Emergency Signage (06-28-19)

What colors are best for emergency signage? A research team lead by Kinateder determined that when study “Participants were immersed in a virtual room with two doors (left and right), and an illuminated sign with different colored vertical bars above each door. . . . On each trial, a fire alarm sounded, and participants walked to the door that they thought was the exit. . . .  Participants predominantly walked toward green signs, even though the exit signs in the local environment—including the building where the experiment took place—were red. However, in a post-experiment survey, most participants reported that exit signs should be red. The results demonstrated a dissociation between the way observers thought they would behave in emergency situations (red = exit) and the way they did behave in simulated emergencies (green = exit). These findings have implications for the design of evacuation systems.”

Max Kinateder, William Warren, and Karen Schloss.  2018. “What Color Are Emergency Exit Signs? Egress Behavior Differs from Verbal Report.”  Applied Ergonomics, vol. 75, pp. 155-160, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2018.08.010