There are a few different tools that police officers around the country may utilize to warn others on the road about their presence during emergencies or similar situations, and within the visible realm, various light bars and other flashing lights are the primary resources here. There are several things to be thinking about if you utilize these items on your vehicle, and one stands out: Proper safety and best practices when utilizing emergency lights for any reason.
At LED Equipped, we not only provide a wide range of LED emergency lights, from LED grille lights and dash lights to beacon lights and more, but we also offer assistance to all our clients on how to properly and safely use our products on the road. Let’s dive into some of the most important safety precautions and considerations you should be keeping in mind when utilizing emergency lights during any kind of important situation.
Know What Your Lights Do
First and foremost, while this area may sound a bit obvious to some, you might be shocked at just how many police officers and other first responders have multiple different emergency lights on their vehicles, but don’t actually know what they do. This is not only extremely dangerous, but it’s also illegal in some places – so be sure to know exactly what your lights do before you hit the road.
This includes understanding things like the flash patterns and intensity of each light bar that you have installed, as well as understanding how other features on your vehicle will affect them. This includes things like your windshield wipers, radio, and more. By understanding what your lights do, you can make sure you’re operating them in a safe and effective manner during any situation on the road.
Let’s look at a specific example to outline why this is such an important area. Say you’re a police officer who has just come across a large accident on a major road at night, and you need to block off traffic from entering the area. You try to turn on your light bars in order to warn other drivers, but the intensity of your lights is too low. As a result, you end up alerting only a handful of vehicles and leaving many more confused on what’s happening; this can be extremely dangerous when working with any kind of traffic accident.
On the other side of things, however, let’s say the intensity is too high and you end up attracting even more attention from the scene, which can also be dangerous. The bottom line here is that it’s important to understand what your lights do, as well as how other drivers will perceive them, before you utilize them in real-life situations.
Ensure Proper Placement
Down similar lines, it’s also imperative that you are properly placing your emergency lights in the correct locations on your vehicle. This not only helps to keep you safe during situations, but it can also help other drivers around you understand what’s happening, and take action accordingly.
For example, if you’re working with a traffic accident at night, be sure to place your flashing lights on the ground in front of your vehicle so that other drivers can easily see what’s happening. By utilizing high-quality LED light bars from LED Equipped, you not only have ample space to place multiple lights, but you also get incredibly bright outputs for maximum visibility. Also, think about placing additional features like strobes and beacons on the roof of your vehicle, or even on your dash. This can help you to be seen by drivers coming up behind you – something that’s crucial during times when visibility is key.
Use Proper Features Based on Situations
Especially if you’re working with our team of experts at LED Equipped, you likely have multiple different light options and features within your vehicles. When using your lights during a specific situation, it’s important to use the right feature based on what you’re dealing with. This can be anything from using alternately flashing or solid-on lights to utilizing spotlights or other features as needed.
For example, let’s say you have an accident ahead and you need to alert drivers to move out of the way. In this situation, a rotating light bar will likely be your best friend; you can utilize it to get attention from drivers further in the distance who might not see your flashing lights – and if they’re coming too fast, that can be helpful here.
On the flip side, let’s say you have an issue with suspicious activity near your police car during the night. In this situation, you’ll likely want to utilize a spotlight feature (or possibly even a thermal camera) that will help you get an up-close view of what’s happening and make sure you’re able to stay safe at all times.
By understanding which features are optimal for specific situations, you can utilize your emergency lights safely and effectively while on the road. This will not only make communication easier, but it will also help you keep yourself and others around you safe at all times.
Follow Local Laws
Another area that may sound obvious, but sadly isn’t too often: If you’re utilizing emergency lights in any way during a real-life situation – whether that’s to signal other drivers, warn them of a potential hazard ahead, or anything else – be sure to follow local laws.
This includes things like the intensity of your lights and whether they’re allowed during certain days/times. It also includes making sure your light bars are approved for use on your specific vehicle, as well as that you’re not utilizing too many units at once – something that’s common during accidents to alert drivers.
For example, some police officers choose to utilize their light bars during both the day and night, but that’s actually not allowed in many cities across the United States. Even something as common as a siren is regulated by local laws, so it’s important you understand what they are before using your lights to communicate with others on the road.
By following local laws regarding your emergency lights, you’ll not only be doing your job safely and effectively – you’ll also be helping to ensure that your team is following the same rules as well.
Lights Aren’t Your Only Tools
While it’s true that LED emergency lights are often highly effective in real-life situations, it’s important to remember that they aren’t your only tool. As police officers, you likely have a number of other resources at your disposal – including but not limited to things like sirens, radios and emergency gear.
To help keep yourself safe during the times when visibility is key, utilize all the tools at your disposal. This includes things like sirens and spotlights, as well as your fellow officers in the immediate area who can help guide other drivers around the scene (while staying safe themselves).
By utilizing all of your tools, you’ll not only be able to effectively communicate with other drivers – but you’ll also keep yourself and others on the road safe at all times.
In the end, it’s important to remember that emergency lights aren’t just there for show; they’re a valuable resource when used correctly, and when you understand how best to utilize them in specific situations. Take some time to really understand the different features and tools that come with your emergency lights – as well as local laws regarding their use – and you’ll find that communication on the road is far easier than ever before. Ultimately, this will help keep not only yourself but others around you safe at all times as well.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our emergency LED lights for various vehicles, speak to the team at LED Equipped today.