1. What are the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regulations regarding Emergency Lighting and Exit Signs?

  • A monthly activation test requiring that Emergency Lighting / Exit Signs come on
    and provide the required emergency illumination for a minimum of 30 seconds.
  •  An annual test where Emergency Lighting / Exit Signs is activated for 90 minutes
    to simulate a long term emergency
  • Emergency Lighting / Exit Signs to be operational during testing
  • Written records of the monthly and yearly tests (showing documentation with
    respect to maintenance and retesting if problems occur) must be maintained

2. How does this impact Exit Signs with battery backup?

  • NFPA 101 requires maintenance personnel to perform a manual test every 30
    days, meaning that the “test” button on the Exit Sign needs to be pushed and
    held in place for 30 seconds to simulate a short outage. The Exit Sign needs to
    stay illuminated during the test while operating on the battery
  • NFPA 101 requires an annual battery test of 90 minutes on each Exit Sign
  •  Written records need to be maintained and produced during an audit including
    maintenance and replacement records
  •  Manual testing of Exit Signs is labor intensive, expensive (typically involves
    overtime), typically requires multiple people (ladders or lifts) and is very
    disruptive to normal building operations

3. What are the fines for not being compliant?

  •  OSHA fines are currently $13,260 per violation
  • Failure to abate is $13,260 per day beyond the abatement date
  • Willful or repeated penalties are $132,598 (per violation)

4. What is the Willard Smart Exit Sign solution?

  • Willard Smart Exit provides a centralized real-time status of all your exit signs. It is
    secure, fast, flexible and facilitates a scalable, reliable administration
  • A comprehensive life safety solution developed across multiple partners that
    addresses NFPA 101 regulations in Exit Signs with rapid ROI’s. The solution
    comprises 3 components: (1) Hardware (2) Executive Dashboard (3) Smart
    Ledger App.
  • The Willard Smart Exit has patented technology and monitors the internal
    battery, providing battery status to the IBM Cloud for viewing in an Executive Dashboard. The Dashboard provides battery status of all Exit Signs in your
    building(s) in a single location, replacing the need for manual testing
  • Any failures result in a Work Order being issued so maintenance can take place
  •  Reports can be generated immediately upon request

5. What is the Willard Smart Ledger?

  •  The Smart Ledger is an iPad App for maintenance crews to identify all Life Safety
    assets (fire extinguishers, fire doors, exit signs, etc) in an easy to use format
  •  CAD files (or As Builts) can be downloaded into the App and Life Safety assets
    can be “dropped” into place on the drawing. Surveys can be deployed to
    maintenance crews addressing NFPA regulations on critical assets
  •  Digitize manual Life Safety asset information into a central location

6. We have an in-house generator or stored energy system to back up the Exit Signs; Why do we need the Willard Smart Exit Sign?

  • A generator, stored energy system or a battery in a standard Exit Sign are all the
    same in the view of the NFPA and any other Authority Holding Jurisdiction .
    Regardless of which system you have you must comply with NFPA 101 and audit
    “each“ Emergency Exit Sign monthly and annually.  A system with a generator for
    example does not help in any way to meet compliance except by illuminating the
    Exit Sign for an emergency back up test.
  •  Once a Compliance Test is complete with a system using a generator or stored
    energy or standard Emergency Battery Exit Sign the task of inspecting each
    individual Exit Sign must be completed (typically manually but sometimes with a
    tablet) and converted to an approved NFPA format.  The Willard Smart Exit Sign
    completely changes how a facility manages the Emergency Exit Sign Compliance
    work load.  The time and labor savings is an easy calculation.  As is the Life Safety
    of all of the occupants of a facility.  If you can save a huge amount of time and
    money by installing a Smart Exit Sign solution you greatly reduce the risks and
    liabilities of any facility.
  •  The Emergency Power system or the Stored Electrical Power Systems need to
    meet the NFPA standards for Level 1, Class 6 (6 hours) or Class 48 (48 hours) in
    order to meet the NFPA 101 standards for emergency backup power to
    Emergency Lighting and Exit Signs.   If the generator or stored system does not
    meet these standards for time support while in an Emergency mode then the
    Exit Signs would need a Battery backup.

7. Can a Willard Smart Exit Sign with its own Battery Backup be used even with a generator or stored energy system?

  • Yes. Installing a Smart Exit Sign with its own Battery backup creates no electrical or mechanical issues as to how the existing generator or stored energy system operates.
  • In addition to the generator and stored energy systems needing their own separate NFPA Standards to meet, the facility now has a Second Emergency Exit Sign backup system should the generator or stored energy system experience a failure or delay.  Some regions are more subject to earthquake or floods and there is a legitimate argument that if a generator or stored energy system were to fail for example during a disaster of some type the facility Exit Signs would not illuminate to direct occupants to safety.  
  • The Willard Smart Exit Sign is unique compared to all other Emergency Exit Signs.  The Willard Exit Sign incorporates two LED Flood Lights within the Exit Sign body to provide a significant amount of lighting directed to the emergency egress floor area. It is an equivalent to a 40 watt light bulb. The Willard Smart Exit Sign provides over 4 hours of Emergency Light to both the LED White Flood lights and the Exit Sign Signage .  The NFPA 101 Standards require 90 minutes and the Willard Exit Sign provides over 240 minutes .  This feature directly impacts the ability of building occupants to evacuate safely out of the building with a 4 hour window versus a 90 minute window. 

8. How do we know if our generator or stored energy system meets NFPA Compliance?

  • The NFPA 101, NFPA 110 and NFPA 111 Standards state clearly that an Emergency Exit Sign whether backed up with a generator, stored energy system or a battery pack within the Exit Sign must illuminate for a minimum of 90 minutes.  If the generator or stored energy system cannot exceed the 90 minutes than it is not acceptable as the Emergency Power Source for the Exit Signs. 
  • Emergency Power Systems provide automatic backup power in the event of normal power loss. They are required by code and shall provide power within 10 seconds to all life safety systems

9. What does Willard Smart Exit Sign do differently than any other emergency powered Exit Sign?

  • Allows a facility to use a Smart network to monitor the status of every Exit Sign connected to the network, providing on demand status reports ranging from all system good to a specific Exit Sign location that is reporting a problem condition such as a battery low level or battery failure, signage failure, building power failure and network wide automated Compliance Test.

10. How does the Willard Smart Exit communicate to the IBM Cloud?

  • The Smart Exit Sign communicates via built-in Wi-Fi; either on a customer’s existing Wi-Fi network or on a new Wi-Fi network

11. What about security? How secure is the solution?

12. What partners are involved in the Willard Smart Exit Sign solution?

  • Willard IoT – Solution owner
  • IBM – Software. IBM Cloud, Maximo Asset Monitor, Smart Ledger
  • Hasco LED – Hardware designer.
  • Cache Valley Electric – Master reseller and installer.
  • Arrow / Keytronics – Manufacturers

13. Do you have to use Cache Valley Electric to install the Smart Exit Signs?

  • No. You have the option to use your own Electrical Contractor
  • Cache Valley Electric are the master reseller / installer and have a contractors license in all 50 States. They also are large Cisco partners and have wide networking expertise

14. How do I acquire the solution?

The solution is broken out into 4 IBM part numbers (5th Optional):

      • D27U0LL – Willard Smart Exit Sign (Hardware)
      • D01XRZX – IBM Maximo Asset Monitor
      • D02FAZX – Willard Smart Ledger App
      • D02FEZX – Willard Smart Ledger App (Support)
      • D00W72X – OPTIONAL – Maximo Public SaaS

15. Is installation included?

  • No. Installation is not included in the pricing (due to the variance of labor rates across the US). Installation is a separate contract (Cache Valley is the master installer)

16. Can the solution be financed?

  • Yes. IBM Global Finance (IGF) has been established as our finance partner
  • The term of the financed contract is 60 months


17. What is the targeted price of the solution?

  • The approximate price of the Willard Smart Exit Sign, Executive Dashboard and Smart Ledger is $15/sign/month for a 60 month term. Installation is not included

18. What is the life expectancy of an average Exit Sign? What about the Willard Smart Exit Sign?

  • The average life expectancy of an Exit Sign installed in the past 5 years is 8-10 years based on an Exit Sign being on 24/7 (or 8760 hours annually). Exit Signs installed prior to that will have a shorter life cycle. Exit Signs are considered a commodity product and the components are typically lesser quality to reach the low prices
  • The Willard Smart Exit Sign is a much higher grade product with a thermal management design that allow LEDs to operate at a lower temperature. This translates to an average useful life of 13.5 years


19. When is it cost effective to replace my older Fluorescent Exit Signs with new LED Exit Signs?

  • It is cost effective now based on the average wattage savings when comparing Fluorescent to LED lighting.  Depending on the age of the fluorescent Exit Sign a typical energy savings of 30-60 % can be realized.

20. How does the Willard Smart Exit Sign help reduce maintenance costs compared to Fluorescent Exit Signs?

  • The first most important issue is NFPA compliance.  If an Exit Sign (in this case fluorescent) fails there is no automated system to alert the facility that the Exit Sign is out of order and so out of Compliance. The other important cost saving and maintenance issue is that on average a Fluorescent Light bulb/ tube/ compact fluorescent only have a useful life cycle of 8,000 to 12,000 hours and then need replacement.  With a facility like a Hospital this means very often the Exit Sign must be serviced at least once per year with new Fluorescent lamps/ bulbs.  In comparison the Willard Smart Exit Sign uses LEDs with a useful life cycle of over 80,000 hours and the system as designed is rated to last 13.5 years

Hardware Questions:

What are the core components of the Willard Smart Exit Sign hardware?

Exit Sign Body & Illumination Panel

The Willard Design 2 Exit Sign body made up of two parts; the canopy made of extruded aluminum and the illumination clear acrylic Exit Sign panel. The Design 2 Exit Sign will accommodate all standard field mounting requirements.


AC ( alternating current) 120/240-277 VAC 50/60 Hz .

Electrical usage:

total watts consumed during A/C power (8) watts to illuminate LEDs, Smart Control Board, Motion sensors, indicator panel and Micro-WiFi module. (8 watts is a nominal measurement of energy consumed, not to exceed 8.5 watts)


 (1) Emergency Battery backup module 7.2 V 4200mAh Nickle Metal Hydride ( NiMH ) consists of (6) Sub C batteries. Rated useful life cycle 7 years.

Laser pointer Test

(1) optical lens located on the Indicator Panel on the side of the Exit Sign Canopy can be activated with a laser pointer ( off the shelf Red laser ) to place the Exit into a Self-Diagnostic Test.  The proof of the test for any Exit Sign within the network can be confirmed with a print out report by facility management. In addition to eliminating a facility employee or contractor from climbing up a ladder to push a test switch it also serves as a confirmation to any AWJ that the Willard Smart Exit Sign system is working and can be confirmed at any Exit Sign location .

Occupancy Motion Sensors

(2) Standard, Infra-Red detection technology. Occupancy sensors when networked can provide an immediate response to Building Security that activity is taking place in unauthorized areas or during off-hours .  A print out can be generated to confirm interior movement.

Limited Warranties  

(3) yrs Limited Warranty Exit Sign Emergency Battery Pack. (5) yrs Limited Warranty Exit Sign LEDs . Rated useful life cycle for LEDs and Control Boards 10 years.

Emergency Battery Backup Hours

Willard Design 2.0 will provide over 4 hours of Emergency Life Safety Lighting.  The Emergency lighting provided is (1) illuminated Exit Sign Signage and (2) white LED flood lights that meet UL/ETL , NFPA 101, OSHA, NEC and IESNA standards. 

Emergency Battery End of Life Report

Willard Smart Exit Sign 2.0 provides (2) detection bits reports if the Battery Pack is below its normal charge level or if the Battery Pack is operating in a critical failure mode.  Both report bits provide the facility with an accurate and cost saving method to locate any Exit Sign with a defective or failing Emergency Battery Pack. This significantly reduces the need to replace Emergency Batteries based on group obsolescence providing cost savings on labor and material. 

The Emergency Battery reporting capability provides (AWJ) Authorities with Jurisdiction (Fire Marshal, NFPA Inspector, Fire Department ) with a network wide Exit Sign report confirming that every Exit Sign within the facility network is operating normal and within specifications .

Manual Push Button Test

(1) push button test switch located on the Exit Sign Indicator Panel places the Exit Sign into a Self – Diagnostic Test. The proof of the test for any Exit Sign within the network can be confirmed with a print out report by facility management.

Thermal detector

(1) located on the main Indicator Board monitors the interior temperature of the Exit Sign as well as providing an early alert that the ambient temperature of the room / location has exceeded normal levels.

Integral Life Safety Lighting  

(2) LED flood lights located in the upper section of the Exit Sign Canopy produces white led lighting that meets Life Safety Standards. The flood lights are designed to flood the floor areas beneath each Smart Exit Sign to provide additional Life Safety light levels during an Emergency . The Smart Exit Sign flood lights remain on for a minimum of 4 hours during an Emergency when the building electrical power has failed.

Indicator Light Panel

(1) located on the end cap of the Exit Sign Canopy housing, consists of (4) indicator lights; Green/ constant AC present; Yellow/ constant LED failure, if blinking under test mode; Red/ constant Battery failure or capacity low; Blue/ blinking searching for WiFi module.

Smart Control Board

( SCB ): (13) active Report Bits.  Bits indicate the presence of AC power, LED Board status, battery functions and levels, sensor outputs, Exit test modes and indicator light panel status.  The SCB allows the Exit Sign to constantly check its systems and communicate to the Communication Module which in turn communicates to the Cloud.

Compliance Standards :


Installation Questions:

What is the process to get a Reseller Installation Quote?

The Method of Procedure (MOP) is as follows:

  1. The Method of Procedure (MOP) is as follows:
    1. Ask end-user if they have a preferred installer
      1. If they have a preferred installer
        1. Reseller will gather the following information about the installer
          • Name of installer
          • Contact information of installer (phone & email)
        2. Reseller will gather end-user information
          • Point of contact
          • Physical address
          • Phone number
          • Email address
          • End-user business (i.e. hospital, hotel, education, government, etc.)
          • Number of signs
        3. Send installer & end-user information to CVE
        4. CVE will confirm that they have received the information
      2. If they don’t have a preferred installer
        1. Reseller will gather end-user information
          • Point of contact
          • Physical address
          • Phone number
          • Email address
          • End-user business (i.e. hospital, hotel, education, government, etc.)
          • Number of signs
        2. Send end-user information to CVE
        3. CVE will confirm that they have received the information

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