The need for safety signs

The need for safety signs

You have probably seen safety signs when you go to the supermarket, take in a movie at the mall, or go to work, unless you are a complete shut in. Chances are you see them, but don’t appreciate their importance because you have never had occasion to need them. However, if a situation arises where you will, you will be glad they are around. You probably don’t need them in your home, but all commercial and residential buildings are required to put them in appropriate areas.


various signage evacuation map sign

In general, safety signs are there to guide people in cases of emergencies. In some cases, directional signage is merely to provide information of where to go under normal conditions. For example, if you’re in the mall and you need to go to the restroom, you can easily find where they are if the mall provide directional signages. In most cases, however, safety signs become crucial when something goes wrong.

An evacuation map, for instance, is on every floor of a building, typically near elevators. It shows you your current position, and the position of the nearest exit or the stairwell in case of power outage, earthquake, or fire.  In such cases, you are not supposed to use the elevator, so it is important to know where the emergency exit is. Evacuation maps include directional arrows showing the quickest way there.

Power outages are common in an emergency, so lighted signs and unlighted evacuations are next to useless because you can’t see them, especially if there is smoke or dust. A photoluminescent sign works better in most crisis situations because it does not require power to be visible. Photoluminescent signs use paint inundated with phosphors, a type of chemical that absorbs energy and produces it as visible light. This light is most visible when there is no ambient light or complete dark, which is why another name for it is glow in the dark signage.

Putting in safety signs is not just about compliance with the law and regulations, however. Ample signage is a an indication of a building or store owner that values the safety of their customers, tenants, and employees. It is a subtle form of marketing when people subconsciously feel safe in your establishment, and can strengthen your brand. You can even customize signages to include your brand or logo, or to make it a distinctive part of your establishment. The great thing about safety signs is you don’t have to prove its worth in an emergency. Having them around is enough to boost your reputation.

That said, safety signs are there primarily to help keep people safe. To do that, you have to place these signs strategically and prominently. Building plans usually need emergency exits and fire escapes to get approval from the city engineers, and this includes the placement of safety signs. However, you can do better than just fulfill the minimum requirements. Safety signs are not expensive, and they last for a long time, so invest in as many as you think is appropriate. Use your common sense to decide where you should put safety signs for everyone’s benefit in cases of emergencies.

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