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November 21, 2019

 Road tunnels and technology in an operational perspective
Arild Petter Sovik, Tunntech Global News

New Proposed Guidelines for Emergency Exit Signs and Marking Systems

Written by  Oct 22, 2017

The purpose of this guide is to provide recommendations for emergency exit signs and markings for highway tunnels in the United States.

This will expand on the guidance provided by the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) guidelines, NFPA 502, NFPA 72, NFPA 101, and NFPA 170, and assist tunnel operators in the United States as they address various aspects of tunnel safety.

During an emergency, people have a tendency to wait for information or instruction rather than seek it out. If and when people do decide to exit a tunnel in the face of a recognized danger, they have a tendency to try to reach the main tunnel portal, rather than emergency exits for pedestrians, which may be nearer. In fact, drivers may not be aware of the existence of emergency exits or cross-passageways, and therefore may not recognize the purpose of exit doors along the tunnel wall. Additionally, people tend to overestimate the amount of time they have to evacuate during a fire - a potentially fatal mistake since fire and smoke can spread quickly in a tunnel.

In the absence of emergency responders to give directions, in-tunnel signs, marking systems, lighting, and/or audible signals must provide direction to tunnel users. Both the need to evacuate and the location of the nearest emergency exits must be clearly communicated.

 The report give recommendations on the following topics:

  • Emergency Exit Signs
  • Emergency Exit Door and Directional Sign Formats
  • Emergency Exit Door Sign Location
  • Emergency Exit Directional Sign Location
  • Exit Sign Size
  • Sign Luminance
  • Exit Door Lighting and Markings
  • Illumination of Exit Doors
  • Emergency Exit Marking Lights
  • Audible Beacons
  • Exit Path Marking Formats
  • Location of Exit Path Markings
  • Spacing of Exit Path Lights
  • Emergency Messages
  • Dynamic Message Signs (DMS)
  • Auditory Messages

Further one the report give recommendations on installation and maintenance considerations, considerations for emergency response procedures and training and considerations for public outreach and education. 


http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_w216_brochure.pdf (Report: Proposed Guidelines for Emergency Exit Signs and Marking Systems for Highway Tunnels)

http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_w216.pdf (Final report: Emergency Exit Signs and Marking Systems for Highway Tunnels)




Last modified on Sunday, 03 December 2017 20:02
Arild Petter Sovik

Editor, Tunntech Global News

E-mail:  arild.sovik@tunntech.no
Phone:  +47 950 88 793


News coverage based on many years of experience from key positions in the industry. Former National Tunnel Manager at the road authorities (NO), senior principal development manager at a major tunnel contractor company (NO) and experience from a wide number of activities in national and international networks. 


Website: www.sovikconsulting.no
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