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What is the Running Man Exit Sign and Where is It Used?
We're all aware of the classic American emergency exit sign. The one that has been around since 1911 and spells out the word "EXIT" in bright red lettering. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) went on to create criteria for emergency-exit signage, taking into consideration various contrast levels and evaluating different lettering sizes, eventually publishing the standards adopted by state and local governments across the states. We see these bright signs hovering over doors and corridors within America's buildings, directing us to safety. But what about the rest of the world? Internationally, many countries have adopted some version of the ISO standard, a symbol deemed the "Running Man exit sign". Should your building consider implementing the Running Man exit signs?
First, a brief history of exit signs is needed in order to understand how they have evolved and where we are at today. In the United States, it all started in 1911. A huge fire in a downtown Manhattan garment factory killed 146 workers, which sparked NFPA to act on creating a way to get people out of buildings quicker. Thus, the American EXIT sign was born. Early exit signs were made of either metal and lit by a nearby incandescent light bulb or having a white glass cover with "EXIT" written in red, placed directly in front of a single-bulb light fixture. However, in the case of a fire, the power to these lights often failed or were barely visible, rendering them useless for their important job. This evolved to adding red-tinted globes in the emergency exit signs to allow for better visibility.
Through the years better emergency EXIT signs have been developed and today we have several options on the market. These include the most popular photoluminescent emergency exit signs and LED emergency exit signs. Jessup Manufacturing's Glo Brite® emergency exit signs are engineered with photoluminescent material which allows them to absorb and store LED, fluorescent, metal halide or mercury vapor light. Photoluminescent exit signs require no electricity and no maintenance.
But what about the green-lit pictogram Running Man exit sign?
While the bright red EXIT signs were being implemented all over America, the little green lit Running Man exit sign was being developed by a Japanese pictogram designer named Yukio Oto in the late 1970's. He states that his goal in creating the sign was to communicate to people to "run slowly." The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was ready to adopt a Soviet Union pictogram, but after hearing about the extensive testing Ota put this sign through, ISO decided to take it into consideration. Ota's sign eventually won out and was adopted for international use in 1985. Ota's design of the Running Man exit sign is argued to have a couple key advantages over the red EXIT signs:
It's green. Red is often the international color meaning danger or don't touch. Green, on the other hand, is a color of safety and means go all over the world.
It's a pictogram. It's a universal language with no barriers. Visitors speaking any language are able to understand what a person running through a door in a specific direction means.
Agree or disagree with these statements, they stand at the center of the great emergency exit sign debate that has been brewing for 30+ years now. Throughout the world, exit signs follow ISO standards and use the green pictogram of a figure running and an arrow in the direction of the exit. These signs may also have words in the local language indicating an exit. For these reasons, many countries now use some version of this ISO standard created by Ota.
Australia Makes the Switch to the Running Man Exit Sign
After many European countries, Japan, and others moved away from the EXIT sign, Australia decided to follow suite in 2005. The National Construction Code (Building Code of Australia) shifted away from the word ˜EXIT" to the universal pictograph through the introduction of Australian Standard 2293, 'Emergency escape lighting and exit signs for buildings.' This update brought Australia into line with the international standards outlined in ISO3864-1.
Canada Also Moves to the Running Man Exit Sign
In 2010, Canada's National Building Code (NBC) made the change to the Running Man exit sign stating that red and white EXIT or UTâ€ signs needed to be replaced by a sign of a white or green man running towards the emergency exit. The change is largely being driven by the country's changing demographics and reflects a desire to help those who don't speak English or French, according to Phil Rizcallah, director of the National Research Council's building regulations group. The Ontario government now requires every new building or major building renovation undertaken since Jan. 1, 2014 to include these new emergency exit signs.
By implementing the green Running Man emergency exit sign, they believe it will be easier for those visiting or immigrants of the country to understand where to go in case of an emergency. They also include that the signs may also be photoluminescent, which allows them to give off their light without the need for electricity.
Benefits of the Running Man Exit Sign
We briefly mentioned earlier a few potential advantages of the Running Man exit sign. Advocates of the Running Man emergency exit signs debate those and other reasons why they are superior to regular EXIT signs.
No matter where it is installed, the Running Man exit sign can be configured to your emergency exit location. The sign can be purchased depicting a Running Man going left (←), right (→) or here (↓). And unlike conventional EXIT signs, the Running Man will never have arrows in two different directions, making it crystal clear on where the quickest path to exit is.
Green is a more sensible color then red when it comes to emergency exit signs. The NFPA does acknowledge this point and it is important to note they never mandated the EXIT signs be in red, simply that a contrast exists between the text and the background. Green is thought to mean go and safety, while many state that red indicates stop or harm.
It has been argued that the Running Man exit signs are more visible than regular EXIT signs due to the use of imagery and color.
Should Your Building Use the Running Man Exit Sign?
While the NFPA has no plans to substitute the classic American emergency EXIT sign anytime soon, you can't deny the Running Man's widespread appeal. Many large municipalities, as well as international companies within the United States, have begun to add the ISO Running Man exit signs to better communicate safe exits for international visitors in their buildings. NFPA states they have considered the change on several occasions and although they don't object to the Running Man emergency exit sign and the green color, they see no reason to make a mandated change.
In fact, NFPA even includes Ota's ISO Running Man within the group of auxiliary symbols that their members may use and also allows the use of pictograms in tandem with the "EXIT" text, where local jurisdictions allow. However, NFPA says they have no current plans to eliminate the classic "EXIT" sign, which they state works perfectly fine stateside. Still, you will notice more green lit "EXIT" signs are popping up throughout the United States (although red is still the predominant color of choice). Even more, in 2006 New York City amended its fire code to mandate that high-rises include the ISO Running Man pictogram sign on fire doors on each floor.
There is no denying that exit signs play an important role in keeping people across the world safe. Since the Running Man exit sign is not subject to any language barrier, this universal symbol is a smart choice when it comes to optimizing fire safety procedures within a building. As a leader in fire prevention, Jessup Manufacturing is proud to offer a wide range of emergency exit sign options for your facility, including various Running Man exit signs.
Schools are meant to be a place that inspires students and promotes exploration and learning. Graphics media has become an increasingly popular way to create a unique, organized, positive campus environment that also reflects the school values. From being utilized in gymnasiums for sporting events, school cafeterias, teacher's rooms, and even in the hallways it can grab the attention of students and make them feel engaged in ways that not even digital media can these days. More than ever, we are seeing schools and universities turn to graphics media when they are looking for a creative way to grab their students' attention and bring them together as one community. It's no surprise with all the advancements in printer technology and the coated films these visual graphics are printed on, the results are nothing short of amazing, generally inexpensive to produce and are easily applied and removed. We've compiled the top 5 ways to use graphics media throughout your school to make the grade this school year.
1. Graphics Media in School Hallways
Using graphics media in school hallways is one of the best ways to add color, express school pride, and even prevent against slip and fall accidents while you're at it! Extending the school's values and messaging and adding pops of color throughout the halls make school a brighter, happier, more inspiring place to be. With no space being off-limits for graphics media that means you can post thought-provoking questions on lockers, mural inspiration on the walls of the halls and so much more. A few of our favorite clever and creative ways to consider using graphics media within school hallways include:
Using non-slip floor graphics printed with Tex Walk® to prevent slip and fall accidents and offer a pop of color throughout the school hallways. Consider a funny saying or song leading throughout the school or to the office to get them excited or laughing.
Create wayfinding with graphics media using your school mascot as a creative way to keep people moving throughout the school and create a more unified experience.
Larger than life motivational messages through the hallways of school are a great inspiration and with easy application and low cost can be changed out with the seasons or in conjunction with big school events.
Brightly colored graphics media peel and stick wallpaper in what would otherwise be a gray hallway or corridor.
2. Graphics Media in Gymnasiums and School Cafeterias
Graphics media comes in handy when schools want to update their gymnasiums or cafeterias in order to create a more unified experience because it is cost-effective, slip-resistant and can be easily switched out throughout the year to reflect different sporting accomplishments or even school lunch menus. By extending the school's brand identity, you offer the students and teachers an improved experience within the school, making it a more enjoyable place to spend time. Great ways to incorporate graphics media in school gyms and cafeterias include:
A short term graphics media like Tex Walk® is great if you want to frequently change out your visual graphics with the sporting season or lunch menu. A product like Tex Walk® is also great on the ground because of its non-slip properties.
Full-size peel and stick wallpaper of your school mascot is a great way to show school pride throughout the gym or cafeteria
Create messaging with graphics media to display game rules, school rules, mission, and value statements for guests to read.
3. Graphics Media in Teacher's Rooms
Teacher's rooms should be a place to inspire students to do their best work and also create a place of safety and community for children. A popular idea that many schools have been onboarding is renaming teacher's rooms, houses. Houses (aka teacher's rooms) each have their own color, logo, or even symbol and this is displayed on their door and throughout the classroom itself in-order to help students connect with one another in their classes. The houses can display their specific logos or color schemes around the school to promote classroom pride, applying graphics media onto flags, school grounds, or even printed on clothing. Other popular ways to use graphics media in teacher's rooms include:
Peel and stick wallpaper has been incredibly popular for teachers because of its low-cost, easy application and removal, and ability to customize to fit their classroom needs.
Larger-than-life window graphics displaying current curriculum, classroom expectations, or even school mascots to keep school pride, inspiration, and the feeling of community running throughout the school.
Using graphics media on desks and cubbies to keep students engaged and interested, assign seats or cubbies, or remind them of expectations in a creative and unexpected way.
Graphics media is an excellent way to organize areas of the classroom or provide direction on the walls in a brightly and playfully.
4. Graphics Media outside the School Building
Graphics media isn't subject to only indoor spaces! Using graphics media around the exterior of the school building is a great way to create some unexpected attention and engagement with your students, parents, and other visitors. Great ideas to consider using graphics media outside the school building includes:
A great place to start is the walkway leading up to the school. Using a non-slip safe product to prevent slip and fall accidents like Asphalt Art® and create a large floor mural or inspirational messaging that welcomes your staff, students, and other visitors. It sets the tone for your school and will surely make students more excited to be there before they even step foot into the building!
Consider wrapping outdoor columns and drab brick walls in bright colors or with your school mascot as a creative welcome sign to visitors.
Any stairs outside use a non-slip graphics media to prevent slip and fall accidents while offering a creative way to display messaging or brighten up a space.
Using graphics media on exterior doors to display directions or wayfinding to help people find their way and feel more comfortable upon entering the building.
5. Graphics Media in Bathrooms and Locker Rooms
If your school was anything like mine, the bathrooms and locker rooms were probably a little gray. Thanks to graphics media, gone are those days of tired-looking spaces. By applying inexpensive graphics media onto bathroom stalls, bathroom floors, walls and even lockers you can brighten up spaces and even prevent slip and fall accidents! Some creative ways to use graphics media in school bathrooms and locker rooms are:
Use non-slip graphics media on the floor of the bathroom, especially around the sink areas, to prevent slip and fall accidents. Consider putting a funny phrase, school colors or other fun imagery.
Graphics media looks great on lockers or bathroom stalls to brighten up spaces. You can write inspirational messaging, school mottos, logos or mascots to keep a unified look throughout the school building.
Peel and stick wallpaper works great on the walls of bathrooms or locker rooms and can easily applied and even more easily switched out with the seasons, sports, or events that happen at your school.
Why Choose Graphics Media for Your School?
When it comes to graphics media, it's a very impactful way for schools to engage with their staff, students and visitors. Consider graphics media for this reason and these other important factors:
Cost: Graphics media is a great value. Between all the options, sizes and customizations many people think it will be pricey. However, graphics media is generally fairly inexpensive to create and extremely easy to install and remove which means cost savings back to the buyer.
Easy Installation and Removal: As mentioned, all graphics media offers easy installation and removal. Graphics media doesn't leave any residue behind when removed. This is why it's such a great option for school sporting or school events. You can also apply graphics media to most any indoor AND outdoor surface.
Unexpected and Attention Grabbing: Trying to inspire and surprise students is not always an easy task. However, graphics media pieces are often times the talk of the school or event they are placed in. With a variety of options when it comes to the films you can use (3D, mesh, textured, and even glow-in-the dark effects), the possibilities are truly endless.
Many Features and Options: Graphics media films can do everything from float on water, to offer non-slip properties. Films can be chemical-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and antibacterial and certain films are also NFSI Certified for high traction and ASTM D-2047 certified for slip resistance.
These five places to use graphics media in schools are just a few of our favorites. If you are using graphics media at your school in a fun or unexpected way, let us know and we might feature you in our next post!
The American Public Transit Association (APTA) is known as the leader in advancing public transportation and setting the standards in creating public transportation that is available, accessible, and safe for all Americans in communities across the country. APTA has specific safety standards when it comes to all areas of public transportation, including bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne passenger services, and high-speed rail. This week we are taking time to help you navigate the specific photoluminescent emergency signage safety requirements for passenger rail cars.
Photoluminescent emergency signage is now a requirement in all passenger rail equipment. It is important to have the correct photoluminescent product in its correct placement because when a rail car loses its power, this emergency signage will be the visible light to guide those on the train to safety.
F.A.Q. on Photoluminescent Materials Used For Emergency Signage:
What is photoluminescent material? Phosphor is the main ingredient found in photoluminescent materials, including photoluminescent emergency signage. Phosphor can absorb, store, and emit light at a later time when it is exposed beforehand to light. APTA states that photoluminescent material (which they call PL throughout their readings) is material that has the property of emitting light that continues for a length of time after excitation by visible or invisible light has been removed (i.e., self-illuminating).
What is high-performance photoluminescent (HPPL) material? Throughout APTA's Passenger Rail Equipment Safety Standards when discussing photoluminescent safety signage, it references using high-performance photoluminescent material (HPPL). This is a photoluminescent material that is capable of emitting light at a very high rate and for an extended period of time. To meet HPPL standards, the material must have a minimum luminance value of 7.5 millicandelas per square meter (7.5 mcd/m2), for 1.5 hours after removal of the charging light source. Unless otherwise permitted in standard SS-PS-002-98, Rev. 3, the charging light source is specified as a fluorescent lamp with a color temperature of 4000-4500°K that provides an illuminance of no more than 1 fc on the test sample for a duration of no more than 1 hour.
We know this may sound confusing. To make it simple, when looking for a photoluminescent material for your passenger rail emergency signage, be sure to check that the product meets their specific safety standards APTA SS-PS-002-98 (Rev.3) and APTA SS-PS-004-99 (Rev.2), like our Glo Brite® 7812 APTA compliant material.
How can you ensure your HPPL system is getting adequately charged to perform when needed? To make sure your photoluminescent safety signage is ready to perform, your normal lighting system (i.e., light fixtures), needs to be located in the proximity of each HPPL component and oriented to ensure that the HPPL material is adequately exposed to charging light, according to APTA Safety Standards. These light fixtures located in the proximity of each HPPL system need to be specified so that their light-dispersion patterns provide the minimum illuminance levels at the surface of the component (check table located in section 2. 4.2 for details)
Where should you apply photoluminescent emergency signage in passenger rail cars?
APTA safety standards designate several areas that high-performance photoluminescent material should be used and how it should be applied. It is important to follow their requirements to ensure the safety of all employees and guests onboard.
Location 1: Door Exit Handles, Latches or Operating Buttons
All door exit handles, latches, or operating buttons should be marked with high-performance photoluminescent material using one of the following methods:
Outline stripping that is no less than 1 inch (2.54 cm) wide to the extent practicable around the perimeter of the opening device;
Area-wide pad that is applied to the door or door frame directly behind the handle or latch with no less than 16 square inches (103 cm2).
Also, each door should be equipped with a separate manual override device for a power-operated door intended for emergency egress and should be marked with a sign/marking containing the words "Emergency Door Release," "Manual Door Release," or other similar wording. These signs or markings need to be placed at the manual door control or at an appropriate location in its immediate proximity. If it is not obvious where the manual release device is located relative to the door handle, latch or operating button, then a door emergency release locator sign needs to be posted. The manual door release locator sign(s) or marking(s) should consist of brief text, graphic arrow(s), or symbol(s) to direct passengers and crew members from the door control to the location of the manual door release.
Location 2: Vestibule, End-Frame, and Side Doors Leading to the Exterior of the Car and Intended for Emergency Egress
Passenger rail transit cars ordered on or after the adoption of these standards need to have HPPL material and follow these requirements:
Mark side door exit locations without independently powered emergency lighting.
Each side door opening intended for emergency egress leading to the exterior of the car shall be marked with a minimum of 144 square inches (929 cm2) of HPPL material placed no higher than 18 inches (45.7 cm) off the floor, with its lowest point no higher than 6 inches (15.2 cm) off the floor. This marking may be comprised of one or more panels placed either on the door and/or in its immediate vicinity. A door with two leaves that open for emergency egress is considered a single door opening. So, 144 square inches (930 cm2) of HPPL material is sufficient for that door opening.
To provide some illumination at the floor for passengers and crew members as they exit, to the extent practical, the material should not be placed on a door leaf/panel that is intended to open for emergency egress or on the part of a wall or partition that would be covered by a door leaf/panel in any position.
Signs and markings used to comply with the low-level egress path marking (LLEPM) requirements contained in the APTA Standard Rail Transit Vehicle Low Level Exit Path Marking may be counted toward this requirement to the extent that they meet the criteria noted above (e.g., HPPL door delineators required to meet the LLEPM requirements that are installed on the door 18 inches. off the floor would count as 36 square inches of the 144 square inches required).
Location 3: Emergency Window Exits
Ensure all emergency window exit markings are constructed of high-performance photoluminescent material.
What should you look for when choosing a high-performance photoluminescent (HPPL) system?
The manufacturer or supplier of the HPPL material should be able to provide independent laboratory certified test result reports showing that all tested samples of passive HPPL material, as used in the finished component configurations (including any cover or protective coating if used, but not including text or graphics), complies with the minimum luminance criterion of 7.5 mcd/m2 , after 1.5 hours, when tested according to the provisions of ASTM E-2073-07, Standard Test Method for Photopic Luminance of Photoluminescent (Phosphorescent) Markings, with the following three modifications:
Activation: The HPPL material shall be activated with a fluorescent lamp of 40 W or less and a color temperature of 4000-4500º K that that provides no more than 1 fc of illumination as measured on the material surface. The activation period shall be for no more than 1 hour.
Luminance: The photopic luminance of all specimens of the HPPL material shall be measured with a luminance meter as described in 5.2 (of ASTM E-2073), a minimum of 1.5 hours after activation has ceased.
Luminance in mcd/m2: The test report shall include a luminance measurement of 1.5 hours after activation has ceased.
The manufacturer or supplier is required to have a minimum of one batch of material for signs and/or markings of a given type certified. Know that signs or markings of the same certified type of material can be sold to multiple customers, even with minor changes in text or typography.
The color and contrast of your PL or HPPL material are also very important. APTA Safety Standards states that the lettering and pictogram(s) utilized on interior emergency exit signage or markings needs to be able to achieve a luminance contrast ratio of not less than 0.5, as measured by a color-corrected photometer. The document recommends that the color contrast choice for all new and replacement signage is red lettering/graphics on a light PL background, preferably with a matte finish, except for those instances in which bold contrast with the background on which the sign is placed would not be attainable. It states that having a contrasting border around the outer edge of the sign will also enhance visibility. The standard also notes that the more of the HPPL surface that is visible, the more conspicuous the resulting sign. It warns that graphics or heavy text covering the HPPL material will reduce the light output of the sign letters, and thus the conspicuity and legibility of the signs as well, even though the HPPL material passes the tests required.
The Passenger Rail Equipment Safety Standards (PRESS) applies to all commuter rail programs, and you can read the entire PRESS program in detail
here. Please contact us with any questions regarding photoluminescent safety signage for your passenger rail cars.