

Some other required signage in California may include, but are not limited to

  1. No Smoking Sign: California law requires that "No Smoking" signs be posted in all public places and workplaces. The signs should be placed in a location where they are easily visible to everyone, and should include the international "No Smoking" symbol.

  2. Emergency Exit Signs: Emergency exit signs are required in all buildings and should be visible from any location within the building. The signs should be illuminated, and should indicate the direction of the nearest exit.

  3. Fire Extinguisher Signs: Signs indicating the location of fire extinguishers should be posted in all commercial and industrial buildings. The signs should be placed in a location that is easily visible, and should include the symbol for a fire extinguisher.

  4. First Aid Signs: In California workplaces, employers are required to post signs indicating the location of first aid kits and emergency eyewash stations. The signs should be placed in a location that is easily visible, and should include the international "First Aid" symbol.

  5. Handicap Accessible Signs: Handicap accessible signs are required in all public places and workplaces in California. The signs should include the international symbol of accessibility, and should be placed in a location that is easily visible and not obstructed.

Some egress and fire safety signs may include here are some of the egress sign requirements for California:

  1. Exit Signs: All exits must be marked with an exit sign. These signs should be illuminated, either by a reliable external source of light or internally with self-luminous material. The letters on the sign should be at least 6 inches high and 3/4 inches wide. The word "Exit" or an appropriate directional arrow must be used.

  2. Directional Signs: Directional signs should be posted at every intersection or exit passageway where the direction of travel to reach the nearest exit is not immediately apparent. These signs should include the word "Exit" or an appropriate directional arrow, and the route to the nearest exit should be indicated.

  3. Floor-Level Exit Markings: In California, it is required to mark the path to an exit with floor-level markings if the exit is not visible from a distance. The markings should consist of a continuous stripe of high-visibility contrasting color, at least 2 inches wide.

  4. Stairwell Identification Signs: Stairwells should be identified with signs indicating the floor level, unless the stairwell serves only a single floor. The signs should be located at the entrance to the stairwell and on each floor within the stairwell.

  5. Door Signs: Every door that connects to an exit should be identified with a sign indicating "Exit" or "No Exit". These signs should be located on the door or on the wall immediately adjacent to the door, and should be clearly visible.

If you have any further questions please feel free t email me at or call at 559-683-4944

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