High-quality vinyl floor tape and signs are useful tools for communicating important safety information in public spaces. While industrial workplaces have set standards for signs and cues, the visual safety messaging requirements in public places are often less concrete. Consider these ideas for using floor tape and signs to provide important safety messaging in public areas, including commercial spaces, hotel lobbies, government buildings, schools, hospitals, and museums.

What Color Should Safety Floor Tape Be?

OSHA color standards state that yellow floor tape should be used for marking physical safety hazards in workplaces. This color association makes sense: Our culture is well acquainted with the red-means-stop, yellow-means-caution messaging of traffic lights. But what about safety messaging that’s not directly related to physical hazards? You can use whichever color best suits your purpose, aligns with your defined objectives, and minimizes confusion for visitors.

5 Ideas for Using Tape & Signs for Public Safety Messaging

Consider these examples when you might want to use safety floor tape and signage to improve safety in public spaces. Choosing which product to use comes down to your environment and the expected frequency of use. Vinyl floor tape is an ideal option for these instances: It’s durable, easy to apply and remove, and available in a range of colors—with custom design options—so you can communicate your preferred message.

1. Improve Crowd Control in Theaters, Concert Venues, and Stadiums

Disorganized crowds can pose a substantial safety hazard for employees and guests at any event. To prevent confusion and congestion, try these floor markings and visual cues.

  • Use floor tape to clearly assign lines for ticketing, merchandise, food and beverage vendors, restrooms, and other waiting areas.
  • Reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape can outline approved standing areas near the stage, keeping the crowd from getting too close to instruments, equipment, electrical devices, or props.
  • Gaffer tape can be used to mark safe staging areas, keeping guests and equipment separate.
  • For clear directional cues, use arrows and other pre-cut floor markers to direct traffic or mark orderly exit routes, preventing confusion or surging crowds at the end of the night.

2. Reinforce Rules in Zoos, Aquariums, and Museums 

Public safety is important in any area that houses live animals, scientific artifacts, or priceless works of art. Use safety floor markings to protect animals, exhibits, and visitors. Provide messaging in prohibited areas or near exhibits guests shouldn’t touch using high-quality, high-traffic vinyl floor tape that endures heavy use day in and day out.

  • Use safety floor tape to supplement stanchions around exhibits, displays, or prohibited areas. Stanchions may be bumped or moved, but floor tape and signs will stay put even when primary barriers become displaced. Use classic yellow to draw attention, or choose a color that coordinates with your space.
  • Use custom floor tape or signs to provide reminders of visitor safety rules and requirements, such as “do not touch,” “please stay behind this line,” and other safety messages. If visitors must wash hands after leaving a touch tank exhibit, for example, use floor markers and tape to communicate the instructions and direct them to the nearest sink.
  • Some museum or aquarium exhibits may require low lighting for the safety of the artifacts or animals. Provide navigational assistance with reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape—with or without customized messaging—to identify exits, aisles or walkways, and prohibited spaces.

3. Mark Slippery Floors, Uneven Surfaces, or Surface Changes

Floor markings can warn pedestrians of slippery, uneven, or variable surfaces or changes in elevation, such as stairwells or ramps, ensuring they’re alert and preventing slips or trips. You may find that pairing visual cues with non-slip tape can improve safety near water or slip hazards. We offer anti-slip floor tape in a variety of colors, including yellow and diagonal stripe options often used to communicate safety messages.

4. Support Accessibility Efforts With Safety-Focused Floor Tape

While ADA outlines specific requirements for disability accessibility, these standards represent the bare minimum for creating an accessible space. Universal design aims to make all public spaces safe and accessible to all; contribute to those efforts with strategically designed and placed floor tape that goes beyond ADA requirements.

  • Use reflective safety tape to mark the edges of wheelchair ramps, or add anti-slip tape to increase traction on ramps for those with limited mobility who may be likely to slip.
  • Directional cues, such as bright, easy-to-spot floor arrows, can help guide individuals with cognitive disabilities or visual limitations to essential areas of a building.
  • Keep accessibility in mind when designing custom floor tape for any purpose. Contrast is key: Use dark text and graphics on light color tape (or light text on dark tape) for increased visibility. You should also incorporate required universal ADA symbols and figures when appropriate.
  • Display tactile braille signs where required, and go beyond the requirements for better accessibility overall by using braille signs throughout your location.

5. Display Common Safety Messaging in Public Spaces

Use vinyl floor tape as a supplemental approach to clarifying essential safety messages in public spaces. Emergency exits, “Do Not Enter” areas, slip, trip, and fall hazards, or places where you should watch your step are often marked with highly visible signage, but—just as it can help improve compliance with OSHA standards or ANSI guidelines—floor tape is a versatile tool to support your safety notices.

Durable Superior Mark floor tape and signage are ideal options for creating safety-focused visual cues for public spaces: Durable, easy to apply, and customizable, these visual cues endure heavy traffic and use, and remove easily without residue when it’s time to make a change. Explore our Resource Center for more on facility safety and how floor marking products can help you meet your objectives.