Changing times force change in safety and security protocols too. Risk assessment is not constant and that is why the need is always there to alter or tweak existing safety related products to newer realities.

The ‘glow’ sign or photoluminescent / photo reflective signs have come a long way indeed. Photoluminescence occurs when a material absorbs photons (light energy) and emits them when the light source is removed. The science of reflective traffic signs is based on materials that allow signs to reflect back the light from drivers' headlights in order to improve readability. This technology has been around since the 1930s and has saved many lives, as it creates better visibility at night.

Architects’ Journal reports “The Grenfell Tower fire tragedy has already led to a number of changes to legislation as the government seeks to act on the multiple safety issues the fire revealed. While cladding has been the focus of scrutiny to date there are a lot of other issues that also need to be addressed, among them, signage and wayfinding for firefighters. In the evidence from Phase 1 of the inquiry, we heard about the difficulties firefighters faced when repeatedly going into and out of the building. Their efforts were delayed by the building’s poor signage – some floors had no floor numbering at all while others had been handwritten in pen. As a result, firefighters had to pause several times during the operation just to find out which floor they were on as they progressed up the tower. However, even floors with good signage were difficult to identify, due to the density of smoke in the stair…..As a result of the findings of the inquiry, the government is looking to update the guidance on signage and wayfinding in buildings.”

The situation in India too is not very different. To this day builders/developers take short cuts in installing proper signages which are mandatory as per NBC in their constructions sometimes out of ignorance and sometimes just to save money. Therefore, history has repeatedly shown how lives are lost or fire-fighting has been hampered because of poor and dangerous sign selection.

The sign is clear… for all who would care to read.



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