AWARENESS STRIPS HOW AND WHERE TO INSTALL THEM? Stairs and subway platforms are danger zones for people who are blind or partially sighted due to their disability. In order to enable them to avoid frequent falls, there is a tactile device that must be fitted in these places. These are awareness strips whose manufacture and installation are well regulated. Here is a guide that outlines the rules to follow and how to install the awareness strips.

What is an awareness strip?

Vigilance awareness bands or BEV are prevention devices intended for the disabled, more specifically the visually impaired and people with reduced mobility (PRM). Vigilance awareness strips are created from different tactile studs or tactile strips. These are made up of domes (25 mm in diameter and 5 mm in height) placed in staggered rows and spaced 3.75 cm apart on average.

Placed in spaces open to the public, BEVs allow target users to be informed and guided in their movements. Indeed, their presence indicates the presence of an obstacle or a danger, in particular a staircase, a pedestrian crossing, a platform, etc. Their surface has a special texture that disabled people can feel when touching them with their feet or with their white cane. This is also where the name podotactile comes from (Opodo for foot and tactile for touch).

Tactile nails and strips are made of various materials, the choice of which is made according to the nature of the ground that must receive them. We find stainless steel, concrete, granite, brass, and aluminum… Depending on the use, the nails or studs are to be glued, screwed, struck or sealed.

Where to install an awareness strip?

ERPs (spaces open to the public) and IOPs (facilities open to the public) must normally have BEVs both indoors and outdoors. These must also be installed on:

  • On each flight of stairs,
  • at each end of a pedestrian crossing,
  • on the edges of common transport platforms,
  • at the level of the islands of refuge.

Installation on a flight of stairs

BEVs are installed in a minimum of 3 steps. In the case where there is only one step, its presence should be marked through a visual contrast, with a step nosing and a riser. All stairs are concerned, even those with a continuous handrail.

All the intermediate landings of the stairs are equipped when it is an ERP. The width of the strip is at least 40 cm as defined by standard P98-351. We recommend never installing it at the bottom of a flight of stairs. In addition, the steps must be a maximum of 16 cm high and a minimum of 28 cm long.

Installation on common transport platforms and shelter islands

This category includes all types of transport docks: maritime, urban, rail and river. It is the reduced-size jig strips that are most often recommended on these docks. In the particular case of new or under construction ERPs, the rule is different. The BEVs must be installed before and after these elements: mechanical inclined plane, conveyor belt, stairs.

How to install an awareness strip?

The manufacture and installation of BEVs are carried out in accordance with the regulations in force regarding BEVs. It is therefore essential to first choose a belt that complies with the NF P98-351 standard in order to use products that comply in terms of dimensions, geometry, durability, and slipperiness.

To install the awakening strip, it is essential to equip yourself with tools according to the type of strip chosen (strip or nails to screw, to stick, etc.) and the type of covering (tiles, package, etc.). The majority of products are already self-adhesive in the workshop to facilitate assembly. Prefabricated strips take less time to install than pedestals that require the use of a template. For a space that receives more than a thousand people a day, prefer the studs to be sealed. Also, pre-adhesive nails are better suited to glass substrates. If the floor is prone to corrosion, stainless steel nails and strips will be most appropriate.

The next step is cleaning the support that will receive the elements. It must be healthy, dry, and without residue. For the nails, take the measurements, position the templates then drill or glue them as appropriate. For strips, be sure to lay them down the first time. Remember to secure the site during and after laying until the strip dries if necessary.

What obligations are for ERPs in terms of vigilance bands?

BEVs are accessibility signs regulated by decree no. 2006-555 of May 17, 2006. Their manufacture and installation are governed by standard NF P98-351 of August 10, 2010. Both individuals and professionals are required to comply with the regulations to carry out their arrangements in order to facilitate access to persons with reduced mobility.

Two size models are available for alertness bands: standard size and reduced size. The first is suitable for all places. The reduced size is intended for sidewalks and tight spaces.

There is a width of 58.75 cm for a length of 1 m maximum and positioning of a line of 8 cones with regard to the standard template. For the reduced size, the width is 40 cm for 1 m in length with the positioning of 5 or 6 studs or nails. The law authorizes a margin of plus or minus 25 mm on these dimensions.

  • BEVs parallel and placed 50 cm from the obstacle so as to constitute a braking step,
  • a staggered line positioned in the direction of the depth,
  • 70% color contrast with the flooring,

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