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
By nature, fire is very unpredictable and you never know exactly when a fire might break out. You can however take steps to ensure that you know what to do, so if the worst happens you’ll be ready to act. In this article, we’ll give you some useful advice and information to make sure you are best prepared to handle the situation if a fire breaks out in your workplace.
Of course different working environments will have different fire threats and specific safety procedures associated with them, so you should always read your workplace’s fire safety policy carefully. You should also familiarise yourself with fire escape routes, assembly points, where fire equipment is located and how to use it.
The following tips are general guidelines outlining what you should do if you discover a fire, read on so that you’ll feel calm and be best prepared to take action.
- The first thing to remember is to stay calm and think logically about what you need to do. This is critical to your safety and that of those around you, panicking will only worsen the situation!
- You need to raise the alarm, do this by alerting people in the immediate area and activate the fire alarm from the nearest fire alarm call point. Most fire alarm systems nowadays have automatic fire detection in the form of smoke/heat detectors, but others will require you to break the glass of the manual call points. Instructions should be clearly displayed at each call point.
- Next, dial the fire service immediately if you can or if you can’t get someone else to do it. Time is critical when dealing with fire, so you must act fast!
- If there is any equipment that could cause major safety issues if left running during a fire, shut this down if it is safe to do so. If not you should notify the fire service straightaway on their arrival.
- You may be able extinguish small fires if you have the correct fire fighting equipment on site and located nearby.
- Only do this if you know what you are doing and you have a safe escape route. Use common sense, if it’s not safe make sure you get out and stay out!
- Before you attempt to fight the fire, it is very important check that the type of fire extinguisher you plan to use is suitable for use on the fire. There should be guidelines to help you on the extinguisher itself and signage placed around the area it is stored.
- Use caution, if you don’t know how to use a fire extinguisher safely, then it’s probably best not to. When using, remember to stand back. Fire extinguishers should be used at a safe distance of around 8-12 feet away from the fire.
- If you’ve used up a whole fire extinguisher and the flames are still not out, then the fire is too big for you to put out safely and you must leave the building immediately.
- Make your way to your nearest designated fire assembly point. On your way, close windows and doors behind you if possible, to limit the Oxygen supply and spread of flames.
- Always use the stairs in the event of a fire and NEVER the lift! Many lifts automatically stop working and return to the ground floor when the fire alarm system is triggered.
- If you believe someone is still trapped inside the building, check with fire marshals and then inform the fire service. Under no circumstances should you re-enter the building until the fire service have told you that it is safe to do so.
- Don’t be a hero, the fire service are specially trained and have the appropriate equipment to rescue people from burning buildings. If you fail to take notice of this point you may actually put your own life and others in serious danger.
As they say, prevention is better than the cure and this is especially true in the case of fire. Every workplace should put in place fire protection measures, to reduce the risk of fire occurring and safeguard its employees.
Find out how your workplace can best protect itself against fire, with a fire risk assessment from our fully qualified fire protection specialists. At Euro Fire Protection we also offer a free site survey for your premises, contact us today to find out more and see what we can do to make your working environment a safer place.Tags: fighting small fires, fire action, fire safety, fires in the workplace, what to do in a fire