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Emergency Exit signs or Assembly station signs? All you need to know about Safe evacuation at sea

Posted by Nicky Smol on January 25, 2024 in Other news

What is an emergency exit sign?

An emergency exit sign is a safety sign used to indicate the location of the nearest exit in case of an emergency, such as a fire or other hazardous situations. These signs are designed to be highly visible and easily understood, ensuring that people can quickly identify the exit routes. An exit sign often has the word ‘EXIT’ on it.


Why is the term ‘Exit sign’ not appropriate on ships and vessels?

The term ‘exit’ suggests a clear path to leave a building or structure, but on a ship at sea, the concept of a traditional ‘exit’ doesn’t quite apply. In maritime emergencies, crew and passengers are guided to specific areas like assembly points or embarkation stations, not directly off the ship. At T-ISS, we believe that ‘Emergency Exit Signs’ on ships should be labeled more accurately to reflect this reality, with phrases like ‘Assembly Point’ or ‘Embarkation Station’ to guide individuals during emergencies.

What indicates an emergency exit?

An emergency exit is indicated by specific signs and features to ensure quick and safe evacuation during emergencies. These indicators include:

  1. Signage: The most common indicator of an Emergency exit is an emergency exit sign, with words like “EXIT” or with pictograms showing a figure moving towards a door.
  2. Illumination: Emergency exit signs are often illuminated, either by their own internal light source or by external lighting using photoluminescent properties, ensuring they are visible at all times, even in power outages or low-light conditions.
  3. Location: Emergency exit signs are strategically placed so one can easily see them. They are often found at the end of hallways, near stairwells, or at other strategic points in a building.
  4. Directional Arrows: Most emergency exit signs include arrows pointing in the direction of the exit.
  5. Compliance with Regulations: Regulations for Emergency exit signs on ships and vessels are typically more stringent duet o the unique challenges of the maritime environment. Ensuring compliance with these regulations is not just a legal requirement but a critical aspect of ensuring the safety and security of passengers and crew on board ships and vessels.

What ISO standard is exit sign?

Exit signs have to comply with various international standards, including those set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The specific ISO standard for exit signs is ISO 7010:2019 – “Graphical symbols – Safety colours and safety signs – Registered safety signs.”

ISO 7010:2019 provides a set of guidelines for the design, color, and symbols used on safety signs, including Emergency exit signs, to ensure they are easily understood worldwide. The standard outlines specific shapes and designated safety colors, along with universally recognizable pictograms for communicating safety messages, such as those for emergency exits.


Are emergency exit signs red or green?

Depending on the country and its specific regulations or standards, an Emergency Exit Sign can either be red or green. In the United States and Canada, the signs are usually red to denote stop and caution. However, in many European countries or other countries following international standards like ISO, the colour green is used for exit signs.


Fire Exit Signs

Fire exit signs are specific types of safety signage used to indicate the location and direction to the nearest exit in case of a fire. Fire Exit Signs and Emergency exit signs have the same goal, but the difference between the two lies in their specific focus. Emergency exit signs are intended for a broader range of situations, not just fires.

Despite their differences, on many vessels, the signs serve similar purposes, guiding people to safety.

Emergency Exit sign

Illuminated exit signs

Illuminated signs are signs that have an integrated lighting source, making them visible in low-light conditions or in the dark. Illuminated exit signs require an external power source, but what happens in case of a power outage?

The Emergency Exit Signs at T-ISS can still produce light, hours after the power goes down, because of their photoluminescent properties. This is a unique feature for Emergency Exit Signs, ensuring your safety even in case of a total power outage.

Emergency Exit Signs on ships and vessels

Emergency exit signs (or Assembly station signs) on ships and vessels are crucial for the safety of passengers and crew. Due to the unique challenges and conditions associated with the marine environment, Safety Signage on ships and vessels differs from those on land:

  1. Marine regulations are different from those on land. Ships must comply with international maritime safety standards, primarily governed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), including the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). These regulations are often more stringent or specific compared to land-based regulations.
  2. The marine environment poses harsh conditions such as humidity, salt water and extereme weather. That is why Safety Signs need to be highly durable, corrosion-resistant, and able to withstand these conditions without losing their high visibility.
  3. Complex layouts on ships like narrow passageways, multiple levels, and confined spaces makes Exit Signage on ships more complicated than signage on land. Emergency exit signs must be designed and placed to account for these complex layouts, ensuring clear visibility and direction from all areas.
  4. Given the possibility of power failures at sea, ships often use photoluminescent or self-illuminating signs that can be visible even during electrical outages. At T-ISS, we even offer LED Escape Signs that include photoluminescent properties. A unique product on the market!
  5. Evacuation procedures on ships are different from those on land, often involving specific routes to lifeboats or assembly stations. Exit signs must guide people accordingly, which may differ from the straightforward “exit the building” approach on land.


What are IMO Exit Signs?

IMO exit signs refer to emergency exit signs that comply with the standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The IMO is an agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping. Signs that comply with IMO, like the Safety Signs from T-ISS (made by SafeSign) are designed to meet specific requirements for visibility, durability, and standardization in the maritime environment.


Electrical Escape Signs by T-ISS

T-ISS provides a range of high quality Electrical Escape Signs, featuring our exclusive ‘Dutch Design’ LED Escape signs. These premium quality signs are expertly crafted to clearly mark escape routes and blend in seamlessly with modern naval architecture. Our LED Escape signs are not only easy to install, but offer a dependable and elegant solution suitable for cruise ships, ferries, offshore installations, and commercial vessels. Additionally, we have a more basic design available for cargo ships and other non-passenger vessels.

All our Safety signs comply with EU standards and hold Wheelmark certification. They also meet the international safety standards established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for Safety of Life at Sea.

To enhance our range, we also provide non-electrical escape signs from SafeSign, alongside Low Location Lighting, for ships and vessels. In the event of a power failure, these essential products ensure high visibility, maintaining safety standards on board.


Become a dealer

The Exit Emergency Signs we offer at T-ISS are high-quality Esacpe Signs that comply with EU standards and have Wheelmark approval. To complement our LED escape signs, we also offer non-electrical escape signs from SafeSign and Low Location Lighting for ships and vessels.

If you are interested in becoming a dealer for our wide range of safety products, please contact us!