NFPA 1901 Reflective Striping Guidelines for Emergency Vehicles and Fire Apparatus
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nfpa 1901
nfpa 1901
nfpa 1901

Starting in 2009 Fire Trucks and Emergency vehicles will be subject to new standards for retro reflective striping. The new standards call for minimum reflectivity levels of type I or better. Type I is also referred to as engineer grade reflective and is the most affordable class of tape. It is commonly seen on fire apparatus, road signs, etc.. Type III is known as high intensity reflective tape and is more expensive but still relatively affordable. Type V prismatic reflective tape is by far the brightest and toughest of the chevron striping tapes. It is more expensive, however, it has a 10 year outdoor life. The basics of the new nfpa 1901 guidelines are as follows:

NFPA 1901 Guidelines For Reflective Striping on Fire Trucks and Emergency Vehicles


14.1.6 Any door of the apparatus designed to allow persons to enter or exit the apparatus shall have at least 96 in.2 (square) (62,000 mm2) of retroreflective material affixed to the inside of the door.* A retroreflective stripe(s) shall be affixed to at least 50 percent of the cab and body length on each side, excluding the pump panel areas, and at least 25 percent of the width of the front of the apparatus. The stripe or combination of stripes shall be a minimum of 4 in. (100 mm) in total width. The 4 in. (100 mm) wide stripe or combination of stripes shall be permitted to be interrupted by objects (i.e., receptacles, cracks between slats in roll up doors) provided the full stripe is seen as conspicuous when approaching the apparatus. A graphic design shall be permitted to replace all or part of the required striping material if the design or combination thereof covers at least the same perimeter length(s) required by

REFLECTIVE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE BACK OF THE VEHICLE At least 50 percent of the rear-facing vertical surfaces, visible from the rear of the apparatus, excluding any pump panel areas not covered by a door, shall be equipped with retroreflective striping in a chevron pattern sloping downward and away from the centerline of the vehicle at an angle of 45 degrees. Each stripe in the chevron shall be a single color alternating between red and yellow. Each stripe shall be 6 in. (150 mm) in width. All retroreflective materials required by and shall conform to the requirements of ASTM D 4956, Standard Specification for Retroreflective Sheeting for Traffic Control, Section 6.1.1 for Type I Sheeting. All retroreflective materials used to satisfy the requirements of that are colors not listed in ASTM D 4956, Section 6.1.1, shall have a minimum coefficient of retroreflection of 10 with observation angle of 0.2 degrees and entrance angle of −4 degrees. Any printed or processed retroreflective film construction used to meet the requirements of and shall conform to the standards required of an integral colored film as specified in ASTM D 4956, Section 6.1.1.


19.18.11 Where the design of the aerial device incorporates a knuckle, the knuckle shall be as follows: (1) Equipped with position lights or continuously illuminated by boom lights (2) Painted with reflective paint or provided with retroreflective Striping All stabilizers that protrude beyond the body of the apparatus shall be striped or painted with retroreflective material so as to indicate a hazard or obstruction.

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