A statement from Prof. Ed Galea
A new concept in emergency signage, which I call the ‘Active Dynamic Signage System (ADSS)’, extends the idea of smart buildings to emergency wayfinding, with a new generation of advanced emergency exit signs. Traditional emergency signs are not always noticed in an emergency and cannot adapt to the circumstances of an incident or a changing threat environment, even if they are directing people into potential danger. The ADSS is intended to save lives by addressing these shortcomings – attracting attention when signs need to be conspicuous, redirecting people during an evolving emergency, and automatically identifying, not just an exit route, but the optimal exit route.
The ADSS combines three key safety innovations. Flashing and running green LED lights within the arrow of emergency exit signs make people more likely to notice them and hence spend less time wayfinding. A large illuminated ‘red cross’ through the sign can effectively shut down exit routes compromised by an incident. And the system can be expanded to identify optimal evacuation routes by responding ‘intelligently’ to an evolving emergency using up-to-the-minute situational awareness and advanced faster than real-time evacuation simulations conducted during the incident itself.
These advances bring the humble emergency exit sign into the 21st century.