Category Archives: Safety

Why do red sign graphics fade first?

FADED-RED

 

This OSHA safety sign isn’t far from our business.  You’ll often see signs like this where the red is almost gone and the other colors aren’t faded too bad.  So, what are the reasons why red fades first?

First, lets define UV light. Ultraviolet (UV) light is an electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength from 400 nm to 100 nm (shorter than that of visible light).  Lets also assume that UV light is what causes fading. UV light has a shorter wavelength than visible light.  Light with a shorter wavelength has more energy than light with a long wavelength.

Short wavelength visible light (like blue) is more toward the UV end of the visible light spectrum (*see spectrum image) so therefore it is a shorter wavelength and has more energy. Longer wavelength visible light (like red) is more toward the the infrared end of the visible spectrum and therefore has less energy. Because of their greater energy, the shorter wavelengths of light cause more “bleaching” of the pigments in the paint and more fading. So, why would light with a very short wavelength effect RED more than Black? The main reason has to do with what light is reflected by each color and what light is absorbed. Red ink or pigment reflects the long wavelength light (like red) and absorbs the more destructive higher energy shorter wavelength light like the blues and greens.  

WAVELENGTH

SilverBlue and white graphics will reflect the short wavelength colors better (and therefore reflect more UV light) so they’ll fade slower.

I’m not an expert on how light affects pigment, but this is what I’ve compiled based on my research and discussions with others. Now you’ve got an answer when a customer asks why his red sign faded quicker than his blue sign.

 

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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Safety Orange: Blazing Through the Sky

safety signs

If only scientists had determined what color stands out best against the blue sky so they may use that color for safety signs. Oh wait a minute, scientists have figured this out! The color is called “safety orange” and it’s the natural complimenting color to azure – the sky’s blue color. Safety orange can be seen on all sorts of items, from construction signs to hunter hats. This article will take a look at the generals and specifics regarding this shade of orange as well as its use in safety signs.

safety-orange-construction

What is safety orange

Would the orange color of a sign by any other name be as noticeable? Not to get Shakespearean, but safety orange gets called a lot of things, although according to OSHA, it’s the same color. In fact, safety orange is also called OSHA orange. Other names for safety orange include blaze orange, vivid orange, hunter orange, and for some reason, Omaha orange.

For anyone who is interested, safety orange is actually called Omaha orange because a thrifty man from Ford Brothers Van & Storage in Omaha was looking for an affordable color to paint his trucks. Those trucks became known as Allied Van Lines, and they are Omaha orange to this day. The color came from the mixing of leftover paint, after the thrifty man made a deal.

The color orange is halfway between yellow and red on the color spectrum. In safety signs, yellow means caution and red means danger. Safety orange is a little beyond halfway between yellow and red on the visible light spectrum; it’s closer to red, which also places safety orange closer to danger on the safety spectrum. For OSHA compliance, safety orange is used to denote that parts of a machine are dangerous or energized.

Safety orange also must be worn by hunters to stay safe in the forest. Replica guns are required to have safety orange tips, to help clue law enforcement and others into the fact that it’s a fake gun. Perhaps safety orange is most widely recognized as the color of traffic cones and barrels. As mentioned earlier, safety orange works terrific for safety signs in road construction sites, due to its complementary contrast to the azure blue sky. Next to the sky, an Omaha orange safety sign will stand out the same way black letters do on a white sheet of paper.

How are colors used in safety signs

Safety orange isn’t the only color used for OSHA compliance in safety signs. OSHA actually has a safety code for signs using all the colors of the rainbow. As already mentioned, to OSHA, red means danger, orange is between red and yellow, and yellow means caution. Next on the spectrum is safety green, which according to OSHA is used to denote safety routes, exits and first aid kits. A safety blue sign will give important safety information. Currently, OSHA recognizes a safety purple, but has not defined what it means. Black, white and yellow used together typically denote traffic.

When it comes to making safety signs, there’s more to the message on them for OSHA compliance. Colors have meanings in the realm of safety, and whether people know the definitions of the OSHA safety colors or not, the connotations are there.

References

(N.D.). “Description for Ford Brothers Van & Storage.” DexKnows. Retrieved from http://www.dexknows.com/business_profiles/ford_brothers_van_and_storage-b1558714

(N.D.). “Safety Orange.” Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_orange

(N.D.). “Safety Orange Cross.” Seiyaku.com. Retrieved from http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/safety-orange.html#sup04

(2013). “Safety Sign and Marking Requirements.” Grainger. Retrieved from http://www.grainger.com/content/qt-safety-sign-marking-requirements-201

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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Handy Guide to Complying with OSHA Safety Sign Standards

OSHA Safety Sign Standards

The importance of safety signs cannot be overstated. It’s impossible to know how many lives workplace safety signs save per year, but people take notice when there isn’t a sign posted where one ought to be. Thanks to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers as well as the public at-large have come to expect the ever-present safety signs posted around industrial job sites. Through OSHA compliance, the resulting uniformity makes safety signs easy to understand, which is what makes them effective.

Hard Hat Area Sign

What is OSHA?

After President Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act into law in 1971, OSHA was established as an agency in the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency is charged with enforcing workplace safety laws. OSHA also has regulatory powers, and they have created guidelines for a number of workplace safety processes and procedures.

There are OSHA regulations pertaining specifically to the design of OSHA safety signs. The regulations describe types of safety signs, and they also point to a set of design standards created by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in the late 1960s. The ANSI standards have actually been updated since then, but as with the nature of governmental bureaucracy, they have not gone through the necessary approval process within OSHA to become official yet. Still, OSHA will make exceptions during their inspections if signs are up to the new ANSI standards, and still offer at least as much warning as they would under the official ANSI standards from the late 1960s that are recognized by OSHA.

What are the OSHA safety sign requirements?

What set of regulations would be complete without a definition of a basic word for which everyone takes for granted? In this case, the word is “sign”. OSHA defines a sign as a surface that contains warnings or instructions about nearby hazards for workers and the public at-large. OSHA specifically points out that news releases, safety posters and bulletins are not included in the definition of safety sign. In other words, having a safety poster won’t help a business become OSHA compliant. Where there are hazards, there needs to be safety signs warning of those hazards.

According to OSHA regulations, there are basically three different types of workplace safety signs. They are danger signs, caution signs and informational signs. To be OSHA compliant, a safety sign needs to conform to a specific set of colors which are dictated by on the type of sign being displayed. To simply describe the basic layout of a safety sign, it should be rectangular, consisting of a background, a colored panel at the top containing a signal word, and then an area for a message below it.

Danger signs

Danger signs should be used to signify an imminent threat such as radiation present in an area.  The OSHA regulations say there may be no variations made to their symbols and messaging as directed by the standards. A danger sign needs to specify that there is an immediate danger, and employees need to be trained to recognize that threat and act appropriately.

Danger signs need to be red, black and white as described in both the ANSI and OSHA standards.The sign background should be white and the panel at the top of the sign should be black.In the black panel, the word “Danger” should be white letters in a red circle. Any letters that appear on the white background should be black. Following these guidelines will make a danger sign OSHA compliant.

Warning signs

Warning signs should be used to warn against a potential hazard that could cause injury or death such as “Hot Surface”.  The OSHA regulations say there may be no variations made to their symbols and messaging as directed by the standards. A warning sign needs to specify that there is a potential danger, and employees need to be trained to recognize that dangerous condition and act appropriately.

Warning signs need to have an orange background with black lettering as described in both the ANSI and OSHA standards.  The panel at the top of the sign should be the black warning symbol.  In the black panel, the word “Warning” should be black letters in a horizontal rectangle. Any letters that appear on the orange background should be black. Following these guidelines will make a danger sign OSHA compliant.

Caution signs

Caution signs are used to warn of potentially hazardous situation or to caution against unsafe practices or inappropriate actions that could cause injury or death. One example may be a sign that says “Hard Hat Area” or “Watch for Forklifts”.  According to the OSHA rules about safety signs, employees need to be trained that these signs indicate that they need to take proper precautions while in that area to ensure safety and prevent accidents.

The ANSI standards for caution signs say they need to have a yellow background. Like danger signs, caution signs should also have a black panel up top. However, caution panels should have yellow letters for the word “caution” to comply with OSHA standards. Any letters appearing in the message below the panel will be on the yellow background and should be black.

Informational signs

Informational signs follow a similar uniformity as danger and caution signs, except info sign colors are white backgrounds with a green panel and white letters within the panel. Below the panel, the lettering on the white background of informational signs should be black to comply with ANSI standards.

Letters and Symbols

When it comes to lettering for safety signs, the information in the OSHA standards gives readability guidelines for letters ranging from 3.5 inches to a quarter-inch tall. Letters 3.5 inches tall are visible up to 200 to 210 feet away. One-inch letters can be read 60 to 65 feet away, and quarter-inch letters are visible from 15 to 20 feet.

ANSI Regulations

The OSHA standards for safety signs have yet to be updated. They cite standards created by ANSI from 1967 and 1968 currently; however there are new ANSI standards since 2011 governing signs. As long as protection offered by signs is equal to or greater than 2011 standards, then you should be covered when they’re formally accepted. Still, the new ANSI standards have not been formally adopted, and enforcement will still be based on the old ANSI standards.

The old standards for safety signs were found under ANSI Z35.1-1968 and ANSI Z53.1-1967. These sets of standards covered sign specifications and colors respectively. Today, ANSI has a number of standards to govern safety signs. The new standards are labeled as the ANSI Z535 standards. However, as mentioned above, the new standards have yet to officially become part of OSHA regulations.

Safety Signs & OSHA Compliance

Ultimately, the most important thing about safety signs is that they work. Safety signs must be uniform in design and easy-to-read while maintaining a concise message. OSHA standards say safety signs need enough necessary info to be understood. People should know at a glance what they should and shouldn’t do in an area. It’s easy to accomplish this if employers and sign makers maintain OSHA compliance on safety signs.

References

U.S. Department of Labor. (N.D.). “Specifications for accident prevention signs and tags.” OSHA. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=9794

U.S. Department of Labor. (22 February 2011). “Standard Interpretations” OSHA. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=27641

United States of America Standards Institute. (1968). “Specifications for Accident Prevention Signs.” Z53.1-1968. Retrieved from https://law.resource.org/pub/us/cfr/ibr/002/ansi.z35.1.1968.pdf.

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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Fire safety – Everybody’s Responsible, Who Takes Charge?

fire safety

If there’s one thing to plan ahead for, it’s fire safety. However, while having proper fire precautions in place can save lives, having improper procedures can actually place lives at risk. A story by Colin Todd (2009) in the publication “Fire Safety Engineering” highlights the tendency in the United Kingdom to place the responsibility of fire safety procedures on management. In one example given by Todd, because the manager was responsible for knowing what to do in case of a fire, the first thing a kitchen employee did after discovering a fire in the fryer one morning was to seek out the manager. That was the first thing, not pull the fire alarm. The anecdote goes on to describe the employee going to the wrong floor first, before later finding the manager at the scene of the fire. However, the story didn’t end there, because that manager wanted to seek the advice of the safety manager. All told, it was over 20 minutes before the fire was finally being responded to by the local fire department.

fire-safety-escape

The lesson in the above story is that nothing can be considered obvious when it comes to fire safety. Businesses need to plan and they need to train and empower employees to act when an emergency arises. Furthermore, businesses need to provide proper guidance to their patrons to give them the appropriate information so they may act decisively and find safety should an emergency ever arise.

What sort of fire safety plans should businesses make?

When considering a fire safety plan, there are three bases to cover. The first base is the actual planning behind the procedures. The second is to make sure employees are aware of the plan, and able to act upon it, and the third is making sure the plan is obvious to customers who might be in the building, so they may act.

One major part of a fire safety plan is ensuring the fire department has the correct information for their fire preplan. According to Bob Galvin in Fire/EMS Product News, the fire department’s preplan should use symbols designed by the National Fire Protection Association, to ensure uniformity. The fire department uses these preplans en route to an emergency, and it provides information such as fire hydrant locations, as well as areas within the building of which to be cautious. This information can be crucial in saving property and lives, including the lives of the fire fighters summoned to battle the blaze.

As evidenced by the story about the kitchen employee seeking guidance from a manager when a fire broke out, it’s vital for employees to know what to do in case of a fire. Everyone who works for a business should be frequently reminded and their knowledge tested for evacuation routes, and locations of important tools such as fire extinguishers and manual fire alarms. Fires are emergencies that must be dealt with immediately, and the procedure should be set into motion by whoever discovers the emergency.

Fire safety plans must also include non-employees in the establishment. If a fire breaks out, a person should be able to locate an exit immediately. According to Lanny Burke (2008), “An establishment’s good name doesn’t always translate into good safety practices.” To illustrate that, Burke performed a 10-minute inspection on a Las Vegas Strip-located hotel, and found safety violations ranging from doors that weren’t exits not being marked “not an exit,” to exit signs directing people towards elevators – which wouldn’t be used in an emergency evacuation. As Burke says, “ambiguous exit instructions could easily result in deaths and serious injuries.”

Communicating emergency procedures to non-employees

For many businesses, there are plenty of times customers or patrons outnumber employees. This is one reason it’s important for employees to know what to do. A business doesn’t want its own employees contributing to the chaos of an emergency. Best-case scenario, an employee would be able to direct customers to safety, and prevent a panic.

Since few companies can realistically go over safety procedures with each customer, the next best thing is to direct them with clear messaging on signs. Directions on signs should be easy to understand, ideally, without needing to be read in any particular language. Also, signs should be mounted to walls in a sturdy manner, to preserve the message’s permanence.

When posting emergency signs, sign brackets need to securely attach the sign to the wall at a level where it can be easily seen and read by everyone. Sign brackets that affix signs to walls are preferable to sign stands, which can be moved or manipulated for a variety of reasons, which might render their messages unheeded and unseen when it was most needed.

Moreover, fire safety sign messages need to be as strong as the sign brackets to which they’re affixed. Signs should spell out evacuation routes and hazards. An exit sign should highlight an emergency exit only. In case of emergency, signs and procedures only get one shot to prove their usefulness. This is why exit signs need to meet the requirements of the NFPA, as well as any other local requirements. Also, don’t forget the batteries. Like a smoke detector in your house, an exit sign won’t work if power is interrupted, and the backup batteries are dead. Always be sure to check the batteries in periodic inspections. In a fire, there are many points of failure. Make sure that unclear directions or an untrained staff are not one of them.

References:

Berke, L. Where there’s smoke… there should have been a safety review. (2008). Machine Design, 80(18), 42.
Galvin, B. (2004). Symbolic Meaning. Fire Chief, 481-3.
Todd, C. (2009). FORGIVING THE MANAGEMENT. Fire Safety Engineering, 16(8), 16-18.

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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6 Things To Know About Warning Road Signs

road signs

Road signs serve a highly regulated purpose of keeping drivers as safe as possible. They  serve a variety of purposes including communicating road conditions, directional changes and customized messages. Below are some interesting facts to consider.

1. They are either orange or yellow

Yellow is the universal color for traffic warning. Orange is another option available. A legal traffic document known as the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices specifies that warning signs be yellow. Road signs must contain a consistent color theme for driver awareness and safety purposes.

2. They can warn of directional changes

Drivers need to be informed about navigational changes affecting any road. Some warning signs can contain arrows telling drivers which direction to navigate toward. These signs are ideal for winding or curvy roads, notifying drivers of a two-way traffic zone and communicating right or left turns.

3. They can be customized

Firms may make their own road sign to communicate messages. Specialized wording can be submitted to the sign developer. Each sign manufacturer has its own set of customization requirements that customers must completely follow. Reputable manufacturers will make certain signs comply with applicable rules and regulations.

4. Signs can contain symbols

Sometimes symbols or pictographs speak louder than words. Deer crossing road signs would contain an image of a deer, for instance. Pictographs could symbolize duck, deer, cattle, tractor or farm machinery, or pedestrian crossings. Symbol signs also work well for railroad crossings, pedestrian walkways, school zones and stop sign ahead warnings. Warning signs are perfect for notifying drivers to slow down in school, deaf child, children playing and/or children in area surroundings.

5. They must meet specification requirements

Highway signs are heavily regulated by governmental entities. The signs are supposedly optimized in size, message and shape to satisfy driving at high roadway speeds. Not any road sign can be put alongside any roadway. Signs must comply with a legal document issued by the FHWA or Federal Highway Administration of the United States Department of Transportation. The document is titled the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices or MUTCD. This manual is the industry standard affecting signals, signs and pavement markings throughout the entire country. The legalities of sign placement, installation, design and type used are all well-defined in this important document.

Each state has its own Department of Transportation which can adopt the Manual as needed.  Companies need to understand that specifications regarding colors, fonts, and shapes must be complied with in all road signs. Failure to do so can result in fines and penalties.

One specification, for instance, requires the signs be composed of an Engineer Grade Reflective coating on an aluminum base. This heavy-duty material makes it easy to see the signs in all types of weather and light conditions.

6. They can communicate impending road changes

Drivers need to be kept abreast about changes in the road. Road side danger must be communicated. Conditions include high waters, one-land bridge crossings, dips, pedestrian crossing, dangerous intersections, and road flooding. Warning signs are intended to give drivers plenty of notice about upcoming possible hazards. Good drivers will operate on heightened alert and make adjustments accordingly. A well-placed warning sign will give drivers enough time to prepare both their vehicles and passengers for a safe driving experience.

Road signs are an interesting breed of traffic communications. Consulting with a trained sign professional, like those found at Signs Direct, can be the best business decision a firm makes.

 

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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Protecting Customers With Custom Metal Signs

custom metal signs

Custom metal signs can be made of varying sizes, materials, fonts, and coloring. Keeping customers safe needs to be a number one priority for retail establishments of all sizes. This article will discuss some ways these signs can be used to protect customers.

In restrooms
Restrooms can be breeding grounds for bacteria, germs and other microscopic organisms which can harm anyone’s health. Keeping restrooms clean and safe can help protect a firm in a number of ways. It lowers the likelihood of customers suing the company for unsanitary conditions, which are not in compliance with OSHA requirements. It protects a customer’s health. Clean restrooms can protect employees by promoting good health habits that prevent spreading airborne diseases in the workplace.

A company can use custom metal signs to emphasize good hand washing techniques. This can be done by placing the sign above the hand dryer or towel dispenser. Adding the company logo and favorite coloring onto the sign will provide customization and improve brand awareness.

Placing a custom metal sign above the disposal container for used feminine hygiene products will lower the likelihood of customers throwing items into the garbage can.  This practice is unsanitary and worthy of a citation by the local health department. Check OSHA laws to be certain, but these disposal containers may be a requirement that all retail establishments must abide by or face possible punitive damages.

Customers like to know that workers are using sanitary practices. It promotes good will, a concern for both customer and workplace safety and can be the foundation for a positive reputation throughout the community. Placing a custom metal sign that lists good hygiene habits for employees to follow is one way to express this concern to both the public and workforce. Customizing the sign’s shape to fit perfectly into the appropriate area will go far for getting the message across.

By entrances
Custom metal signs placed by a retail establishment’s entrance point can serve a variety of purposes. The sign can promote a daily special, a limited time only offer, or welcome the customer into the venue. A welcoming sign that uses a familiar company logo and font will improve brand awareness. It may even improve lead generation and conversion rates.

The entrance may be the beginning of the checkout area in a particular department. Custom metal signs optimally placed can direct customers to waiting lines and areas. Free-standing signs that contain customized arrows or pointed fingers will direct customers in the proper direction. That sign can be all that is needed to avoid confusion and keep customers safe.

Possible hazards
Every retail establishment at some time faces a potential health hazard. Whether it is something spilled onto the floor by a customer or employee, wet floors due to rainy weather outside being carried into the store, or low-hanging merchandise, companies must inform customers about these hazards. Custom metal signs that notify customers of impending low-hanging merchandise for instance will serve notice that the individual must be on heightened awareness.

Placing a wet area sign that is customized with the establishment’s coloring and font will serve notice that individuals in the area must be on heightened alert to walk safely or avoid the area.

A retail establishment that places customer safety as a number one priority will be laying the foundation for years of success. It helps improve customer loyalty, lead generation, reputation and profitability.

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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Stop Crime With No Trespassing Signs

no trespassing signs

The Value of No Trespassing Signs and No Loitering Signs

Both trespassing and loitering signs are commonplace in cities and towns nationwide, but the reasons for these warnings are often overlooked by the casual passerby or business owner who may or may not be aware of the important roles they play in the enforcement of the law. Both signs are effective and preventative measures for residents and business owners to take up against unwanted or unsightly activities they feel inhibits the safety of the property or the rights they are entitled to by law. Potential criminal activities can be deterred by these otherwise unassuming signs through unique loopholes in the local laws which state that such warnings must be expressly given to the general public before any trespassing or loitering can become a punishable offense. Store owners will find more success posting a No Loitering sign in front of their business than they would simply monitoring the area themselves, while No Trespassing signs along the perimeters of private property successfully deter the majority of trespasses by the general public who might be inclined to breach your private property if such an explicit warning has not been given.

An Effective Measure

Local laws typically stipulate different penalties and perjuries depending on whether or not a warning or forbiddance was given; ignorance of a homeowner’s private property or a business owner’s preference against loitering is often excuse enough to break through such comfort zones and engage in both trespassing and loitering. The presence of trespassing and loitering warnings give business owners and residents the legal authority to fine or penalize someone who lingers around the building or home, or enters into areas the public is not welcome. Local police departments recognize the authority of these signs in ways that they might not recognize the unsaid authority of a person’s property, and it’s this proclivity for clearly printed, publicly displayed warnings that have made such signs so effective. No loitering signs in particular are good preventative measures to take for store owners tired of people crowding around their establishment, potentially deterring new customers and damaging the environment with cycling, skateboarding, gum, trash, and other accumulations that inevitably collect when people are allowed to hang their hats without recourse. Trespassing signs can alert citizens and criminals alike that a property or area is private and off limits to them, which similarly allows the owner of the property to prosecute the trespasser should the warning be infringed upon.

The Ordinance

The success of No Trespassing signs and No Loitering signs depends on the resident or business owner’s understanding of the local ordinances. A sign that is old, faded, and illegible will often not qualify as a legal deterrent, and it cannot be used in future prosecutions when a property is trespassed upon or loitered around. Many territories also require written agreements between the property owner and the local police department in the event that the owner seeks to prosecute a bystander who neglects the sign. For this reason, signs should be well maintained, bright, clean, visible, and prominently displayed in front of the concerning area. Property owners must abide by these ordinances in order to successfully utilize any No Trespassing or No Loitering sign, and a failure to do so will result in an ineffectual warning and a potential trespass or loitering that the property owner will be unable to successfully take action against.

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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5 Ways to Create Safe And Walkable Communities with Signs

sign safety

A safe and walkable community expands transportation options, encourages bicyclist and pedestrian activity and also serves people of all mobility ranges. Signs serve the purpose of letting people know what to expect – they are the most basic and import forms of communication. This improves the likelihood that a person will react properly and behave according to plan. Community communication can range from dynamic LED traffic signs to highly visible school signs.

1. Use railroad and/or public transportation access signs.
Use these signs wherever there is access to public transportation or rail transport. The railroad sign may consist of crossbars that close off walking access when trains move by. Make certain there is a warning sign stating not to walk on railroad tracks. Prepare motorists about upcoming railroad crossings by placing notification signs that include symbols for railroad tracks. Read your zoning laws for proper placement requirements.

For public transportation venues, make certain signs specify operating hours. Having signs with both verbiage and symbols will help readers of all nationalities. For instance, for a bus terminal, have a symbol that represents a bus.

2. Use school crossing signs.
School crossing signs are crucial in creating safe and walkable communities that involve educational facilities. Depending upon one’s vicinity, the signs may designate school hours, speed limits and pedestrian crossing lanes. These signs encourage pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists to yield to school children entering the area. Make certain the signs are easy to read, are placed in a clearly visible place, and comply with zoning ordinance laws.

3. Make intersections safe.
Intersections can be one of the most troublesome of areas for motorists and walkers. Most fatalities occur at intersections due to the complexities of traffic patterns and signage. Place a red stop sign at each street intersection corner. Improve the safety level by implementing some pedestrian signals like signs with drawings of walking individuals. To assist the visually-impaired, consider implementing a beeping alarm to inform walkers it is safe to cross the street.

If a round-about exists as an intersection, use signs that signal the proper directions riders need to take to improve traffic flow effectively and reduce accident risks. Designate bicycle crossings by placing a yellow sign with a bicycle symbol near the crossing.

4. Make streets safe and user-friendly.
Make sure streets are easy to navigate. If the street has any abnormalities, like a speed bump or road hazard, place a sign nearby to warn motorists and individuals. Speed bump signs can be the word “BUMP” on a yellow rectangular sign. Road hazard signs like deer crossings could be a deer drawing on yellow rectangular-shaped metal. Put a red stop sign on each street corner so walkers stop before crossing the street. Use traffic signals in populated areas to create traffic flow gaps, making it easier for pedestrians to cross the street safely.

5. Designate special areas.
Safe and walkable communities need to consider the elderly and mobility impaired. Put up signs that signify pedestrian walking, with traffic lights near by so motorists can stop when needed. Designate the crosswalk on the street surface, so walkers know exactly where to cross. A yellow sign with “pedestrian crossway” will notify everyone of possible pedestrians.

Make certain to check all signs to be sure they provide adequate reflectivity during nighttime hours. Signs need to be placed and used intelligently to assure respect and compliance from everyone.


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Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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4 Tips To Keep You From Getting Killed By An Animal While Driving

tips on driving around animals

Have you ever been driving down the road and a coyote, fox, deer or some other animal darts out in front of your vehicle? It happens everyday and sometimes you miss it and it’s road kill. The problem is always going to exist. To avoid a collision with an animal, observe road signs and learn these defensive driving techniques.

1. Don’t risk your life.
It’s a fact that more people are injured and killed from hitting another object when they swerve sharply to avoid an animal, than those that don’t and hit the animal. Always maintain control of your vehicle, sometimes, it may be impossible to avoid a collision with an animal. Your safety should always come before the animals. Don’t veer if it will put you or another motorist in harms way. Colliding with an animal on the road is a comprehensive insurance claim, which is a minimal deductible with no premium increases.

2. Use your lights and put them on high beams when driving in an area with high animal traffic at night.
Of course, don’t use high beams when other cars are approaching. Animals are most active at dawn and dusk – that is also when our eyesight is compromised and headlights are least effective. Try to plan your driving at another time to avoid driving at dawn or dusk.

3. Don’t become distracted.
Cell phones, the radio, dropped objects, and children can be distractions and you’ll be tempted to take your eyes off the road, don’t do it! Always be aware of the road and activity to the side of the road. If you are traveling on a road with heavy brush on the sides, know there is a large possibility you may spot an animal. Some animals eyes have a reflective layer of ocular tissue called tapetum lucidum, it makes their eyes easy to spot at night. Scan the night environment looking for two greenish or yellow dots. Be on alert because some animals travel in a packs, so if you see one – expect more. Practice defensive driving.

4. The speed limit may be 55 or 60 mph, but you should slow way down when traveling at dawn or dusk in high animal traffic areas.
Be especially aware at times of the year when animals are most active. If there is a water source, like a pond or stream, nearby know there is a higher potential to see an animal, so slow down. When you drive at a decreased speed it increases your reaction time. Time is of the essence when reacting to an animal running in front of your vehicle. You may even be able to stop and avoid the collision.

It’s not always possible to avoid a collision but you can always practice good driving techniques for any situation. Take the time to understand the route you’re driving and you won’t be caught off guard next time an animal darts in front of your vehicle. So stay alert, don’t give in to distraction, avoid driving at dawn or dusk, pay attention to road signs warning of animal activity, and please remember your safety comes first.

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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Road Signs and Safety

Road Signs and Safety

The use of road signs and safety for all who use those roads go hand in hand. For many people, little thought is given to road signs except when they seem to impede their traveling. Without them, however, there is little doubt travelers would find a completely different world out there on the roads.

Why Road Signs Are Necessary
There are a number of different reasons why road signs are necessary in the busy and congested streets of today. It was not very long after the automobile began to catch on that such signs became necessary for many reasons that sought to address a greater number of vehicles as well as pedestrians in the same area at the same time.

Safety is Number One
This is probably the number one reason for having road signs. Warnings of sharp curves, rough roads and construction areas ahead all serve to provide drivers with an ample amount of time to adjust their speed so they can maintain control of their vehicles. However, people traveling inside cars are not the only ones who are protected when the right signs are used. Pedestrians are afforded a safe crossing from one side of a busy intersection to another by the strategic location of a crosswalk sign and the accompanying crosswalk area on the pavement, for example.

Maintaining Order Keeps Safety at the Forefront
Closely related tor safety is the ability of road signs to maintain a semblance of order among the thousands of cars that transverse the roads. From school zone signs that warn drivers to drive more slowly to allow buses to exit the school grounds to signs that warn of upcoming streets so drivers can prepare to make the necessary turns, order is maintained in a way so that traffic flow is not impeded and safety is guarded.

An Absence of Road Signs Would Mean Chaos
Sometimes people complain about road signs. They might not want to slow down when traveling through areas that are known to be heavily congested or that feature many slow moving trucks traversing the roads in and out of a business park, for example.

  • Protect Lives: Another example of a road sign that some people would rather ignore are those that warn of oncoming trains. Though the trains might cause delays, without the presence of signs to warn of a train crossing, it is likely that more people would be killed or injured each year due to being surprised by their presence.
  • Protect Resources: Road signs that warn drivers to keep their vehicles off the grass or to avoid parking except in places designated as such help protect fragile resources such as the grass and other foliage.

Work With Road Signs Instead of Against Them
Road signs provide people with the means to reach their destinations safely and easily. Without them, people would not be warned of the dangers that await them up ahead. Deer crossing signs, for example, remind drivers that the area is well known for its prevalence of deer sightings. Slowing their speed and being extra vigilant while driving through these areas can make a different for those drivers who would otherwise be unaware of the deer population.

 


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Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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