What You Need To Know Before Using Hazard Tape

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Hazard tape is often used to cordon off areas that pose some danger. They help to give a clear warning that the area should be avoided. They are particularly helpful where construction or related repairs are being carried out, in laboratories, industrial work zones, and factories. They may also be used where there has been an accident or crime to keep people away. 

Whether there is high foot traffic or not, the use of this tape helps to keep people alert of danger. When used, they give warning of hazards so people can carefully manoeuvre around the area. Here is what you need to know about this handy tool.

Colour Coding

Hazard tape can be obtained in a variety of colours that indicate the level of danger. Their design is typically made up of stripes of two colours. Here are some of the most common colour combinations and what they mean as specified by OSHA.

  • Red and White – this indicates a fire hazard and is often used to cordon off areas during and after a fire event. 
  • Black and White – often used in supermarkets and commercial properties during housekeeping and for aisle marking. 
  • Black and Yellow – used to indicate danger from physical risks like low hanging objects and trip hazards. 
  • Blue and White – used to identify defective machinery to keep off.
  • Orange and White – used to warn of traffic incidents or repair works on roads. 
  • Pink and Yellow –indicates radiation hazards. 

In the UK, hazard tapes are most commonly found in the red/white and yellow/black combinations in a diagonal pattern. 


These tapes can also be printed with differently worded warnings to better communicate the seriousness of the situation. Phrases such as “Do Not Enter”, “Danger”, “High Voltage” and “Caution” are commonly used. These can also be combined with warning symbols for emphasis. 


Hazard tapes can easily be customised with whatever colours and wording that you want. You can even have the width and thickness of the tape adjusted to whatever dimensions, depending on the purpose. There are also different materials to choose from. This can include options such as polyester, PVC and vinyl. You can opt to have the tape with adhesive or non-adhesive. Self-adhesive designs can be very helpful when you intend to apply them to a wall, floor or other surfaces.


Since hazard tape can be customised in different ways, it is best to go for durable and highly visible materials and sizing. This is especially important if the tape will be used in outdoor areas. Being exposed to the elements can lead to damage. If it is an area with traffic, there is also the problem of ensuring visibility. Durable reflective material is necessary to ensure the tape remains visible even in harsh conditions like fogginess and rain. Reflective or light coloured stripes will also be more visible if used in darkened places. Also, when it comes to the choice of material, in places where there is wildlife, you may want to go for biodegradable or eco-friendly materials that will pose less of a risk if consumed.