View Full Version : US Military Facilities: Lines on the Floor?

06-10-2012, 08:14 PM
Have tried Googling this with a bunch of different keywords and gotten no where. :( Not really helped along by the fact that the example I'm thinking of is a TV show (Stargate SG-1), and I can't even remember where I heard it or find a new reference to it.

But in Stargate, the Cheyenne Mountain command centre has lines painted onto the floor. I think it's for navigation purposes--you follow the red line, it takes you to a certain place. What I'm wondering is whether or not there's any accuracy to this in real world facilities, and really, whether or not there's any uniformity in where the colours lead. Is red always the infirmary, for example?

Any help is much appreciated. :)

06-10-2012, 08:33 PM
In hospitals, this is more common...

Most military bases I have been on did not have this feature. If you are new, you are given a map.

But in a story, you do anything you want so long as there are reasons, I will accept.

06-10-2012, 08:49 PM
I don't remember this at any military buildings I've been to, but I never really payed much attention. I recall seeing this idea somewhere, though. It might have been at a hospital or airport.

Drachen Jager
06-10-2012, 09:34 PM
The only lines I ever saw painted on the floors were in vehicle bays as parking guides and around dangerous machinery as a warning to keep out unless you're supposed to be there. This is with Armoured. I wouldn't be surprised if a really complex facility had lines like that, especially something like Cheyanne mountain where you're expecting thousands of people who don't know the layout to all arrive at once with no time for guided tours or maps.

Linda Adams
06-11-2012, 12:31 AM
Never at any of the military facilities I've been to. Most were lucky if they got painted periodically at all. Sometimes we'd get a general, and he'd want all the steps painted yellow, and then the next general would want it painted brown. But that was about the extent of the painting.

By the way, you can go http://www.defense.gov. Lots of photos up there which will give you an idea of what the inside of various military sites look like.

06-11-2012, 10:21 PM
I seem to remember lines on the floor at MEPS (Military Enlistement Processing) when I tried to enlist 15 or so years ago. IIRC, it was a "after this station (med testing) follow the red line to the next station" sort of thing. Doesn't sound like it is common though and MEPS may have had them as a carry over from their usage in hospitals as much of the facility is used for medical testing of recruits.

06-11-2012, 10:58 PM
i never see/saw any lines on the floor. the closest thing I can think of is the red "dead zone" painted around the desk at my husband's AIT barracks. He wasn't allowed to step on the red and had to lean awkwardly to speak to whoever was at the desk to sign in or out. I didn't see any lines at his MEPS or in the BCT barracks or any of the army bases I've been too. I think the only time I ever remember seeing lines on the floor was at a hospital and it wasn't a hospital on a military post.

06-11-2012, 11:50 PM
I've seen color-coded lines in a high volume medical facility (Ft. Lauderdale) - but I don't remember if the VA hospital in Miami had the same thing. The hospital color coding was handy because there was a constant influx of first-time visitors and it was simpler for staff to give consistent directions without using points of reference that newcomers wouldn't understand. Eg. elevator to second floor, then follow the red stripe.

06-11-2012, 11:59 PM
My info is old now, but my dad used to run a base, and he would have put lines in if he thought it was a good idea (sounds like one). He made new ways tools were stored, etc, based on ideas from the folks who used them all day, I know.

So it could depend on the personality of the dude you have in charge of it. If he's the sort to only follow what is handed down to him, full stop, then it'll look like all the similar bases. Otherwise, it might not, depending on how trivial the change would be (like a little paint :) ). IMHO.

06-14-2012, 04:04 PM
You guys are beyond amazing, thank you. :)

What I'm taking from this is that it's not a particularly common thing outside of hospitals and airports, but if it was a big enough place, it wouldn't necessarily be completely out of left field in military establishments either.

06-14-2012, 04:21 PM
It's been a while, and I wasn't 'in', just engaged to, but I have a vague recollection of there being some flight line paint coding in the Air Force - basically safe areas to walk versus not, that kind of thing.

Not sure that's the most helpful info ever, but perhaps google could tell you more. :)

06-14-2012, 09:45 PM
Typically, the lines that I have seen are used for a couple different things.
The first is safety. In work environments like a hangar, there are special corridors that cannot have equipment or supplies blocking them. They're basically fire lanes. They were usually marked in yellow paint. Think of them as a walkway. They were also used to denote areas where special equipment was kept, again, usually safety equipment.

I've also seen this type of thing to denote walkways vs power vehicle 'roads'. In large facilities where they are using electric cars, etc, to move people and equipment, they'll often mark passages where these cars must remain. People can walk and move there, but the cars have to stay inside the lines for safety.

Therese also the training facility thing where the put lines down to show people where to form lines and stand, that kind of thing. You normally only find that kind of thing in processing facilities and new recruit centers. I doubt they'd have that kind of thing in a place like Cheyenne mountain.

06-15-2012, 12:55 AM
Not sure where your story is set, but here in the U.S. the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set requirements. And, yes, certain colors are coded for specific items.

Yellow lines designate hazardous areas.
Red lines are for fire alarms, extinguishers, etc.
White lines are for traffic areas.
Green lines are for first aid stations, etc.

If you google OSHA floor marking requirements I think you'll find what you're looking for.

ETA: I can imagine there are some facilities that would use them as directional lines on the floor, particularly in large factories like the Boeing assembly plant. My dad once worked in one that was so long they had bicycles to get from one area to another. They probably use Segways these days. lol