Universal First Aid Signs

Are you planning on travelling this summer break? Thinking of heading to a non-English speaking country?

You've learnt the basic words of the destinations language; "yes", "no", "toilet", "food". But have you thought about learning "help", "first aid", "defibrillator", "exit", or "hospital"?

Be First Aid prepared and educate you and your loved ones on how to ask for help in an emergency or accidental situation.

Australia Wide First Aid also encourages you to keep an eye out for the Universal First Aid signs, as displayed below:



An Exit Sign is a device in a public facility representing the location of the closet emergency exit in case of fire or other emergency. This sign is meant to be absolutely unmistakeable and understandable to anyone.

In most regions, including European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and China, exit signs have green lighting. In this colour scheme, red is used to show prohibited activities.

In Canada and United Signs, Exit Signs have green or red lighting, usually red.




In Greek Mythology, the Rod of Asclepius is a serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek God Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicine.

The symbol has continued to be used in modern times, where it is associated with medicine and health care. A number of organisations and services around the world use the rod of Asclepius as their logo, or part of their logo. These include:

  • Emergency Medical Services in the United Kingdom
  • Academy of Medicine of Malaysia
  • American Medical Association
  • Army Medical Department of the U.S. Army
  • Australian Medical Association
  • World Health Organisation
  • Medical Council of India
  • Star of Life, Symbol of Emergency Services
  • and so on...




Hospital signs are normally located on the side of the road, occupying their own blue coloured sign.

The sign pictured here can also be seen placed on large directional street signs, including motorway exits.









The internationally accepted symbol for first aid is a white cross on a green background, as shown here. When you see this sign, it indicates where you should be able to find people, tools, or a facility providing first aid care to preserve life, prevent conditions from worsening, and/or promote recovery.

Australia Wide First Aid recommends, not one, but two people you travel with be trained in first aid. This will allow you to have peace of mind when travelling, knowing you and one other person have first aid skills and knowledge to help fellow travellers, again, preserving life, preventing conditions from worsening, and/or promoting recovery.





In September 2008, the International Liaison Committee of Resuscitation issued a 'universal AED sign' to be adopted throughout the world. This indicates the presence of an Automated External Defibrillator.

Defibrillators are also highly visible and public access defibrillator are often brightly coloured. This is to help them stand out in a time of emergency.

Click here to find out the most common place for a defibrillator to be found.






A fire extinguisher or extinguisher is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in an emergency situations. It is not intended to be used for an out-of-control fire, such as one which flames have reached the ceiling. A fire extinguisher sign is small and designed to be mounted near a fire extinguisher in order to draw attention to the extinguisher's location.

Would you like to learn first aid?

Australia Wide First Aid courses in locations around Australia. Our venue locations include:

Recently published

Logo for Food Allergy Week Food Allergy Week 2022
Girl Allergic Reaction to FoodAnaphylaxis and Food Allergies
Olivia Rodrigo Singing Accidents on the Red Carpet
Doctor or Nurse Wearing Medical Personal Protective EquipmentFirst Aid Training During Lockdown
First Aid Kit With ContentsDIY First Aid Kit
Symptoms of Heat Cramp LeadFirst Aid for Heat Cramp
Helicopter rescue in the bushAustralian Bush needs to be treated with respect
Paralysis Tick bite causing an allergic reactionBest Way to Remove Paralysis Ticks
Group ExerciseAsthma and Exercise
Masks and Social Distancing for Coronavirus and First AidCOVID-19 UPDATE - 4 August