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Is fire safety signage up to date on your premises?

Over the course of the pandemic, businesses have adjusted to various measures altering day-to-day operations, whether it’s down to social distancing, less staff on site, shift rotation or the premises being used in a different way for working practices. Many businesses have also changed evacuation routes and fire assembly points to comply with government guidance. It is vital that the placement of fire safety signage reflects these changes, as required by the two main pieces of fire safety legislation that cover fire safety signs: The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 and The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Here, we discuss why fire safety signs are important and list the various signs needed throughout a building.

Why are fire safety signs important?

In the event of a fire, it’s crucial for correct procedures to be clearly displayed to save lives. While employees should receive adequate training on fire safety procedures, an emergency can induce panic and fire safety signs can assist with escape direction and fire safety equipment usage. As well as this, many buildings have frequent guests, who are unlikely to know procedures and will need highly-visible signs in the case of a fire. However, fire safety signage is not just for an emergency. It is a preventative tool to reduce the spread of fire and negate improper fire safety procedures. For example, a fire door ‘keep shut’ sign reminds users to keep the door closed at all times to minimise the spread of smoke and fire in an emergency. So, what other fire safety signs are required by legislation?

Fire safety signs

Fire exit sign

These are placed above doors included in a building’s evacuation route as well as its final exit to show people how to escape the property and reach the fire assembly point. Fire exit signs are photoluminescent to help with low visibility. Each sign includes an arrow and an image of a person running in the direction to which the arrow points. This helps provide clear instruction on the direction to take in order to exit the building in the event of a fire.

Fire assembly point sign

These are highly-visible signs which inform staff, visitors, the general public and occupants of the designated meeting point in the event of a fire. Fire assembly point signs are required by current legislation and must reflect any alterations made during the pandemic. There are a number of safety considerations when choosing a fire assembly point. For example, to avoid injury from falling debris, fire assembly points must be at least 50 feet from the building. In addition, the number of people regularly using a building must dictate the size of the area of its fire assembly point.

Fire door sign

Fire doors are designed to reduce the spread of smoke and flames, protecting lives and the remainder of the building in the event of a fire. Fire door signs are essential for ensuring fire doors remain closed or locked (where applicable). This is one of the many considerations that need to be covered in order for them to be effective. Automatic fire door signs differ slightly as they instruct people to keep clear.

Fire extinguisher ID sign

Different fire extinguishers contain different contents depending on which class of fire they are intended for. Fire extinguisher ID signs provide guidance on which substance is contained within the fire extinguisher, as well as the class of fire it can and can’t be used on. It is incredibly important the sign is placed clearly with the fire extinguisher it refers to and between 1.7m and 2m high on the wall or stand, as required by BS 5499. These signs are available photoluminescent, to remain highly visible in the case of smoke or blackout, and they are also available in our range of Contempo finishes.

To learn more about communicating fire safety procedures, instructions, and the whereabouts of vital firefighting equipment, read our comprehensive guide on the categories of fire safety signage.

The content of the CheckFire blog is for general information purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, under no circumstances should it be considered professional advice. Any reliance you place on the information is at your own risk. Always seek the advice of a fire professional for your particular circumstances and requirements.
  • by Amy Moseley

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