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Type of Warning Lights

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  • Type of Warning Lights

    Does the company you work for use or allow the use of flashing warning lights on company vehicles? If so, what type of equipment is it? What type does your state law allow? For what purpose are the lights used?
    "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

  • #2
    On our airport patrol vehicle we have a whelen
    red/blue 8 strobe lightbar with amber traffic director on the back side
    The lightbar is used to respond to any intrusion alarms and any other emergencys occuring at the airport. Also when we are on the airside (runway area) we are required to have a amber beacon on.

    Also the take down/alley lights are real nice to use when conducting perimeter checks and for lighting up the inside of suspiscious vehicles or scene lighting.
    Last edited by plankeye; 11-29-2005, 09:33 PM.


    • #3
      Originally posted by 1stWatch
      Does the company you work for use or allow the use of flashing warning lights on company vehicles? If so, what type of equipment is it? What type does your state law allow? For what purpose are the lights used?
      Some residential posts, I've worked, want the patrol vehicle to show lights at all times - reason? - so the residents know you're there - the ever popular "displaying a security presence."

      I've been tempted to suggest we sport loudspeakers informing ne'r-do-wells where we are - or are not - at any given time. I'm sure they would appreciate the consideration.
      If you can't see the humor, leave your gun at the door!


      • #4
        The mall i work for has wheelen edge 9000 strobe light bar all amber on the truck. the strobes are inop right now. We have deck lights and takedowns and alleys that work. I also placed a Dash light in the unit for emergencies since the strobe dont work. They try to make us use the ambers all the time. But i have pointed out serval flaws to this. 1. This allows people commiting crimes to know where we are and know when we pass so they can do what they want. 2. people will never know if there is a emergency or not when we roll around lit up all the time. (this includes police) Even though not required people actually do pull over for us on property. 3. This creates extreme amounts of wear and tear on the Box and power supply. 4. When we actually need them they dont work. So i and many officers dont roll lit up all the time. In a world where counterterriorism efforts are becoming ever more important do we really want to let people know where we are all the time. This just makes it easier for terrorist to do survillance on a target. By them being able to follow the flashing light around. Thats just my thoughts though.
        Here endith the lesson


        • #5
          Florida permits only an amber light. On a residential or commercial property, it may be turned on at any time. Off property, it may only be used when hazards may be used.

          Wisconsin authorizes any color light, save blue, on private property. Amber and white is traditional, but many private police agencies use a combination of red/red, red/white, and red/amber. Tow trucks, amusingly, MUST display a red/red light when actively picking up a tow on a public street. No other private vehicle may display red to the front on public roads.

          I've always been partial to Streethawks (Shh!), Whelen Edge lightbars, and 911EP dash/deck/traffic advisor sticks. By shopping on ebay, I can pick up 1,000 plus lightbars for about 400-500 dollars, and 911EP sticks for 50.

          I do not believe that the client's interest is served by running warning lights at all times, as the patrons will begin to tune the lights out - to the point they serve no purpose other than to increase wear and tear on company equipment. Law enforcement officers, when advised by dispatch, will home in on warning lights - of any color, which will aid them in locating the correct area they need to be. So will other security officers in patrol situations.

          Oh, and I like to stick red strobes in the brake lights, and clear strobes in the cornering lights. Outlining the profile of the vehicle is good so people do not hit it. Unless they're intoxicated and home in on lights. (Which is another good reason why not to run your lights at all times.)
          Some Kind of Commando Leader

          "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law


          • #6
            Most of the vehicles my company uses do not use warning lights, but those that do use a basic design lightbar with yellow rotating lights and takedown and alley lights. These are used for visibility when stopped behind an impassable traffic hazard ie a wreck.
            The law in my state prohibits the use of red, white, or blue flashing lights, but that becomes nonapplicable when used on a private property that you have control over. One company I used to work for implemented blue strobe dash lights and yellow deck lights. The blue was used specifically for stopping cars on private property while performing an arrest; however, that practice was stopped when some morons working for us were stopping cars on the street or were stopping people just for the hell of it. A lot of security I see around uses blue for visibility too.
            I have seen some other colors used too, such as green, purple, and orange. Those haven't been declared illegal here, but they are not commonly seen.
            "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."


            • #7
              That's interesting. I could see someone successfully suing or having a security officer charged with impersonating a public police officer for displaying law enforcement lights, wearing a law enforcement uniform, and effecting a traffic stop - while on private property. The whole "totality of impersonation" thing.

              Companies that throw red or blue lights in their cruisers, and use them on private property, tread very thinly indeed - all someone has to say was, "I thought he was a police officer, I was taught from grade school only the police have red/blue lights."
              Some Kind of Commando Leader

              "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law


              • #8
                That has been done and charges like that have been filed on security. The defense to such conduct is only that it was done on the private property and the arrest was just that - an arrest.
                Lots of officers in Dallas have objected to security wearing the blue uniform, but it has finally been decided our uniforms are indeed "official" uniforms since they are registered with the state dps, approved, and issued.
                There has been a lot of heated discussion about the blue lights and charges filed on people for using them - rightfully so in most cases. I heard one group of security guards was using those to pull over dwi's on the freeway! Most patrol companies that proactively do arrests have stopped using flashing lights because of this type of thing. This comes back to the company itself though. Train your people properly because what you don't know can and will hurt you, especially if you walk a thin line like this.
                "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."


                • #9
                  there is a college right next door to the airport I work at and they effect traffic stops using red/blue lightbars, they are security as well, but the college I guess issues fines to students that they stop,

                  Now the patrol vehicle we drive at the airport does have reb/blue lights, the vehicle is city owned and licensed as official thats probably how we are able to drive on city streets with our lights not on of course, i know some states if you are caught off of private property with official colors red/blue whatever they can stop you and pursue possible impersonation charges. However we cannot activate our lights on city streets unless advised by dispatch, which has happened before when law enforcement requested immediate assistance from us.

                  But I do strongly believe that any type of security enforcement operation should have emergency lighting whether you need to block a certain road off or parking lot or to responding to emergencys on property faster, even if its only amber in color, amber is the brightest color you can get in a light, also making the patrol vehicle look more authoritive. Now for in a mall setting, i would not drive around with all the lights on, but possibly maybe the lightbar's flashers or other secondary lighting option the lightbar has, simply for the fact that nowadays alot of drivers are distracted and it could prevent you from being rear ended, or if you were rear ended or struck by another motor vehicle, you had emergency warning lights on and it could aid in your defense possibly. Just my .02 worth


                  • #10
                    For you, Plankeye, your situation seems very intreguing. You perform what some would consider law enforcement duties, you drive an authorized emergency vehicle on a restricted sterile area, and have access to information that most security companies simply are not authorized to have - NCIC.

                    I would wager to say that by most state standards, you are not a "security officer," but some sort of "special conservator of the peace," or perhaps a "special police officer." BUt then, your also in North Dakota, which if its anything like South Dakota - the rules change considerably when your nearest sworn backup is 40 miles away, and you need to rely on anyone with training and a gun.
                    Some Kind of Commando Leader

                    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law


                    • #11
                      There is one place that used red lights for along time. I use to see them all the time in town when ever I visited this city. It was a closed to the public private community full of rich folks. According to talk they had a letter in each vehicle from the county sheriff allowing them to have red lights on thier secuirty vehicles. But what I thought was rather odd. It that not a state statue and not a county one? I worked a part time job like this for a private community and even thier on site fire department (really was a bunch of retired fire folks) had amber lights. Not to mention our cars (if you can call a Cavalier a car, ack!) had amber as well.

                      Also there for a while some security firms were using green lights in various ways, light bar, dash or grill mounts. But somewhere along the way the state decided that it was to be used for as a "command post" recognition light for various public safety agencies. At one time back in 1990 in Tampa I saw an entire reserve fire unit decked with green lights. I use to see a lot of mall security and hospital security vehicles using green lights. Looked good, but I guess if you are slightly color blind or from another country one could think they where blue. I use the strobe units housed in my forward and rear running corner lamps of my (company) SUV. They are all clear strobes and have helped a lot in high profile duties. In fact one night we had a ATM falut alarm indicate as a full alarm break in of the money cassatte vault. My truck was parked right in front of the ATM kiosk and when the police arrived they all were in ready to kick but mode but not "shoot mode" thanks to the lights.

                      I think it would be nice if the state would allow some kind of lighting color for security. After all who's going to pull over for a tow truck.
                      My views, opinions and statements are my own. They are not of my company, affiliates or coworkers.

                      -Being bagger at Publix has more respect these days

                      -It's just a job kid deal with it

                      -The industry needs to do one of two things; stop fiddling with the thin line and go forward or go back to that way it was. A flashlight in one hand and your set of keys in the other


                      • #12

                        In my state, a sheriff or the BMV may authorize a vehicle to be equipped with emergency lights and siren. Moreover, volunteer and off-duty EMS personal may equip their POV?s with emergency lights (green) and siren, with a permit from the state emergency management agency.

                        Generally speaking, security is restricted to yellow lights only (in Indiana). In my state, yellow is generic-just about anyone can run them. The other colors are assigned as follows:

                        Red/White & Siren: DOT, DOC, Hospitals (including hosp security), Fire, EMS, Funeral Escorts, Volunteer Fire Chiefs, Police

                        Red/Blue & Siren: Police, Funeral Escorts

                        Blue/No Siren (no legal authority): Volunteer Firefighters

                        Green & Siren: EMS POV

                        Only emergency vehicles may display a flashing and/or rearward facing white light.
                        I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
                        -Lieutenant Commander Data


                        • #13
                          "drive an authorized emergency vehicle on a restricted sterile area"

                          that too, most of the time its not on the airside, except if there would be any emergency on the airside, or someone who jumped the perimeter fence or an escort.

                          I think security should be allowed under state laws to use emergency lighting
                          I would say something like Amber/white/green to the front and Amber/red/green to the rear, There would be no reason to have white facing rear except for maybe having strobes in your reverse lights but thats about it.

                          Last edited by plankeye; 12-01-2005, 11:35 PM.


                          • #14
                            We use vehicles provided by the client at the site. As the EMT, I use a Plymoth Voyager minivan with medical equiptment as our medical response and patrol van. On the roof we have a red magnet mounted Code 3 minibar for use in the plant. Other, security only, officers use different vehicles but have no markings or lights on them.
                            Hospital Security Officer


                            • #15
                              Sounds like most states use the same or similar standards....
                              I'm still investigating this to be sure, but from what I've heard and found in WA laws, red is strictly for emergency vehicles, and green is for command vehicles only.... However, I still haven't found ANY restrictions on blue, which just seems odd to me... Hence, why I'm still investigating it...
                              OR laws state green for command/hazmat vehicles only, blue for police and fire only, and only registered emergency vehicles or tows can use red to the front.... Red to the rear is fine, and amber is generally allowed towards the front.. (Technically against the statute, but noone pays attention to amber or clear to the front)
                              Biggest thing though, is this comes right back to training, just like everything else. I know of a couple security companies in the Portland area that have red/blue to the front, (dash only, no actual lightbars) and use them for emergency scenes, as well as traffic issues on private property. The reason they get away with it? They train their guys VERY well... State laws have dictated that a traffic stop is a form of detainment, henceforth, security cannot make a traffic stop unless they have witnessed a crime being committed... The number of criminal traffic issues is fairly small, (Wreckless, DUI, etc), so as you can imagine there's not a LOT of traffic stops being made, but it does happen from time to time... As long as the SO's are well trained, and WELL supervised on the use of the lights, it shouldn't be an issue... all it takes is one bad apple, though... We all know how that goes..

                              Personally, I've made 2 traffic stops on my property in the past year... both times were for extreme wreckless driving, almost hitting pedestrians in the parking lot... One had no license, and local PD was more than happy to take them off my hands...

                              Anyhow, rambled enough for now... Be safe guys!
                              Corbier's Commandos - "Stickin it to the ninjas!"
                              Originally posted by ValleyOne
                              BANG, next thing you know Bob's your Uncle and this Sgt is seemingly out on his a$$.
                              Shoulda called in sick.
                              Be safe!