Using mirrors to help provide a safe and secure work environment is good practice. When positioned appropriately, security mirrors alert personnel of danger or theft. These mirrors are also useful in factories where foot and forklift traffic can cross paths, in offices where blind intersections and corners exist and at front desk/office locations where individuals need to view normally blocked access areas.
Security mirrors come in four styles – convex, dome, flat panel and inspection. The most commonly asked security mirror questions are what style of mirror is best, what material of construction should be selected and where should the mirror(s) be placed for optimal viewing.
Here we will take a closer look at convex, dome and flat panel security mirrors, what they are best used for and how to determine what mirror will be best suited to your application.
If an application calls for the need to view objects in some detail at distances of roughly 15 to 20 feet, then a convex mirror is suggested. A convex mirror has a curved mirrored surface that allows for the reflective surface to project toward a light source. Convex mirrors reflect light outwards, they are not used to focus light, and therefore act similar to that of a standard mirror. Convex mirrors form a virtual image of reflection since the focus and the center of curvature are both imaginary points inside of the mirror. When trying to view and pinpoint a particular area, use a convex mirror. Since the lens of a convex mirror is curved less than that of a dome style mirror, the image in the convex mirror appears larger and less distorted. Convex safety mirrors allow for up to 180 degrees of vision, and can be used to view at an angle to reduce accidents around blind corners and doorways. As an example, convex mirrors are effective when viewing aisle traffic in a store or warehouse. In the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Powered Industrial Truck eTool, it’s recommended that convex mirrors be installed at blind aisle intersections.
Convex mirrors are offered in circular or round rectangular shapes. Round rectangular convex mirrors are an ideal choice where hanging in low ceiling areas is necessary. Convex mirrors come in several materials and can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Dome safety and security mirrors offer a panoramic view of an area. Typically for indoor use. dome mirrors help eliminate blind spots and increase visibility at a broader angle than convex mirrors. Dome mirrors are available in full, half, and quarter dome models. Dome mirrors are effective when used to view wide areas where the objects that need to be clearly viewed are no more than 15 to 20 feet away. A dome mirror lens is curved more than the convex mirror lens. The curvature allows for a wider angle of vision. Dome mirrors provide an infinite reflection; however, the further away a person is from the mirror the smaller the objects will appear. If the selected dome mirror is too small or positioned too far away for observation, the objects will appear so small that they are virtually unidentifiable. This is due to the curvature of the dome lens and the relatively short height/depth ratio on a dome mirror. The larger the mirror, the larger the objects will appear.