What The GETAWAY Project Taught Us About Fire Safety

I recently connected with Edwin R Galea, who is the founding director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group at the University of Greenwich. Galea was involved with the Getaway project, which “was undertaken to develop and demonstrate an innovative emergency signage system capable of providing real-time, optimal direction to building occupants during an emergency evacuation.”

There have been notable instances of innocent victims losing their life during large scale fire emergencies.

A few examples are…

The London Underground King’s Cross Station fire, which killed 31 people after an escalator went up in flames.

The Dusseldorf Airport fire that killed 17 people when hot works within the building resulted in fire.

The Rhode Island Night Club fire, where pyrotechnics as part of the show resulted in the building catching on fire and killing 100 people.

It was concluded in post investigations, that in the Rhode Island and Dusseldorf incidents, many people failed to see the legally compliant EXIT signage. Therefore, they either did not use the safe egress or delayed the use of appropriate safe egress routes from the building.

In both the Kings Cross and Dusseldorf cases, the EXIT signage could not adapt to the developing situation and therefore did not direct occupants away from the compromised egress, and resulted in unnecessary deaths.  

After these tragic incidents, the Getaway project was put into place and spearheaded by the BMT and the Fire Safety Engineering Group of the University of Greenwich. They worked on the development and testing of adaptive emergency signage that would better direct people to safe egress routes from large scale buildings.

Large-scale tests were performed at the Sant Cugat rail station in Barcelona. A big takeaway was that everyday static EXIT signage within buildings becomes inconspicuous due to its constant presence and that signage NEEDS to be more visible and adaptive to different situations as they develop.

The findings of the Getaway project affirm the concept of the NEXIT that we have developed.

At Vizzybell we have also gone to the effort to ensure that the NEXIT has the adaptive capabilities required, by changing from Green EXIT to Red NO EXIT when a situation occurs where an egress route become unavailable. We also developed it to flash at the same time to indicate the importance of the information be portrayed. We believe this to be in accordance with the findings of the Getaway project.  

If you’d like to find out more about the Nexit sign, give us a call today on +642102016672 or email us on info@vizzybell.com


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