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Incident Sign Installation Guide

Standards and Principles

Forest Service Safety Creed

"No job is so important that we cannot take the time to work safely."

The "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways" (MUTCD) is the national standard for signs and traffic control devices for roads. The regulations in Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 655, Subpart F require that the MUTCD be followed on all Federal, State, and local roads open to public travel. The "Sign and Poster Guidelines for the Forest Service" (EM 7100–15) contain additional requirements for signs and traffic control devices used on National Forest System roads.

Temporary Traffic Control

Temporary traffic control (TTC) is needed when incidents, such as traffic accidents, wildland fires, floods, hazardous material spills, and other unplanned events, take place on or adjacent to a road, affecting or interrupting the normal flow of traffic.

Temporary Traffic Control Zones

Temporary traffic control zones guide road users through incident areas while reasonably protecting incident responders, vehicles, equipment, and road users. TTC zones also may be established when necessary to restrict use of road systems to incident management personnel. Variable message signs, warning lights, flags, barricades, and cones may be used as available to enhance the visibility of TTC zones.

Incident Sign Standards

  • Design, locate, install, and maintain signs in accordance with the MUTCD and EM 7100–15 requirements.
  • Coordinate with other public road authorities as soon as possible when incidents affect roads under their jurisdiction.
  • Use professionally made signs made from fluorescent pink or orange retroreflective sheeting.
  • Monitor and maintain signs and devices for the duration of the incident.
  • Remove or cover signs promptly when they do not apply and when they are no longer needed.
  • Use retroreflective pink signs when an incident occurs on or near a road that has orange construction signs.

High-Visibility Safety Apparel

All workers, including emergency responders, who are exposed to traffic or work vehicles and construction equipment within the road right-of-way, shall wear high-visibility safety apparel that meets the Performance Class 2 or 3 requirements of the
"American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear" (ANSI/ ISEA 107–2004 or current edition). See pages 2 and 3.