Flames

Essential Fire Safety Signage

With fire posing deadly risks and devastating consequences, it is essential that fire safety is top of your agenda when considering health & safety signage for your business. Ensuring that you are prepared for the eventuality of a fire help can you avoid employee and visitor injury, protect against costly damages and recently increased health & safety breach fines.

 

Where do I start…?

If you’re responsible for the fire safety in your workplace, then the first step is to conduct a fire risk assessment of the premises. This will allow you to:

  • Identify risks and hazards
  • Control for identified risks by implementing appropriate fire safety measures
  • Make plans for an emergency
  • Inform staff of fire safety procedures
  • The Health and Safety (Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 act states that safety signage should be used where there is a significant risk to health and safety where other methods cannot control the risk. Signs must conform to BS ISO 7010 standard to ensure consistency.Work environments come in all shapes and sizes so fire safety requirements will differ, however we have put together a recommendation of some of the essential fire safety signs you should be displaying around your business:

 

Fire Exit Signage

Fire Exit Sign

If your building has a simple layout and it is clear and obvious where the exit is e.g a door at the front of a small shop – then fire exit signage is not a requirement.

However for bigger or more complex buildings signage is essential. You should first determine your primary exit route.

This should be the shortest and quickest route out of a building from any given location – for these routes use the Exit signage.

You also need to plan a secondary escape route in case a fire makes the primary route impassable. For this route and for all other routes out of a building use the Fire Exit Signage:

  • If in any doubt about which signs to use – use the Fire Exit Signage throughout the entire building
  • From any position within a building an escape sign should be visible
  • Once you have passed the first sign the next sign on the route should be clearly visible
  • You will need further signage at every change of direction
  • Final exit signs must be above all final exit doors
  • Signs must not be conflicting – e.g. two arrow up back to back sign could cause confusion or people from opposite directions running in to each other

Your fire exit signage is part of the safe condition category, these signs are identified by white text on a green background and gives information on escape routes or first aid. For more information about which direction you require and viewing distances check out our easy to follow blog on understanding fire signage here.

 

Fire Door Signage

Fire door keep shut

Fire doors are crucial in slowing the spread of fire. When closed, they act as a barrier to help prevent the fire from spreading and when open they allow as a means of escape.

All fire doors should be marked with the appropriate sign dependent on the type of exit. The following signage is mandatory (white text on blue background) which indicates a course of action must be taken. Where appropriate the sign should be displayed on both sides of the door.

  • Fire Door Keep Shut – use for fire doors that need to be closed when not in use
  • Fire Door Keep Locked Shut – use for fire doors that must be kept locked when not in use
  • Automatic Fire Door Keep Clear – use for doors that are held open by an automatic mechanism

 

Fire Action Notice

The purpose of a fire action notice is to inform employees or visitors of what action to take in the event of a fire. These signs can come with spaces to fill in details and gives information such as:

  • Phone number to call the fire brigadeFire Action Notice
  • Address of building
  • How to exit the building
  • Assembly point information
  • Specific instructions regarding the building

There are a range of different fire action notices – such as notices for buildings with lifts, for residential care homes, for people with mobility issues etc. Ensure you choose the correct sign for your business and the people who use it/have access to. It is a good idea to position your fir action notice next to your fire alarm call point. This means that whoever is activating the alarm has details on what to do and where to go on sounding the alarm.

 

Fire Assembly point

Fire Assembly Point

 

Your emergency exit routes need to lead as directly as possible to a safe area. This should be far enough away from the building so that emergency services are able to avoid interference and so potential debris from the fire is avoided.

When determining your fire assembly point you must also ensure this is suitable for vulnerable people when exiting a building such as elderly people or people with mobility issues.

Fire Safety Equipment:

It is crucial that staff and visitors are aware of the location of fire safety equipment and how to use it in the event of a fire. Current legislation states that all fire safety equipment which requires manual handing must be easy to locate and have clear signage. Fire safety equipment signs are red with white text to allow for easy identification

– Fire Extinguishers

It is recommended to display signage giving details on fire extinguishers types (water, Co2, Hydrospray, powder, wet chemical & AFF foam) so that people can quickly choose the chose the correct extinguisher in an emergency depending on the type of fire.

The majority of fires can be successfully tackled in the first few minutes with the correct extinguisher; therefore it is vital that staff are aware of the location and detail of extinguishers. Signage, with symbols to accompany instructions, should be displayed next to every extinguisher location.

 

Fire Extinguishers

 

– Fire Alarm Call PointFire alarm call point

It is mandatory to display a fire alarm call point sign next to all fire alarm points. A fire alarm call point enables people to quickly raise the alarm in the event of an emergency or fire.

UK fire alarm regulations (BS 5839) recommend fire alarm systems to be inspected at least every 6 months and tested weekly to help prevent false alarms and alert occupants in the event of a fire.

 

– Other fire safety equipment signage

If you have other fire safety equipment on your premises then you should also include signage to highlight the location. This includes but is not limited to:

Fire hose reel, fire blanket, dry riser & wet riser signs.

Fire hose reelFire Blanket Wet riserDry Riser

 

Glow with the flow…

All of our Fire safety signs are available in photoluminescent material. The glow admitted from the  signs will help staff and visitors make their way out of a building or locate fire safety equipment if the lighting fails. There are multiple benefits of your photoluminescent signage, to read about these read our blog here.

 

School signs

School Holiday Sign Audit

With the summer holidays around the corner, students can breathe a sigh of relief, and teachers can jet away for a much needed break. However, for some it’s a great time to take stock, plan for the new academic year ahead and think about changes that can be made to the school premises.

School holidays are an ideal time to carry out a school safety sign audit. The building, grounds and car parks will be easier to access during this time and provides the ideal opportunity to audit your school signage.

It’s a perfect time to make sure your signs are present, in good condition and conform to the latest legislation. Take the time to walk around your premises, include the playground, games areas or playing field and car & bike parks.  It may take a couple of trips round if you have a large or complicated building layout. Note all your existing fire and safety signs. Do you have all the necessary signs covered by legislation? While it isn’t yet a requirement to change all your existing safety signs to the new ISO 7010 versions, the advice is not to mix signage from different legislative standards. Best practice recommends, if changes or additions are needed, updating to the most recent standard.

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School entrance signSchool Identity

In many counties throughout the UK, schools are changing. Many are moving from first and middle schools to ‘through’ primaries or becoming Academies. Thought will have to be given to how the new school will present itself, signage is the ideal way to communicate school identity messages. The start of a new term can be an anxious time for new pupils, clear way-finding signage can help to alleviate worries about getting lost in the new and strange school.

Stocksigns has been working with schools for many years building up an understanding of the unique challenges faced by teachers and local authorities. We have created some education sign resources to help schools get the best from their signage.

 

 

Information and way finding

Lost property school sign

Simple and effective wayfinding systems will help new students orientate themselves quickly. We offer a large range of school information signs to clearly mark areas around your school premises such as Classrooms, Library’s, entrances and offices.

Help teach organisation skills by clearly marking storage areas. Our primary school signs are available as standard in dark blue, green, light blue or red. If you’d like your own school colours, logo or any specialist design just let us know and we can create this for you as part of our custom service.

 

 

CCTV Sign

Security

School holidays can also be a great opportunity to see if there is a need too increase security to your grounds or buildings. An empty school yard can be a tempting hangout so increasing security signage can be enough of a deterrent to keep school property vandalism free .

 

Signage Condition

What condition are your safety signs in? Safety signs over time can become dirty or damaged with environmental factors also playing a role in their condition. Signs in areas of high traffic can become dirty quickly. Make sure all signs are clean,clear and can be easily read.Where signs  are illegible and beyond cleaning they should be replaced them where necessary.

 

 

 

National Three Peaks Challenge

This Friday we start our epic Three Peaks Challenge! This involves climbing the 3 highest peaks in the UK in 24 hours. We are raising money for our partner agency RoSPA’s  (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Brighter Beginnings campaign. This was launched as part of their centenary celebration after discovering that a third of parents felt they didn’t have enough information to protect their children . The appeal has already seen the launch of:

  •           A Parent Hub – with helpful information to keep children safe
  •           A freephone helpline –  providing 24 hour support on the phone and over email

As accidents continue to be the biggest killer of children and young people under 19 the work the carry out  is invaluable.

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The challenge begins in Scotland on Friday 23rd with our ascent up Ben Nevis at 4pm. The peak is the highest in the UK at 4, 411.18ft! We then descend at pace before cramming back into our mini bus and head south to England.

Next up is Scafell Pike, we start our ascent in darkness at the cringingly early time of 2.30am on Saturday! This mountain is the smallest but is the most technical in parts which will test our head torch navigation skills to the max! We then descend and make our way to Wales.

Finishing up with our 3rd and final Mountain, Snowdon, we aim to have completed the descent by 3pm no doubt exhausted!

Our Managing Director Danny Adamson, a solid member of our training walks, said “The team has worked incredibly hard and they have been dedicated to the training.  Conquering this technical and enduring challenge is equal parts exciting and daunting, however we are confident we can complete this in the narrow time frame of 24 hours.

“We would love to thank everyone for the support they have shown so far, and our incredible sponsors including Famous Publicity, Centaur Roofing, Windmill Tapes, Metamark and NEPlastics.”

Stocksigns Group Managing Director Danny Adamson said, “We are putting ourselves through this mighty challenge to help parents give little ones the best possible start at life.  Health and safety is at the heart of what we do and being able to support RoSPA in keeping children safe is a cause we are proud to support.

At Stocksigns safety is something we feel passionate about and we would love for you to join us in supporting our cause to help parents give their children the best start at life. Health and safety is at the centre of all we do so we are proud to be able to support and fundraise for such a worthy cause.

 

Our goal is to raise over £4000 for the cause. You can donate in 2 ways:

You can support us and follow our progress on Twitter! #TeamStocksigns

 

Metamark

Centaur Roofing

NE Plastics

Windmill Tapes

Famous Publicity

 

 

 

 

Photoluminescent fire sign

Glow with the flow

How do photoluminescent signs work?

Photoluminescent fire sign

Photoluminescence occurs when a material absorbs photons (light energy) and then emits them back when the light source is removed i.e. in the dark, creating a noticeable lighting effect. Photoluminescent safety signs are designed to absorb photons from ambient light and then re-emit them in darkened conditions.

With a internal lifespan of up to 25 years they can also save money by not using electricity. Being maintenance free there is no need for costly regular testing regimes associated with ensuring the correct functionality of electrical signs. We have extended the use of photoluminescent material beyond fire safety signs with many other health and safety signs including hazard signs, prohibition signs, chemical safety signs, first aid signs and custom signage requirements. We have also created floor signs and tapes to aid your wayfinding during emergency evacuations.

 

Cost savings with photoluminescent signage

In addition to their cost effectiveness, eco-friendly safety signs are also more reliable than traditional exit signs due to increased visibility due to their natural ability to glow in the dark. Free from light bulbs they are the optimal signage solution in the event of emergency situations that result from structural shock falling debris. Using eco-friendly photoluminescence signs alongside your electrical fire exit signs  is a cost effective way to help a companies’ journey to ‘go green’.

 

Reduce your carbon footprint

Fire exit

Going green and being environmentally friendly is a hot topic for businesses. As well as being cost effective and functional there are additional environmental benefits of using photoluminescent signs.Many companies are committed to recycling and purchasing non-toxic supplies, but still work in buildings whose materials, electrical systems and waste systems have been in place long before being “eco” became the business buzz word of the moment and before the economic benefits of being green were truly understood. Different companies will have different factors to consider when improving their green credentials. For example, a solicitors firm will have different concerns than a construction site.. Electrical fire safety signs are environmentally unfriendly due to their never-ending demand for electricity. Being lit 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they also contribute to driving up companies’ fuel costs. Therefore by using photoluminescent signs brings both an economical and an environmental benefit. Often recognised as best practice in the UK, photoluminescent sign systems have also been adopted throughout the EU and USA.

 

How to use your photoluminescent signs

For your signs to be effective they will require initial activation from a good light source – this can be natural or artificial. Check out our video below to get the most out of your signs:

 

 

Brexit sign

**April Fools** Article 50 Triggers New Imperial Signs

Have you seen our article anywhere? Apologies if we fooled you – we couldn’t resist!

This week Theresa May officially started the Brexit process with the triggering of Article 50.  As expected, many changes to laws and legislation established by the EU will begin to take place across Britain.  These changes will include all road signs which feature metric measurements.  Here at Stocksigns we have been busy designing the new signs in preparation for Britain’s leave.

In 1976, three years after Britain joined the European Economic Community (EEC), Stocksigns produced our first metric signs for use in schools, businesses and on public highways.  This was because the EEC had begun theGood vehicle weight restriction process of metrication and was phasing out traditional, imperial measurements.

When Britain has completely left the EU the metric system will no longer be mandatory.  In keeping with the changes, metric road signs will also be converted to imperial.

 

Original 7.5 tonne weight warning and the new imperial sign

Sports centre directory

 

New imperial signs will be introduced gradually across the country and will be implemented by local councils, health and safety bodies and educational facilities.  As well as large signs in public places, such as wayfinding notices and motorways, the conversions will take place in sports centres, schools and nurseries.  For example, swimming pools which are currently measured at 25 metres or 50 metres will, in the future, be displayed as 82 feet 3 inches and 164 feet 4 inches.

An example of future signage for sports centres

 

Nicolle Kane, marketing manager for Stocksigns Group said, “We are honoured to have been asked to produce these new signs and are very excited to reveal the first pre-production examples.

“In addition to these we are also introducing a varieMen/women at workty of new safety notices to promote equality in the workplace.  As well as our ‘Men At Work’ signs we will introduce ‘Women At Work’ and ‘People At Work’ across the board.

Original Warning Men Working Sign and New Women Working

“An entirely new set of notices have also been commissioned.  The Brexit warning notice will be used to alert members of the public to areas which have already been converted to imperial measurements.”

The new signage is expected to be trialled in Surrey within the next two years.

 

Imperial humps signImperial bridge signBrexit must be kept clear sign

 

Article 50 ahead signBrexit layout signWarning Brexit ahead sign

 

The importance of Health & Safety signage to your business

In a world governed by Health & Safety regulations it has never been so important to ensure you have the correct signage. Signage is the main way of communicating Health & Safety information to make sure that people understand the risks around them.

Health and safety signs

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that between 1st April 2015 – 31st March 2016 144 workers in the UK  were killed while in the workplace.   This shocking statistic highlights how having the correct signage is crucial in advising people of risks that cannot be controlled or avoided to help prevent accidents.

In November last  year the HSE released their annual report about work related injuries and illness, they found the following statistics:

  • 3 million people suffer from a work related illness
  • Over 621,000 work related injuries
  • 2,515 people died

Despite these alarming figures there has been a downward trend of fatal work related injuries. This is partly due to the safety signs directive being adopted by all European Union member states in 1992. The Health and Safety  (Safety Signs and Signals Regulations) act then adopted these changes in 1996 which required employers to display safety signs to highlight risks that cannot be controlled or avoided.

The Safety Signs and Signals Regulations has had a huge impact in keeping workers and members of the public safe.  Since its introduction there has been a 50% reduction in the number of fatal injuries.

Health & safety signs

As well as this impact on fatalities there is also a link between the introduction of safety signage and a decrease in the number of reported accidents. Keeping people safe begins with alerting them to hazards and dangers around them with easy to understand signage.

We offer a huge range of signs suitable for all situations and environments. Our experienced sales team are on hand to offer expert advice to ensure your signage is fully compliant with current ISO 7010 legislation. Call us now on 01737 774077 or send an email with your enquiry.

It is crucial for employers to display up to date compliant signage. Consequences for the use of non compliant signage range from hefty fines up to prison sentences. More importantly however is injury or loss of life that could occur as a result of incorrect or missing signage.

We have recently celebrated 8 years of working in partnership with RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) as their recommended signage supplier. We are proud to work alongside them and promote their vital work in keeping people safe through accident prevention.  Find out more information about this here.

 

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Understanding Fire Signage

Choosing your fire signage can be a daunting task. What exactly do you need? Where do you have to install them? Will you be compliant with BS EN ISO 7010? What happens if you get it wrong?

In the UK between 2010 and 2014, there were 97,500 fires in commercial premises, with 1,881 fatalities over the same period. It is essential to have clearly marked routes to exits and fire fighting equipment as this will help to limit the risk of loss of life.

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Where do you place signs on the escape route?

The first step to determining your escape route is to find your primary escape route. This should be the shortest and quickest route out of the building from any given location. It is also essential to plan a secondary escape route, in the event of a fire makes the primary route impassable.

Determining the signage for your fire escape route is confusing, however it can be simplified with a few simple guidelines;

  • Within your building, an escape sign should always be visible
  • Once past the first fire escape sign, the next escape sign along the route must be clearly seen
  • Further signage is required at every change of direction along the escape route
  • A fire exit sign must be above all final fire exit doors
  • Ensure there are no conflicting signs along the route e.g. 2 arrow up signs back to back.
What signs do you use?

Fire exit arrow Left and Right are self-explanatory, but when do you use the up or down arrow?

1097

Fire Exit Arrow Up – To be used when you have to continue along your route, towards another fire exit sign. It can also be used for final exits. Unless there is a step down or ramp immediately outside.

 

 

1098Fire Exit Arrow Down – To be used when you have to continue along your route, towards another fire exit sign. If after an exit sign there is a staircase leading down immediately after your sign, then a down arrow is required.

What size do I need?

When ordering your signage the size you require will be based on the maximum distance the sign will be viewed from:

  • 300mm x 100mm KD – Viewing distance up to 10 meters
  • 450mm x 150mm NF – Viewing distance up to 15 meters
  • 600mm x 200mm RG – Viewing distance up to 20 meters
  • 1200mm x 400mm – Viewing distance up to 40 meters
  • For illuminated signs the viewing distance doubles
When does photoluminescent help?

Photoluminescent signs provide additional reliability. In the event of a power failure, they offer a constant source of illumination and invaluable guidance.

Additional Fire Signage

So now you have your escape routes clearly marked you’re done, yes? Not quite. People often overlook the other aspects of fire safety:

Our expert site survey team are happy to visit your premises if you have a large complex project and are in need of assistance.

Our sales team can be contacted on 01737 774072 for free advice, or alternatively you can email.