Dissuasive exit signage for building fire evacuation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This work presents the result of a questionnaire study which investigates the design of dissuasive emergency signage, i.e. signage conveying a message of not utilizing a specific exit door. The work analyses and tests a set of key features of dissuasive emergency signage using the Theory of Affordances. The variables having the largest impact on observer preference, interpretation and noticeability of the signage have been identified. Results show that features which clearly negate the exit-message of the original positive exit signage are most effective, for instance a red X-marking placed across the entirety of the exit signage conveys a clear dissuasive message. Other features of note are red flashing lights and alternation of colour. The sense of urgency conveyed by the sign is largely affected by sensory inputs such as red flashing lights or other features which cause the signs to break the tendencies of normalcy.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified


  • Dissuasive, Emergency signage, Exit sign, Paired comparison, Evacuation, Dynamic signage, Route choice, Risk perception, urgency
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-93
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue numberPart A
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar
Publication categoryResearch