In the aftermath of 9/11 as organizations worked to review precautionary measures and emergency response plans, NYC worked to revise its Building Code to address markings and signage to facilitate occupant egress guidance in the case of fire or other emergencies.  Committee developed consensus Standards play a key role in helping us respond to such challenges.  As an example, Graphical Symbols – Safety Signs – Safeway Guidance Systems (SWGS), ISO 16069, set the stage for the NYC Building Code revisions that came out of 9/11.   ISO 16069 provides international guidelines for guidance systems. These include, signage placed at intervals sufficient to provide consistent and continuous direction.  Some factors described in Safety Signs and Safeway Guidance Systems, ISO 16069, are the following:

  • anticipated number of people who will use the escape route;
  • demographic characteristics of the people occupying the building;
  • type of activity being carried out in the occupied area;
  • expected delay time for the commencement of the evacuation;
  • type, size, occupation and location of the building;
  • complexity of the escape routes and the possibility for confusion at changes of direction and floor level;
  • specific hazards likely to be encountered;
  • specific risk conditions in which use of the escape routes will be necessary;
  • any existing emergency escape route features, such as floor plans;
  • the possible combinations of components in SWGS to assist evacuation under specific risk conditions
  • such as presence of diffused or stratified smoke, earthquakes, and presence of obstacles or specific

 In order to communicate safety way guidance information efficiently across language barriers, the systems defined in ISO 16069 incorporate the use of graphical symbols and markings such as arrows, conforming to ISO Standards.The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies.

 


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