It is important to install fire safety signage in workplaces, schools and public buildings to give easy visual guidance so that people can quickly identify the location of fire exits, alarms and equipment.
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 together with the Health & Safety (Safety Signs) & Signals Regulations it is also a legal requirement for public buildings, and any to which the general public or customers have access, to display fire safety signs, so it’s essential to know what types of fire signage are available and which types you require for your business premises.
Appearance and location of fire safety signs
Fire safety signage has a standardised appearance and will usually be made up of text and a pictogram (both in white), with a colour coded background of either red or green. Fire safety signs with a green background indicate fire escape routes, emergency exits and assembly points, whereas signs with a red background identify and show the location of fire fighting equipment and alarm activation points.
There are also some signs that also include additional information on usage of the equipment, particularly fire extinguishers which have specific usage requirements; these are positioned immediately by the equipment and usually have a red background.
Some additional signage placed around fire alarm points may provide information on what to do in the event of a fire. This signage typically features white pictograms and/or text on a red background. These types of signs vary slightly as they offer specific instructions for a building, but most follow a standardised format.
A fire may affect a building’s lighting, so it would be recommended that fire safety signs are photoluminescent and glow in the dark so they can still be read in poor light.
Emergency exit and escape route signage
These signs are used to show alternative escape routes to exit a building in the event of a fire. They are usually placed above a fire escape door where they are clearly visible. In large buildings or factories where the location of fire escape doors is not immediately obvious, fire exit signs with arrows may be placed at points around the building to direct people along an escape route towards fire escape doors.
Fire exit doors often have push bars, so additional signs may be found on the door instructing people to push the door in the event of a fire.
In some cases fire escape doors may be located in an area that could easily become obstructed; therefore signage is then necessary informing users to keep the fire exit clear at all times. This should be placed on both sides of the door to ensure the fire escape door can function properly if needed and are white writing on a blue background.
Signage indicating fire fighting equipment & alarm activation points
All fire fighting equipment, such as fire extinguishers, hose reels and fire blankets should have a sign placed in close proximity to identify the equipment. If the equipment is hidden from view there may need to be additional signage used with arrows to guide people to the equipment.
As some fire equipment, particularly fire extinguishers have specific usage guidelines, signs are needed to outline their use. For example there are different type of fire extinguishers and some are more appropriate to use on a certain class of fire than others. In some environments where there may be the threat of several types of fire, all extinguishers should include signage explaining which types of fire that they are suitable for.
‘Fire Action’ and ‘In Case of Fire’ signage
When a fire occurs people often panic, so it is helpful to display information on what they should do. This will usually be located on the wall in public areas with high footfall such as reception areas, canteens and next to fire alarm activation points.
Information should be given on what to do if a fire is discovered and where the nearest assembly point is. Additional advice may be supplied at the bottom of the sign against a red background, on what should not be done under any circumstances during a fire.
These signs usually include special advice relating to a specific building’s fire evacuation plans.
Additional Fire Signage
If your business has fire doors installed, these will need to be kept shut unless you have a system that automatically closes all of the fire doors when the fire alarm is triggered. Signage should be placed on fire doors to identify which should be kept closed. The sign should be positioned where it is most noticeable, usually at eye level towards the centre of the door. Fire door signs are usually round with white writing on a blue background.
In some situations there may also be the need for specialist fire instructions, these are usually displayed on signs with a green background. An example of this may be ‘in case of fire break glass’ signs where the sign displays a direct instruction on what a person should do in the event of a fire.
Fire Safety Signage – Quick Tick List
- Fire escapes/keep clear fire exit signs
- Fire assembly point signs
- Fire fighting equipment signs
- Fire extinguisher identification and instruction signs
- Fire call point signs
- Fire action/In case of fire signs
- Fire door signs
- Electrical or hazard warning signs
If you’re unsure what fire safety signage your premises needs, then get in touch with the professionals. At Euro Fire Protection we can provide you with a free site survey to assess the types of fire safety signs you need and the where these should ideally be positioned.
For expert fire protection advice and equipment – contact the Euro Fire Protection team today on 08000 515 199Tags: fire extinguisher instructions, fire safety signs, in case of fire, safety signage, what to do in a fire