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Firefighter Lights


Firefighter Lights

Firefighter Lights refer to the emergency lighting used by firefighters’ trucks. Fire 

trucks usually use flashing, colored lights, also known as lightbars. Firemen use

these flashing lights act as a visual warning for other drivers to clear the way so that

firefighters can reach their destination as soon as possible.


Firefighter Lights in Use


Fire trucks are equipped with emergency tools, such as axes or ladders. However,

they also come equipped with lights that they use in such emergencies. A common

example would be floodlights, which help firefighters navigate their way through a scene.


Fire Engines and Emergency Lighting


Before the firefighters even arrive at the scene, they first have to get there.

Firefighters have several tools to help them arrive as quickly as possible:

• Fire trucks utilize a firefighter siren when they are on their way to an emergency site.

This is an audio signal of their urgency

• Fire trucks also use flashing flights as a visual signal and a warning for other

vehicles to clear out of the way


Types of Lights Utilized


To create a strong visual warning, firefighters have historically used a few different

lighting methods.


• In the past, rotating beacons were used. This refers to a spinning mirror

which would travel around a light bulb to spread its light

• Bright, flashing strobe lights are also used and can make a specific pattern,

such as an arrow, which would tell other vehicles to move to the side of the road

• The newest development in this field of emergency lighting has been LED

light bars, which are bright and yet highly energy efficient.

• Nowadays, many firefighters use LED flashlights as their visual warning of choice


Color-coding Emergency Vehicles’ Lights

As a part of their visual warning, fire trucks incorporate specific colors of lights:


• Like police cars (another example of an emergency vehicle), fire engines will

often use a red and blue led light bar.

• Volunteer firefighters are also under extreme pressure to arrive at their

destination in a timely manner so volunteers will often use the same visual

warnings (emergency lights and sirens) as their professional counterparts.

• Sometimes, volunteer firefighters will just use blue lights

• Green lights may be used by a fire chief, or by volunteer firefighters in some states


Firefighter Lights in Action


Fire trucks will use emergency lights to signal their approach to other vehicles or to

change traffic patterns (i.e. make lights in the shape of an arrow to get motorists to

pull over to the side of the road). If you see a fire engine flashing its lights, be sure to

comply: someone’s life could be in danger!