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National Taiwan University of Science and Technology's Breakthrough on Fire Safety Technology: Green, Simple Designed Signs Make Escaping Easier


Can't find the fire exit when there's a fire?

Research conducted by the team led by Professor Ching-Yuan Lin of the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology's (NTUST) Taiwan Building Technology Center found that green and simple designed signs with well-spaced lettering can aid escapes.The research also discovered that comprehension of escape plans differed slightly for men and women. Thus when designing fire safety maps,designers should keep in mind the different messages that opposite sexes might get from them.

Every year in Taiwan, fires result in serious losses of life and damage to property. NTUST's Building Structure and Hazard Mitigation Center (BSHM) found that a possible reason for such serious damages is unclear fire exit signs with small, squashed characters. Furthermore, many people mistake fire exit directions for actual fire escapes, therefore, signs should be changed to read "Exit Direction" rather than "Emergency Exit" to clear up the confusion.

Most countries' fire exit signs use the color green, as it is the best color for visual recognition, some countries still use red. In addition, fire exits nowadays tend to be signs above doors, but in the event of a fire, smoke can easily obscure the signs. It is therefore advised that signs be equipped with green light tracing around the sides of the door to aid escapes.

Under the Ministry of Education's "Development Plan for World Class Universities and Research Centers of Excellence" NTUST combined the forces of in-school and international researchers to develop an internationally competitive Building Technology Research Center, focusing on hazard prevention and escape. They have already signed cooperation agreements with Tokyo University of Science, Japan's leading fire safety research center. NTUST also signed cooperation agreements with the University of California at Berkeley's Earthquake Engineering Research Center, Tokyo University's Institute of Industrial Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. By joining forces with international researchers, NTUST is leading the world in research on hazard mitigation.As well,they are nearing their goal of becoming a world class university.