A fire outbreak in any place, especially in enclosed spaces like auditoriums, shopping malls, and movie multiplexes, can lead to irretrievable losses both in terms of life and property. But, if effective and timely fire fighting strategies are adopted during emergency situations, the losses can be contained to a considerable extent.
Fire exit signs that are placed at strategic points in corridors, passageways, stairways, and atop exit doors are really crucial as these signs help people to find escape routes quickly. These signs keep glowing brightly (when there is a power cut due to the fire outbreak) and help immensely in evacuation drives.
The signs should be designed properly so that they are easily visible from any or all vantage points in a building. Proper sign design, correct application along with positioning is essential features of an efficient emergency exit system.
Right selection of design signs
Signs should be designed distinctly with clear diagrammatic or pictorial illustrations to help people to find their way out safely and quickly without tripping over each other.
Correct positions of exit signs
Haphazard positioning and placement of exit signs can lead to confusion and chaos. This can lead to a situation where people start scrambling amongst themselves to get to the nearest exit point desperately. Lives may be lost due to stampedes and suffocation.
Basic sign positioning rulesmust be followed. Foremost among them is identifying the distance that is the shortest between an evacuation point and the exit point.
Multiple options might be available when it comes to evaluating the shortest distance as there might be numerous such ‘shortest’ routes. In such a case, all such routes must be marked out with differently designed fire exit signs.
Designing exit signs that will be mounted at great heights
Very often, exit signs need to be mounted quite high up. Such points offer the best vantage positions for people to see them irrespective of where they are. The letters of the word ‘EXIT’ are bigger than the letters of normal sign boxes and the lights inside the boxes have higher luminosity. The arrow signs indicating the exit route are also more prominent.
Supplementary text should be legible and convey the right message
Supplementary text that helps to understand the graphic symbols should be clear and unambiguous. Any additional information that might be vital should also be legible and easy to comprehend.
Extra precaution should be taken to design the arrows
In an exit sign, arrows are the most important graphic symbols. So these should be cut out properly in the rectangular exit box to correctly convey or indicate directions. Misplaced arrows can lead to lead to life threatening situations.