What does this sign with the red "X" mean?
January 19, 2007 8:16 AM   Subscribe

What does this sign with the red "X" mean?

I frequently see, attached to the front of certain buildings, a large white sign with a red "X" that goes corner to corner (full bleed). I originally thought it was a sign that indicated the building was to be demolished ("demolish here"), but I've since seen as many instances where the building so marked was just refurbished as I have instances where the building was razed.

Google fails me, and I'm certain somebody here must know it.

Here's the closest thing I could find to show what this looks like. Picture this about 2 feet square, attached to the front of a structure. Red X
posted by Pliskie to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
Don't worry about that, it just means that the builder ran out of a particular panel type and is waiting for a refresh from the vendor.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:30 AM on January 19, 2007 [2 favorites]

What geography have you seen this in?
posted by smackfu at 8:30 AM on January 19, 2007

Geography? I'm not sure I understand your question, but I've seen it on commercial structures adjacent to main or secondary roads in the Northeastern US.
posted by Pliskie at 8:35 AM on January 19, 2007

Hm. "I require assistance" - maybe it means "now hiring". Which would effectively mean, "Now hiring sailors, the only people who know what this means." Doesn't make much sense for a construction site, unless the whatever-construction-union borrowed the symbol for the same meaning.
In any case, it's apparently not one of the common symbols everyone knows, so it's probably one of those, "If you don't understand, it's not for you anyway" signals.
posted by ctmf at 8:58 AM on January 19, 2007

Or maybe it's just the logo of a construction company in your area.
posted by ctmf at 9:00 AM on January 19, 2007

I think it means 'unfit for human habitation'. Buildings which have just been refurbed are still considered this until they get an occupancy permit or similar from the city.
posted by unSane at 9:23 AM on January 19, 2007

Here in NYC a spraypainted square with an X inside it means that a building is unsafe to enter, but I only have that from common knowledge, not from any real source. I'm not sure if it means the building is unsafe to enter and slated to be demolished or if it can also mean unsafe to enter until renovation or just unsafe to enter and abandoned.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:25 AM on January 19, 2007

Is it usually on windows? Could be that they're indicating to the construction workers that they can't bring supplies in through that orifice.

I've seen similar things on large windows of buildings when there's construction going on.
posted by Nodecam at 10:17 AM on January 19, 2007

It means that Firefighters are not to enter the building. It has been determined that the building is structurally unsound in the case of a fire the roof or walls may collapse prematurely.
posted by Gungho at 10:34 AM on January 19, 2007

Sure enough, Gungho and TheOnlyCoolTim have it. Seems to be part of the"FEMA Building Marking System". (big PDF link)

Thanks, all!
posted by Pliskie at 10:49 AM on January 19, 2007

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