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Fires or accidents in tunnels can be a major risk to human life and the effective identification of escape routes is paramount. Limited escape facilities and difficulties encountered by emergency services in gaining access to tunnel incidents calls for considered fire and emergency safety management. Tunnels and underground transport facilities are growing in terms of popularity and size in order to reduce rising traffic densities and congestion. As tunnel design evolves we need to identify the many hazards to be addressed: Increase in length of modern tunnels, unfamiliar territory - egress disorientation Transportation of hazardous materials - potential of contamination Higher fire loads due to growing increase in traffic volume coupled with higher load capacities – increasing fire risk Mechanical defects in motor vehicles – sources of ignition. Potential deterioration and failure/smoke logging of traditional escape route systems. Vehicle breakdown, road traffic accidents with inherently disorientated vehicle occupants. Fires within tunnels present an extremely high risk to occupants, the below table lists some of the international tragedies from recent years. The numbers highlight the horrific consequences of tunnel fire. Location Fatalities Location Fatalities Mont Blanc, France 39 Hokuriku Tunnel, Japan 34 Tauern Tunnel, Austria 12 Pecorile Tunnel, Italy 8 Vierzy Tunnel, France 108 Isola delle Femmine, Italy 5 Pfander Tunnel, Austria 3 Kaprun, Austria 155 Nihonzaka, Japan 7 St Gottard Tunnel, Switzerland 11 *Source: Alan Beard & Richard Carrel - The handbook of tunnel fire safety: 2005 With all the associated risks it is imperative that a fast and effective evacuation system is established to correctly identify the escape route educating evacuees to make an informed decision on egress. The serious outcome and risks associated with tunnel fires, emergency escape route systems are of the utmost importance in relation to life safety. With this in mind Jalite have developed an outstanding product raange for tunnels - engineered for life safety! Owing to the stringent requirements on constructional materials for use within tunnels, many of the common materials used in the photoluminescent industry are deemed unsuitable due to non compliance to the low smoke zero halogen requirements (LSZH). Jalite have strived to overcome the material restrictions and risen to the challenge meeting and exceeding requirements with the all new Jalite 316 LLL System and Jalite Polycarbonate Photoluminescent Escape Route Signs designed specifically for tunnels.
JALITE photoluminescent signs are in a Class of their own by design of the communicated message and remain conspicuous and recognizeable in darkness. JALITE safety signs provide the visible cues and direction information for speedy and orderly escape in an emergency and in power loss. JALITE photoluminescent safety signs form part of a comprehensive fire safety management strategy and fulfill both legislative conformance requirements and enhanced safety and reduced risk in many situations. JALITE is happy to work with all organisations with a high safety awareness and desire for improvement to develop a detailed safety signing policy consistent with embracing this technology and moving to an "above minimum safety' environment. The advances in luminance performance and in unique manufacturing techniques produce visual properties of JALITE UL 924 Exit Signs that offer an extremely viable option to electrical emergency Exit signs and are now also available to meet ISO Standard designs.
The JALITE fire safety sign audit requires a close examination of the occupied area in order to assess that risks have been identified and mitigated with safety signs designed to good practice. Furthermore, that the fire safety signs are positioned appropriately and are clearly visible and understandable under the expected conditions of observation. A fire safety sign survey is an integral part of the required formal and legally enforceable fire risk assessment and can assist this process tremendously. For more information about the JALITE Fire Safety sign survey and how it forms a key part of Fire Safety Policy do not hesitate to ask for our free guides or contact our sponsored magazine and publications at www.means-of-escape.com It is also a requirement to ensure that all employees are given training and education to understand the safety signs displayed and to behave accordingly. JALITE produce a full range of training products to assist in this process.
JALITE pionneered the application of photoluminescent safety way guidance systems in mass transport railways with research carried out with London Underground in the early 90's. A full scale egress exercise with wayguidance lines on the wall and platform was made giving egress speeds typical of ordered evacuation even under complete power loss situation.
At 8pm the evening of August 10, 1903 in Paris’ popular Couronnes underground subway passengers anxiously awaited to make their way home. Then an empty train that had caught fire made its way into the station. While at first thought to be under control, the fire soon grew and overwhelmed the stations. With the power cut and smoke quickly spreading, it claimed the lives of 84 people. While this is one of the earliest tunnel tragedies, it certainly wasn’t the last: - On November 18, 1987 31 people were killed when a similar fire broke out in the King’s Cross tube tunnels when they became disoriented and trapped by darkness and smoke. - On March 24, 1999 truck fire in the Mont Blanc Tunnel in the Alps killed 38 people who were trapped in the tunnel and unsure of what to do. - On December 2, 2012 the collapse of the Sasago Tunnel in Japan killed 9 people and trapped many more when concrete paneling from the ceiling of the tunnel collapsed and ignited vehicles below. Preventing such tragedies may not be possible, but there are ways to prepare for them that enhances the safety of our citizens using tunnels. According to the US Fire Association the number one cause of death in a fire is smoke inhalation, not the actual flames. As was the case in the tunnel disasters stated above: inhaling toxic smoke was the leading cause of death. Knowing how to exit is key to surviving any fire and it’s no different in a tunnel. AAA.com has a safety checklist for what to do if in a tunnel emergency. In the event of a fire the checklist states that you should not try to extinguish a car fire unless it has just started, and if it is not possible to extinguish the fire to leave immediately through the nearest emergency exit. Photoluminescent markings provide a reliable and highly visible way to identify exits throughout a tunnel. Charged by the ambient light they’re always ready for service. That’s why you’ll find JALITE egress markers and safety signs light the way in many tunnels today. Such tunnels include: - The Hindhead Tunnel in London, England. - The Cross Harbor Tunnel in Hong Kong, China - The SeaTac Tunnel in Seattle, Washington - The Lincoln Tunnel in New York City, New York - And more!
JALITE signs and markings made some 30 years ago are still functioning well in the mountains and civil defense bunkers of Switzerland. Now we celebrate 20 years of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world is still as insecure as ever. The Swiss heritage for JALITE stands well for security and safety and never ending technological progress. Today's JALITE photoluminescent signs and marking are some 80 to 100 times brighter than the products still functioning well in the bunkers deep in the mountains of Switzerland and are now used to protect people in tall buildings and the means of escape everywhere. JALITE photoluminescent signs are principally produced in the JALITE AAA and SB flagship qualities showing unique quick charging and optical brightness under normal lighting conditions in the built environment.
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Jalite is active in over 109 countries
In the 35 year history of JALITE, products have been developed and supplied to over 100 countries in the world and often with safety messages in the local language or with dual language, with the International Safety language English. It has been a JALITE tradition to fully comply with National and International Standards for the design of our products. Now, with JALITE presence on three continents and Authorised Distribtors world wide we can be considered local throughout the world. Interested to Distribute JALITE products in your area of safety or your district and country? Just send us a mail and contact us now with an introduction.