You may have seen the phrase “caution tape” used to apply to a broad range of barrier messages, including ones that do not contain the word “caution.” If you work in an area that deals with safety or construction, you may be familiar with this use. People have also gotten into the habit of using the term “caution tape” to refer to barricade tapes of any kind. This is similar to the way that some Americans might be in the habit of using the word “rollerblades” when referring to inline skates of any kind (or a multitude of other hyper-specific misnomers).
What exactly is barricade tape, though?
In point of fact, the term “barricade tape” more appropriately describes what most people are referring to when they make this reference. While the term “caution tape” refers specifically to the yellow polyethylene tape with caution messaging printed on it, the term “barricade tape” refers to any polyethylene tape, with or without any kind of message printed on it, that is placed to create a barricade around a perimeter in order to increase caution.
Although “caution tape” is almost certainly the form of barricade tape that is used the most often, it is important to note that this is not the only kind of barricade tape. In most cases, there are two primary varieties of barrier tape:
- Caution Tape: Caution tape often has black letters on a yellow polyethylene ribbon. This creates a high contrast “Caution” message that is simple to detect and heightens the sense of urgency. Caution Tape Messages such as “Caution – Do Not Enter” and “Caution – No Parking” might be included in this category. Some warning tape makes use of the strong contrast between black and yellow by including diagonal stripes on the tape. These stripes are designed to grab the attention of drivers, although the tape itself contains no message whatsoever.
- Danger Tape: Instead of white letters on a yellow ribbon, danger tape has black lettering on top of a red polyethylene ribbon. The message that is used in these scenarios often contains the phrase “Danger,” and its primary purpose is to heighten the amount of warning that may be present with the option of using yellow caution tape. While warning tape is most likely to be used in settings with a level of risk, danger tape is utilised in settings with a level of risk that is much higher. In the case of red tape, for example, the sign may read “Danger – Do Not Enter” rather than “Caution – Do Not Enter.”
These are some of the most typical applications for polyethylene warning tapes used for barricades. However, there are a great number of notable outliers. The following are some of the different kinds of barrier tapes that are often seen:
- Crime Scene and Police Tape in Yellow Sometimes the perimeters of crime scenes are sealed off with yellow tape, but the meaning is clear. For example, the police could seal off the area with tape that bears warnings such as “Crime Scene – Do Not Cross” or “Police Line – Do Not Cross.” This makes it quite obvious that law enforcement officers may be entering and exiting the boundary, but pedestrians and other people moving through the area should keep their distance.
- Tape for Subsurface Hazards There are instances when gas lines or other underground hazards need to be marked with tape in case excavation is performed. However, the tape does not need to be visible from the surface. “nondetectable subterranean tape” is the name given to these recordings. In spite of the fact that they are often manufactured from polyethylene, much like barrier tape, they may be any color in order to attract the attention of an excavator. “Gas Line Below” is an example of the sort of message that may be seen on this kind of tape.
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