Human factor experiments help determine effectiveness of increased illuminance of visual emergency notification

Blog Post created by mikehazell Employee on Oct 23, 2013

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef019b003f8d52970c-200wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef019b003f8d52970c-200wi|alt=Illuminance|style=width: 200px;|title=Illuminance|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019b003f8d52970c!

Schematic of experimental laboratory (position of subjects not to scale).


A new Fire Protection Research Foundation report has been published, titled, "Parameters for Indirect Viewing of Visual Signals Used in Emergency Notification." This report was authored by John D. Bullough, Nicholas P. Skinner, and Yiting Zhu of the Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

A previous Foundation study on visual emergency notification suggested that a flashing light should increase the illuminance on the opposite wall by at least 7% in order for this increase to be detected reliably when being viewed indirectly.  This new report describes the results from a series of human factors experiments that investigated this suggestion. 


A [review of research performed for the Fire Protection Research Foundation by the RPI Lighting Research Center | http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=2572&itemID=57202&URL=Research/Fire%20Protection%20Research%20Foundation/Reports%20and%20proceedings/Detection%20and%20signaling/Fire%20alarm%20notification/] suggested that effective intensity may not be predictive of visual detection of signal lights when these are viewed indirectly or in the far-peripheral field of view. In particular, observers see the change in illuminance on room surfaces rather than the flashing light itself when it is not in the central field of view. To read more about the findings, please view the report on the Foundation website. </p>