Visual science plays a role in your fire truck color and lighting

Through the years there has been a lot of conversation about the additional safety a bright colored truck provides verses the traditional red or white over red fire truck. We have seen many colors of the rainbow exit the manufacturing lines. Everything from baby blue, dark green, lime green, black, orange, white and of course the beloved red. Research on the subject of truck color was conducted in the mid nineties and concluded that red fire trucks were three times more likely to be involved in a traffic accident while responding. This study launched the transition for many fire departments to brighter colored trucks like lime yellow or bright green.

The studies continued and in 2009 the United States Fire Administration determined that bright colors will increase truck visibility but is not the only factor that should be considered. With that, the USFA put guidelines in place for reflective striping in specific areas of the truck. In addition, the NFPA introduced warning light placement requirement. On fire apparatus, warning light systems are positioned throughout the required zones identified by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1901 Standard, and in areas that support the needs of individual fire departments. The NFPA segments an apparatus based on four zones with upper and lower warning light requirements for each zone.

It safe to say we are in a better place today as far as apparatus visibility goes.

Fire Truck Colors

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