Exit Signs

Emergency Exit Solid State Home Inspections

Under 2010 Canadian National Building Codes and being incorporated into Provincial codes, all new buildings will need to start using a new Green 'running man' exist sign instead of the old red 'exit' signs of old.


The logic here is based on how people respond in an emergency. First of all, in an emergency, we need to have symbols which are universally recognizable. The 'running man' sign being adopted is already an international standard used in Europe, Asia, and many other parts of the world. This signs does not require a language to communicate the intent and the pictogram can indicate if you are to go left, right, or forwards to an emergency exit.


The second good reason to adopt the 'running man' is the colour pattern. It is universally accepted that red means 'stop' while green means 'go'. Changing emergency signs to a green colour suggests it is the correct direction to go to exit the building and should help eliminate confusion.


Emergency Exits Solid State Home Inspections

Running man emergency signs indicating different directions for emergency exit paths.

There is one controversy however about this emergency signage change. In a fire, smoke is expected to build up and green wavelengths of light are not as visible as red wavelengths. This is a good argument however the authorities believe that the difference is not enough to make it worth keeping the red signs. Not only that, but the red signs are mounted high where the smoke is making it less likely to be visible anyway.


Lastly, the new green signage can take advantage of photoluminecent technologies that can power the signs in the event of a power failure. This means no more bulky and environmentally nasty battery packs for emergency signs.


By James Bell - Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc.