School Signs Catalogue – Latest Edition

Stocksigns is delighted to publish their new edition of the School Signs Catalogue. Available on-line, it boasts the most comprehensive range of safety signs for schools, along with “easy order” sign guides for the most commonly required custom-made signs for schools.

An ideal school reference guide for Head Teachers, Bursars, Local Authorities and Contractors. For more information or advice on our School signs ranges, view our online safety signs catalogue or call our Sales Team on 01737 77 40 72.

Vitreous Enamel Signs Guide

Where you must absolutely NOT use Vitreous Enamel Signs

If You Care about Your Signage – Don’t use Vitreous Enamel Signs (VE)

1. When you don’t want your signs to last a long time.
Why? –  Vitreous Enamel is notorious for its vastly extended life over other materials. They will look as good as new even after 40 years, making them an ideal long term signage solution.

2. When there is NO chance of any corrosion
Why?  – Vitreous Enamel’s glass-like properties protect the whole sign so that it is safe from attack from corrosion. That’s why they are specified for marine environments because they can resist attack from salt. Applications range from oil platforms to the logo’s on ships’ funnels.

3. When chemicals such as acids and alkalis are not going to be a threat.
Why? –  Vitreous Enamel has amazing resistance to most chemicals, including solvents. This makes them ideal for corrosive, industrial, or severe atmospheres.

4. When the finish and aesthetics of your signs are unimportant to you.
Why? – Vitreous Enamel’s lustrous surface appearance, “relief effect” of the enamel layers and the wide range of colours and designs available mean that Vitreous Enamel Signs are very pleasing to the eye. Because of this they are frequently used for decoration, especially in pubs, restaurants and hotels and used as a specialist medium for many artists.

5. When your sign will never be subject to mechanical abrasion.
Why? – Vitreous Enamel has the advantage of being virtually scratch proof compared with other materials, giving it  great robustness. This is one of the reasons why vitreous enamel is often specified for wayfinding lecterns in busy cities where there is a high level of vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

6. When you are keen to be involved in regular sign maintenance.
Why? – Vitreous Enamel’s hard surface makes the signs very easy to keep clean, restoring the original brightness with a wipe. This quality has made vitreous enamel the preferred choice for electricity pylon identity plates where access is notoriously difficult.

7. When you don’t mind the colours in your sign fading.
Why? – Vitreous Enamel’s colourfastness ensures the sign looks as bright after many years as it did when first manufactured. Examples of vitreous enamel advertising signs dating from the 18oos still look as vibrant as when they were first displayed.

8. When there is no danger of a graffiti assault on your signs.
Why?  – Any graffiti on Vitreous Enamel signs can be removed with a solvent cleaner. Vitreous Enamel signs are often the first choice for councils, particularly for park and recreation ground signage.

9. When you don’t have to worry about extremes of temperature.
Why? –  Vitreous Enamel can withstand a very wide variation in temperature, and is very fire resistant, which is why it is specified in London Underground stations.

10. When you have no interest in life time cost of your signs.
Why? – Vitreous Enamel Sign’s durability, longevity and brightness makes this material extremely cost effective over time. Their long life often means that vitreous enamels signs pay for themselves over and over again during long term projects.

So here in a nutshell are reasons for NOT using Vitreous Enamel Signs.

How to Apply Vinyl Graphics

This article is dedicated to the different application methods used for applying/installing self adhesive vinyl signs and window graphics. Many of our safety signs come with a self adhesive vinyl option making

frosted vinyl screen, glass highlighting

them very versatile and easy to install. We also offer a range of frosted vinyl window graphics in both standard and custom-made designs. Glass Highlighting can also help you comply with Regulation 14 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The Regulation requires the marking of windows and glass doors to make them conspicuous.

  

  

How to apply your vinyl signs and graphics

Before applying any self adhesive graphics make sure that the application surface is clean and free from contaminants. To apply your self adhesive graphics, use one of the following methods:

For Small Sizes (up to approximately 20 x 20cm)

1. You will need a squeegee.  ( a small rigid plastic card designed for sign applicating, if you can’t get one, a small professional window cleaning one will do, or even an old credit card)

2. Remove the backing paper from the face material.

3. Position the sticker/sign on the surface and press in place with finger tips.

4. Apply the sticker to the surface with squeegee, using overlapping strokes. Puncture any air bubbles with a needle and press in place.

mobile phones, prohibition, safety signs

For Medium Sizes

1. You will need a squeegee (see above).

2. Remove 3-5cm of the backing paper from one edge of the sticker and fold back.

3. Position the sticker to the surface and press the exposed adhesive area in place with finger tips.

4. Apply the sticker to the surface with squeegee, using overlapping strokes, removing the backing paper little by little with the other hand puncture any air bubbles with a needle and press in place.

Wet application method for large sizes

1. You will need a squeegee (see above), sponge or cloth, water plus a little liquid detergent (i.e. washing up liquid), agitated to produce foam bubbles.

2. Temperature of the application surface and in the workshop should be 15°C or above.frosted glass, room divider, glass highlighting

3. Wet the application surface entirely with foam bubbles.

4. Remove the backing paper, keeping the sticker flat.

5. Apply the sticker to the wet surface and bring into position.

6. Remove any excess foam bubbles from underneath the sticker with a squeegee, using light pressure in overlapping strokes, working from the centre. Dry the sticker with a cloth.

7. Secure the sticker to the surface with a squeegee, using overlapping strokes and firm pressure, paying particular attention to the edges, to ensure a firm bond.

8. When possible, check and re-squeegee firmly after 24 hours.

*note – With this application method ultimate adhesion of the sticker/sign is reached later than with a dry method. The sticker/sign will obtain ultimate adhesion about 24-48 hours after application.

Your Signs Catalogue

We have been working hard to bring you the widest range of high quality signage products in 2012.  The Catalogue has over 30,000 standard signs for you to choose from and a custom section that aims to provide inspiration for choosing signs from proven designs created for others and steer you to design your own should you wish. This year we have extended our capabilities and product range even further to include LED signs.

 What’s new in this years sign catalogue?

Our recent acquisition of Messagemaker Display ltd has enabled us to bring to you a brand new range of programmable LED signs available off the shelf. The new range includes static and programmable display systems in a range of sizes and text colours. These easy to use signs add high impact to your advertising or information messages.

To compliment our 3D pictorial signs we have created some pictorial stickers for displaying on cupboards and drawers. These signs can aid recognition and help dementia sufferers and those with learning difficulties.

We are continually looking for ways to make the catalogue as easy as possible to use. This year we have introduced many more photographs so you can see exactly how best to display and locate your signs. Listening to our customers has led us to re-arrange some of the pages to help you find the right signs more quickly.

How to get the best out of your signs catalogue

Our many years in the signage industry has allowed us to develop an easy ordering system to help you decipher the complicated world of safety signs and general signage. The catalogue itself is divided into two main sections. The first section covers our standard signs, which is made up of all the various safety signs, traffic signs and information signs available off the shelf. The second section displays some of our products and capabilities for creating custom-made signs. This section is merely intended to be a guide, to give you a small insight into what we can create for you, and by no means includes everything, so if you don’t see what you want, please contact our sales team.

Safety Signs and Standard Information Signs Section

Our standards signs section is packed with over 30,000 safety signs and general information signs so, to make choosing your signs a little less overwhelming, we have lots of hints and information to help you make an informed decision. We show many of our signs in working situations so you can best see how the safety message can be applied. We have included as many facts and figures as we can to educate and promote safety awareness. We always include the necessary legislation covering the safety issue, so you can be sure you will be meeting your legislative obligations. Our easy reference price grids make ordering simple and our “have you seen” cross references make sure you won’t miss anything you might need.

Custom-made Signs Section

Our custom made signs section has been designed to educate and inspire. We give you hints and tips on how best to choose your signage products in terms of size, design and materials. We point out the potential pitfalls and provide solutions for getting the optimum results from your signs. We highlight the benefits of different styles of product. Each of our product sections has some general information to help you decide if you are looking at the right products for your needs. Also for each product section we have tried to include as many photographs as possible, not only to give you some idea of the depth of our ranges but also to inspire you. Lastly, where we can squeeze them in, we have included customer testimonials to promote our service, so you don’t have to just take our word for it, you are in experienced and safe hands choosing Stocksigns.

Our safety signs catalogue is designed to give you the best choice of products backed by relevant information but don’t feel you have to go it alone, our Sales Team are always ready to guide you and help you get the best from your signs.

 

Safety Signs Audit For The New Year

While safety signs may not have been at the top of your Christmas list, this time of year is the perfect time to carry out a signage audit of your premises. The beginning of year is always associated with fresh starts, out with the old and in with the new. We often get renewed energy which gives us the impetus to start new projects or clear the decks in anticipation of what January will bring.

Taking Stock of your Safety Signs

Take time to walk round your premises, it may take a couple of trips round if you have a large or complicated building layout. Note all your existing fire safety signs. Do you have all the necessary signs covered by legislation? Through the course of the year things happen to your building, were signs replaced after that wall got repainted? were your signs covered up when you had the last office move round? Many people find that their fire signage is often in the wrong place, check your emergency escape signage is being displayed properly. If you are not sure whether you are completely covered legally get a site survey done to give you peace of mind. While it isn’t yet a requirement to change all your existing safety signs to the new ISO7010 versions make sure any missing or damaged signs are replaced with the new updated symbols.

Care of your safety Signs

Safety signs over time can become dirty or damaged several environmental factors can effect your signs. Signs in areas of high traffic can become dirty quickly. Make sure all signs are clean and clear and be easily read, cleaning where needed. If they are illegible and beyond cleaning replace where necessary.

Signage Clutter

Have you got too many safety signs? are the messages you are giving out confusing? If it is a high hazard area consider replacing a number of your signs with single multi message signs. Having your safety information in one place will not only look smarter but will help reduce sign blindness- where people are so used to seeing the same signs day in day out they in fact cease to register seeing the signs at all.

For more information about safety signs or any other signage query please contact our sales team sales@stocksigns.co.uk.

LED Display vs LCD

“As technology moves ever forward it has become increasingly more confusing as LCD displays are using LED for back-lighting and are being termed LED displays, they are not, they are simply LCD displays with LED-backlighting” emphasises Harry Filer, managing director of Messagemaker Displays, which manufactures a range of full colour and variable LED signage displays.

What are the differences between LCD Display and LED Display

Filer continues’ “A ‘pure’ LED display is using LED’s to create pixels. LED is a much more flexible technology that can handle different size screens, larger formats and brighter screens. LCD screens on the other hand are the preserve of huge multinationals, so if we got involved in them we would just be a value added reseller at best. We are in more control of our product and destiny with LED”

Filer also believes that LED and LCD when properly defined will remain as separate display mediums explaining “Occasionally LED and LCD will compete for digital signage application and the main overlap area is in large-format internal screens, but there are surprisingly few areas of overlap. Sometimes we will see a client initially specify an LCD screen for an application, for example digital foreign exchange rate-boards, then switch to LED”

Which Digital Display System is Right For me?

Filer also points out that when LCD and LED vie for custom, the project planning can often lead to some previously unconsidered factors: “The thought process goes something like this: ‘I need a screen, a large-format LCD/Plasma is cool, let’s have one of those, they’re for sale at Curry’s for about £500 how can I go wrong?’ Then they realise they need a dedicated PC or player and dedicated software.

“Furthermore, if they are going to do it properly they need high quality content, and if it’s a professional application they need high quality content, and if it’s a professional application they need a professional quality screen which is more expensive, and a decent quality bracket system. Then they realise they need the screen bright enough to deal with window light and so it will be more expensive still. Suddenly the project is £1,500 to £2,000 per screen, double what an LED alternative would have cost.”

“A rough rule of thumb I give to clients looking to use LED for a big video or digital signage screen is that if they are indoors, and the screen is a standard size and under 2sq m, then they are better off with LCD, any other application really requires using an LED array” concludes Filer.

Messagemaker Displays are now part of the Stocksigns Group.

Safety Signs – RoSPA’s Business case for Safety

Roger Bibbings, RoSPA’s Occupational Safety Adviser talks about how, during these times of austerity, now is not the time to cut back, but instead invest in health and safety. Safety Signs can be a key part of this.

Safety signs are a cost effective way of enhance your safety policy. They can be used to warn of inherent dangers, they can be used to promote safety awareness and used as training aids in safety training. A site survey from Stocksigns can help ensure your premises meet current legislation and best practice.

Traffic Signs – Protecting Children

Stocksigns has long been famous for manufacturing good quality traffic signs, and boasts an extensive range. The importance of traffic warning signs is evident from their common place use but here is what RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) says about Traffic Signs and their use for protecting children.

RoSPA’s Traffic Signs Guide

Traffic signs are a common site through out our road network or where children have to cross, or walk adjacent to a road, to access a play area some form of traffic control is advisable. Whilst most measures are beyond the resources of the smaller authorities, the provision of general traffic warning signs advising motorists that they are approaching an area where children play is economic and is advised. There are standard signs available and in most cases the relevant highways authority will provide such signage.

Signs should be clearly visible from all approach directions and should be positioned sufficiently far away from te area to enable motorists, if necessary, to adjust their speed to an acceptable level. The signs should be placed so as not to be obscured by planting growth.

Speed limit signs not only (hopefully) reduce motorist’s speed but also raise their awareness of the presence of children.

As well as providing traffic signs care should be taken to ensure that planting, other road signs, or other roadside materials do not obscure sight lines for both motorists and pedestrian. This may mean keeping hedges and verges well cut back.

Stocksigns and RoSPA

Stocksigns is RoSPA (Royal Socisty of the Prevention of Accidents) official safety signs partner. Read more about our safety signs partnership.

A Surplus of Signs or a Safety Necessity? Safety Signs Clutter Debate

There has been much talk recently about signs pollution, the proliferation of signs all over our town and countryside, from high street to motorway, from factory to farm. Which not only can blight our landscape or built environment, but also cause confusion by virtue of the sign’s own cluttering promiscuity.

Does this apply to health and safety signs?

Not so, in our view. First, the very purpose of properly located and appropriate safety signage is to protect staff and visitors on your premises, when all other means to mitigate a risk has been considered an actioned. In this case “familiarity does NOT breed contempt – rather the continual and consistent viability of such safety aids increases awareness and comprehension of the potential dangers and the means of avoiding or evading them. This is not just a negative “do not” approach as is evident from essential use of fire and emergency exit signs in their various forms.

Secondly, the key to effective health and safety signage starts with the comprehensive assessment of the risks in a workplace and, where these can not be avoided, the selection of the most appropriate signs – which in many cases, separate safety messages can be incorporated in one multi-purpose sign, so quite legitimately saving space and money.

Safety Signs Training

A further crucial ingredient is the general level of safety awareness that is developed within your organisation, and in particular, the education and training of staff with respect to safety signs. Here, there are a number of aides, such as pocket guides (for example, these can be included in an induction pack) and the Health and Safety Law Poster that are in any event a legal requirement to display.

In all these areas Stocksigns can help, although ultimately, of course the responsibility lies with you. Our advice, a combination of physical surveys and the wide range of signs on offer, will eliminate the over-use of signs, but protect the organisation, and its employees and visitors, which after all, is the whole point.

How safe is your school? – School Safety Signs

No-one wants to go overboard about safety in schools, any more than they do about every day living elsewhere. And, of course, schools take the matter of safety for everybody involved – not only pupils, but also staff and visitors, who are equally important – very seriously.

However, it is worth reviewing not just the provision of, say, signage, but also how well it is understood. Stocksigns has a long tradition of innovation in school signage, (for example created new designs for laboratory safety signs some 15 years ago) and our latest schools catalogue has been developed to be particularly user-friendly throughout the school environment.

One such way is the use of friendly fonts and graphics which more easily grabs the attention of the pupils so that they more closely identify with the message. This helps comprehension.

Sign design for a large number of safety signs is more formally required by legislation and/or relevant British Standards. This is necessary to ensure consistency across all possible premises in which they might be used, for example fire exit signs and emergency escape signs.

Outside these sensible constraints, however, some imagination can be brought to bear, which reflects on a school’s individual ethos and style. So, a sign can be chosen from the Stocksigns catalogue or designed by the school, whether or not using our custom signage design expertise and experience, to produce something unique for your school.

Then not only will you have the assurance that you comply with the statutory requirements, you can have a signage system which is a little bit special to your school. You can enlist the creative spirit of the pupils (or even staff) which will give an even greater sense of achievement. For ideas, why not let us send you, if you don’t have one already please request a copy of “The Sign Catalogue“.

Fire Exit Signs and Emergency Escape Signs

Just because there is statutory requirement for all non-domestic premises to have the right fire safety signage, there is no reason that fire exit signs cannot be used imaginatively to fit in with your building design and decoration.

Here are some examples of the different ways that a compliant fire sign can be used.

1. Wall and ceiling mounted signs are very useful when for example, space is at a premium or there is a low ceiling.

2. Sign frames can add impact to the sign message. One option is to fit the sign into the appropriate sign frame, which can be suspended or wall mounted. Alternatively, for a more design conscious solution a Vision MX frame system, which can of course be double sided.

3. Wall mounted projecting signs increase visibility from several directions.

4. Sometimes conditions require the use of an extra large sign, particularly in public places. Extended view of up to 40 metres can be achieved with signs 1200 x 400mm in size.

5. Again, constraints of design or purpose may require the use of “portrait” style fire signs, for example multi-storey car parks.

6. An innovative aid is the use of fire exit floor graphics as part of a wider safety sign installation.

7. Two larger luminaires are available, for when this type of signage is required or chosen. The cylinder range comes in various options for mounting and is an elegant solution. At a very practical level are the BSI certified metal exit signs which are extremely good value for money.

8. Photoluminescent signs are both effective and alternative choices, and can be used with several of the options available to the standard fire signs.

9. Signs for the physically impaired are part of the provision that can be required under the Disability Discrimination Act. They also show an employers awareness and sensitivity to the needs of this often overlooked section of the community.

10. “Tactual” signs are particularly relevant to the visually impaired, with the wide spaced raised text incorporating Braille. Braille signs fully conforming to BS5499-2:2002 and ISO 7010, as well as Technical Bulletin 24 of the joint Mobility Unit, part of the RNIB.

11. The Hospital Sector has developed a range of fire escape signs, specifically for the sector but have proved popular in other fields too.

12. Finally there is a range of “Standard Enhanced” signs with clear acrylic and satin chrome panel supports – a very aesthetically pleasing choice, which complements the design aware decor of an office, shop etc. All in all, a much larger selection of fire and emergency escape signs than perhaps one might have imagined. The good news is that Stocksigns can supply all the ranges listed above. Why not think seriously about how you enhance your signage.

Signs for the DDA – Making Provision for the Disabled

Making Provision for the Disabled – Its not just about the law or wheelchairs.

It’s been 7 years since the scope of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) became applicable to all service providers, whatever their size (i.e. 1st October 2004). But how many smaller organisations have actually made adjustments to their premises? Changes have to be reasonable and so proportionate, which is to some extent subjective. One key element – and a relatively low cost one at that – is disability signage. Below we set out the background to the legislation (and the need) and show how reviewing one’s signs can have a big impact in fulfilling the legal, practical and moral obligations of our fellow citizens.

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Known as the DDA, the Disability Discrimination Act requires that from the 1st October 2004, all service providers will have made reasonable adjustments to the physical features of their premises to overcome any physical barriers to access.

“why bother it doesn’t effect me…does it?”

It does effect any business that provides a service, whether it’s free or paid for. Prior to 1st October, part 2 of the DDA only applied to companies who had more than 15 employees. However, since 1st October, ALL employers must comply with the DDA’s provision on employment and occupation. There are approximately 8.6 million people with disabilities in the UK. Their estimated annual purchasing power is between £40 and £50 billion.

“What are ‘reasonable’ adjustments?” – they must be specific to the building and the type of service being provided. Provisions should not just be restricted to improving wheelchair access, only 5% of those with disabilities are in wheelchairs.

  • There are 600,000 wheelchair users
  • 2.5-3 million visually impaired
  • 1.5-6 million reading difficulties
  • 8 million deaf or hard of hearing
  • 15 million mental health difficulties
  • 1 in 3 people over 55 have Arthritis

(source: Department for Inclusive Environments University of Reading)

BS 8300:2001

The British Standard gives dimensions and details of the physical requirements needed in order to comply with the DDA as well as signage requirements.

Disability Rights Commission

The DRC not only provides help for disabled people, but also produced a Code of Practice and various guides for service providers.

If you are a service provider or an employer, you need to:

  • assess the problem, or better still
  • have an access audit done
  • contact local access groups
  • produce an access plan

Once you know which physical features may make it difficult for disabled people to use your services then the law gives you a choice.

  • you can alter the feature
  • you can remove the feature
  • you can find a way of avoiding it
  • you can provide the service in another way

The DRC strongly recommends the ”inclusive” approach. Removal or alteration of a feature is the most likely option to ensure that disabled people receive the services in the same way as other customers.

Areas to be considered when making reasonable adjustments

  • routes to and around buildings
  • designated car parking bays
  • building entrances and exits
  • directions to facilities – lifts, toilets etc.
  • information on services available to the disabled
  • clear indication of help points
  • emergency exit routes and disabled refuge points
  • enhancement of general information signage

Install Suitable Signage

“Signs should form part of an integrated communication scheme that gives clear directions, information and instructions for use of a building” – BS 8300:2001. Signage that complies with the DDA is based on the guidelines shown in the Sign Design Guide and developed by the Joint Mobility Unit.

Important considerations

Text in upper case

Upper and lower case text provides a recognisable “footprint” even if the text can’t be read.

Letter Heights

Viewing Distance Type of sign “x” height in mm
Long Distance External Fascias 200mm
External location 90 – 120mm
External Directions 90mm
House numbers 90mm
Medium Range Location & Direction 60mm
Identification signs 40mm
Close Range Room Identification 35mm
Directories 15mm
Wall mounted information 15mm

Good Contrast

Black and white provides the most obvious contrast but can cause halation for some people due to the extreme contrast and glare.

So we are looking for:-

  • Clear text in upper and lower case
  • preferably white text on a darker background
  • letter heights based on BS 8300 or “Sign Design Guide”
  • good contrast between text and background
  • a white border to emphasise the sign
  • a matt finish to avoid glare

Position of signs

Consistency of sign height and position throughout the building is important. Signs should be placed between 1400mm and 1700mm for visually impaired persons when standing. For wheelchair users signs should be placed between 1000mm and 1100mm above floor level. Signs associated with control panels, e.g. lifts or door entry systems should be located between 900mm x 1200mm, to meet the needs of both wheelchair users and people standing.

Designated Car parking

  • Parking bays and floor graphics – one space for each disabled employee plus 2% of available spaces.
  • disabled parking bay signs
  • directional signage to reception or other areas
  • contrasting bands of colour on posts or columns
  • door entry signs

Information Signage

  • The reception point should be clearly signed
  • signs indicating lifts, stairs, and other parts of the building
  • Facilities on each floor should be shown on landings and stairs
  • clear floor level signs in stair wells and by lifts
  • orientation signs in large buildings
  • directional signs, there and back
  • disabled toilets, telephones, induction loop signs, etc.

Escape Route Signage

  • General escape route signage may need to be enlarged
  • Fire Exit signs to include routes to disabled refuges
  • emergency evacuation lift signs
  • Clear signs from the building to the assembly areas

Compliance with the DDA is not about avoiding being sued or fined but about caring for staff and improving your service for everyone.

Engraved Tags – How to use Engraved Tags?

 When should Engraved Tags be used?

In addition to the commonly used situations engraved tags can be used in a number of areas where conventional labelling systems may not be appropriate such as:

  •  If  the surface area isn’t suitable for good or strong adhesion with labels.
  • If  the Surface area is too small and cannot accommodate the label size.
  • If the area is congested which could cause an obstructed view of the label.
  • If Labels need to be frequently changed or are in cycles or rotations.
  • If  the Surface area has a temperature that exceeds 160°F which will interfere with the adhesiveness of most labels. 

Often pipes or pipe valves don’t have sufficient surface area for adequate labelling. A valve tag can be used to display all the necessary identification information or safety data and then can be easily attached to the area.

Engraved Tags – What Information Should Be Included on Valve Tags?

The information to be included on Valve Tags is completely dependent on the use of the valve, its situation. There are no hard and fast rules or formal industry standards. The key how ever is to develop the most logical system for your own use. Tags give a convenient way of labelling but space will still be limited so the use of abbreviations is common place. A system of colour coding can also be employed to match standard pipeline identification colours.

Some suggestions for valve tag information are:

 •  Pipe Contents  i.e. compressed air, oil water

 •  Valve Identifier – often a system using numbers and letters for easy identification

 •  Serial Number (we can supply sequential numbered discs)

 •  Valve Function

 •  Normal Position of the Valve, indicating open and closed positions etc. 

 •  Type of Valve Actuator

View our range of safety labels and tags.

Braille Signs – Tactual from Stocksigns

At the end of March 2006 there were 364,615 people in the UK who were registered as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted) – RNIB. The Tactual Braille signs range from Stocksigns is the innovative and visually superior tactile signage system. Braille signs are capable of conveying fast, effective information to assist the visually impaired. They should be used to clearly identify exits, restrooms, entrances and other rooms for the visually impaired and also assist in way finding and navigation through your premises. Braille or Tactual Signs provide facility information in Braille for the visually impaired and also in bold letters and graphics for those who are not.

Braille Signs – Tactual from Stocksigns

The Stocksigns Braille signs range – Tactual – fully comply with Technical Bulletin 24 of the joint Mobility Unit. The JMU is a service provided by the RNIB and the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Tactual signs may be manufactured to suit individual needs including a range of text options, panel colours and layouts. We can advise you on your own legal obligations and ensure that your workplace is complying with the appropriate regulations. Braille can be incorporated into your corporate signage to extend the audience range and the reach of your signs. Braille can be included in information and tourist interpretation boards to extend their accessibility and contact points, such as emergency assistance points, with Braille offer help to vulnerable members of the public.

Stocksigns only supply Braille signs that we manufacture ourselves. As a result not only can we be sure that they are of the highest quality but also that we have the technology and expertise to manufacture any custom made sign with Braille to our own specification.

What to look for in Braille Signs

When choosing braille signs from any supplier make sure they have the following features:

  • Wide spaced, raised text.
  • Highly durable, accurate, grade 1 Braille.
  • Braille locator.
  • Low gloss surface, high contrast colour range.
  • All safety symbols conform to BS 5499-5:2002 and ISO 7010

We also supply many other types of disability signs, including disabled parking signs and induction loop notices for the hard of hearing.

Smartsign – temperature sensitive smart signs

Help protect your staff or family with the Stocksigns Smartsign™

The award winning Smartsign is designed for use on surfaces changing from cold to hot, immediately warning people of a dangerous hazard and helping reduce accidental burn injuries.

– Displays the word ‘HOT’ when the surface temperature reaches 50°C / 122°F

– Designed to “BS 5499 part 1” and conforms to the “Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996”

– Used in both domestic and industrial environments. Ideal for items that remain hot even after being switched off and the user might assume it has cooled down.

Smartsign Applications

Appllications include water heaters, fan heaters, generators, boilers, motors and hundreds of machines/appliances. It is designed for surfaces that regulate temperatures within the range of -30°C and +90°C away from direct UV light.

Smartsign Case Study

Care Unlimited, a group of care homes in Surrey, have had Stocksigns Smartsigns installed.

Surfaces within the homes that change temperature such as water heaters, oven doors, kitchen appliances and machinery have had the signs applied. The signs display the word “HOT” when the surface is above 50°C / 122°F. This sign is particularly useful for Care Homes as children and the elderly are at a higher risk to burn injuries due to sensitive skin.

Reza Shamtally, Care Unlimited Partner comments, “Smartsign is cost-effective and clever in design. It will no doubt help minimise unnecessary burn injuries within our care homes for employees and clients”.

Beach Safety Signs- Phew what a scorcher!

Beach Safety – RNLI Beach Safety Signs

The hottest April on record certainly drew us all to the sea – or so it seemed judging by the traffic jams over the Easter weekend. With this earlier than usual start to the “beach Season” its worth reminding ourselves that the seaside can be a dangerous environment if lack of awareness or respect for the power of water leads to complacency and then possibly onto tragic drama. How can we look after our own beach safety and that of our families, as well as that of others, when we enjoy that Great British institution – a day at the seaside?

Another iconic institurion, the RNLI, has been at the forefront of a campaign to improve beach safety as part of its overall role as ‘the charity that saves life at sea’. Ever since 7 years agowhen a four year old boy was drowned whilst on a beach in Cornwall, the lack of information through signage was seen by Ryan’s mother as a major contributing factor to this tradgedy. Subsequently the RNLI have produced an extremely comprehensive guide to beach safety, in particular the use of beach safety information signs.

For safety at the beach, of course, it is not enough just to put up beach safety signs and have an understandable system of warning flags; people who visit the beach have a responsibility to ‘read, mark and inwardly digest’ what the signs and flags mean, as well as keeping an eye out for the safety of in particular theirs and other children.

When you go to the beach, check whether the facility has been signed up effectively – the signs are on both the RNLI website and the Stocksigns web catalogue (RNLI approved) pages 142 and 143. Here are some examples.

If not, why not tackle the operator or the local council about their absence. It may save a life. Above all, be aware and sensible, we know that water can be terifyingly destructive.

For information on general beach safety signs and their means visit our post water safety signs

Bike Safety – a simple common sense guide to cycle safety signs.

As the days lengthen and the temperature rises, so does one’s enthusiasm for taking the bicycle out of the shed and setting off down country lanes, along old railway lines or taking the cycle paths or lanes that are now available to make cycling both more enjoyable and above all safer – safe for both cyclists themselves, as well as other users of the public highways.

Bike safety – bike accessories & cycle routes

Obviously we have to make sure our own bicycles themselves are safe, before pedalling off – tyres, chains, bike lights, cycle helmets and brakes all need to be checked. After that we have to look at our own cycling safety particularly on Public roads and especially in the presence of large vehicles. Nowadays you can see special cycle safety signs on the back of lorries warning of the visibility problems that drivers can have if you get too close.

Secondly, cyclists should use dedicated lanes or pathways (which should be clearly marked with “bicycle only” signs) both for their own safety and out of consideration for others. Life can be so much more relaxed and enjoyable with a bit of common courtesy – ‘do as you would be done by’ is a useful mantra. This cuts both ways of course, and motorists have not only to respect specific cycle routes but more generally need to be aware of other road users, as do cyclists in relevant circumstances. Sometimes exclusive cycle parking locations are provided. Please use them for the security of your own property at the very least.

It goes without saying the law and Highway Code needs to be obeyed. Don’t cross traffic lights at red, for example, or ride more than two abreast. Above all everybody should use their own common sense.

Safety is the responsibility of every road user, and this coupled with politeness, can make the outing, however short, on self powered two wheels an enjoyable and life-enhancing experience- On your bike!

For more information on road signs and bike safety signs visit our on line traffic signs shop or call 01737 77 40 72.

Viewing Distances For Safety Signs – a Simple Guide

The optimum viewing distances for safety signs depends largely on the size of font used, the position and to some degree the font style and colours used.

For escape route signage risk assessments should be carried out where appropriate and reference to BS 5499, Part 4 : 2000 Safety signs, including fire safety signs. Code of practice for escape route signing should be made.

Our Installation guide is for guidance only and your unique premises and building usage should also be taken into consideration. For further advice about viewing distances for safety signs speak to our sales staff on 01737 764764.

Recommended installation heights

Above doors:-         2m – 2.5m from floor level to base of sign

Directional wall fixed signs:-      1.4m-1.7m from floor level to base of sign.

School Signs Competition

Stocksigns is inviting all young artists to design their own school welcome signs. The winning school sign design will be manufactured for FREE at the Stocksigns factory. The designer will be invited along with their class mates and teacher to see their school signs being made. The day will also include a full factory tour where they can see traditional craftsmanship such as silk screen printing along side modern manufacturing methods like large scale digital printing. Entries will be displayed in our online gallery. The competition is open to all children of school age and should be submitted using the downloadable template and sent to Stocksigns, Schools Competition, Ormside Way, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 2LG. Closing date for entries is 31st May 2011.

Good Luck and we look forward to seeing your designs.

School Signs Catalogue

Stocksigns is delighted to announce the launch of their latest range of school safety signs and signs catalogue.

“Signs for Schools” brings together the core school safety signs range, information signs and custom made notice boards and general school signs and signage in an easy guide for schools and colleges. Stocksigns has been working with schools, colleges and universities for many years and as a result the Stocksigns product range within this sector has grown substantially. Their expertise in signage schemes for these environments has also developed. Education establishments span a wide range of audiences from very young pupils in pre-schools to academic staff in universities: Stocksigns can develop sign systems that can cater for the needs of all these different groups.

How Environmental Factors Can Effect the Life of Your Signs

The environment plays a large part in the impact that a sign will have. The longevity of a sign is affected by many factors. These include:

  • The amount of exposure to the sun
  • The range of temperatures where the sign will be located
  • The surface colour of the sign, red fades the most.
  • The environment where the sign will be installed, an exposed location will reduce the life of your sign, or an area with high levels of traffic will be affected by pollutants.
  • The chemical composition of the films
  • The thickness of the ink coating
  • The amount of UV radiation that the sign will have, i.e. a shaded location will prolong the life of your sign.

Although each of these factors influence how long your sign will last and so the effectiveness of the message, there is little doubt that the most significant factor in sign longevity is UV radiation. A protective overlay film (POF) can be over-laminated on to any aluminium or rigid plastic sign to give a greater degree of protection to the sign face. It allows:

  • Easier removal of Graffiti
  • Resistance to scuffs
  • UV protection – anti fade
  • Easier to clean
  • Prolongs life of sign

All signage material manufacturers use a worldwide standard rating system to determine the life of material based on application being 90 degrees vertical and facing north. However, one of the most important pieces of advice in positioning your sign is to get it absolutely right. If mount your sign with a slight tilt i.e tilting the sign backwards by as little as 5 degrees and you will reduce the life of the sign by approximately 50 percent.

Whilst UV light is the most important, other environmental factors that affect the life of the sign, which could damage your signs, are dirt, salt, acid rain, general pollution and more. All of these factors can reduce the life span of your signage, and need to be taken in to consideration. Our Safety Signs – How to clean your safety signs guide offer advice on general maintenance and up keep of your signs.  The type of fixing you choose can also effect the life of your sign, our article on Tips for the Care and Installation of Vitreous Enamel Signs  highlights the need for correct fixing methods Vitreous enamel signs. Other guides regarding the installation of general signage are as follows:

How to Install Your Signs – Part 1- Self Adhesive Vinyl Signs

How to install your signs – Part 2 – Choosing the right sign post height

How to install your signs – Part 3 – Installation of standard safety signs and general signage

  • Choose the right material for your sign, based on the conditions that it will be placed in. Our Sales Team would be happy to advise you on the best sign materials for your needs.
  • Make sure that your sign substrate or vinyl is free of any contaminants by washing with a mild detergent first and when dried wiping with a solvent saturated cloth.
  • Position your sign to reduce the affect that the environment will have on it.

Emergency Way Guidance using Photoluminescent Material

In situations of emergency evacuation, especially when confronted by power failure, a way guidance system using photoluminescent signs and markers will help to indicate clearly defined escape routes, saving critical time for the evacuation of the building.

BS 5266-6: 1999, is a Code of Practice for non-electrical low-mounted way guidance marking using a photoluminescent system. It recommends how to plan, design, install and maintain the system when used in conjunction with powered emergency lighting. The use of this standard, combines with BS ISO 16069:2004, Graphical symbols – Safety signs – Safety way guidance systems and BS 5499-4: 2000, Code of Practice for escape route signs, gives the answers to most questions that could be asked from those contemplating installing a photoluminescent way guidance system.

The installation of a photolumiescent way guidance system does not replace the use of powered emergency lighting when this is required, but compliments its existence. For a satisfactory performance, photoluminescent materials require initial activation from a good light source.

Water Safety Signs

The recently published part II of BS5499. provides a uniform family of water safety signs based on the signs produced by the National Water Safety Committee. These signs should be used at all locations where sport or recreational activities are taking place, to warn the public of possible hazards or dangerous situations and to give specific instructions for their safety.

There are three main types of water safety signs you will find when you are around water. Each one has its own meaning, but all of them work to the same system. If you go to the seaside, then there are sometimes special flags to also look out for.

In addition to the water safety signs, you will also find information signs telling you where the toilets are or where you can get first aid. They will also tell you where the public rescue equipment is held.

Water safety signs

1. Hazard Signs

  • Triangle shaped
  • Yellow background, with black symbols
  • They are placed to help you spot a hazard that is not always obvious

They mean that you should be aware of something.

2. Prohibition Signs

Signs that mean you should not do something, are always:

  • A red ring shape, with a line running through
  • White background, red line and black symbols or shapes
  • They inform you of things you are not supposed to do

These signs tell you that it would be dangerous to do something, or go in that place.

3. Mandatory Signs

Signs that mean you should do something, are always:

  • Blue and circle shaped
  • White symbols or shapes
  • They inform you of things you need to do

These signs tell you that you should do something to be safe.

Other signs you might see

Information signs, are always:

  • White background
  • Black symbols or text

These signs help you either find something, or get somewhere.

First aid signs are always:

  • White symbols or text

These signs tell you where important safety items are such as the first aid place, or the emergency telephone.

Water safety flags

At beaches there are flags to tell us when and where it is safe to use the water.

This red flag means it is unsafe to be in the water.

Tips for the Care and Installation of Vitreous Enamel Signs

1 What is Vitreous enamel?

Vitreous enamel is a glass-like coating which is fused onto steel at temperatures of 750-860 degrees C. The enamel will exhibit all of the properties associated with glass including:

  • Colour Stability;
  • Scratch & Graffiti Resistance; and
  • Fire Resistance

2 Vitreous enamel signs need to be carefully treated as if they were glass:

a) Carefully remove signs and any fixings from packaging.

b) Handle with care using protective gloves as there may be sharp edges and avoid dropping or hitting the signs.

c) Use stainless steel, brass or zinc coated fixings.

d) Ensure a soft protective washer ( plastic or fibre ) is used at all fixing points between the fixing and the sign surface.

e) Do not drill or enlarge holes as this will crack the enamel

f) Clean every two months with mild soapy water – ensuring there are no abrasives or grit on the cloth or sponge . For stubborn marks use a non-abrasive bathroom cleaner.

3 Installation of Vitreous Enamel Signs

a) An enamelled sign pantray with return edges should never be fixed directly onto a hard or rough surface – the localised compression which could occur on high points may cause chipping or spalling and possibly cause corrosion on the return edge.

b) Where an enamelled sign has to be fixed to an uneven or rough surface it should be spaced off from that surface to avoid localised pressure points.

c) If the sign is to be installed in a coastal or corrosive environment additional protection will be needed to the sign edge if slight corrosion is to be avoided. Edges of enamelled signs are difficult to completely coat with enamel and so additional protection against corrosion may be required. Protection can be given by exterior mastic, waterproof tape or a rubber or plastic moulding. Alternatively the edge can be protected and hidden by an outer frame. Our technical sales department will be happy to advise. For more information about Vitreous Enamel signage, please send an email to sales@stocksigns.co.uk.

Fire Extinguisher Identification

Under BS EN 3 operative from the 1st January 1997, all new certified fire extinguishers used in European Union countries must feature red bodies. In line with familiar UK practice, BS 7863 allows manufacturers to affix coloured identification panels on or above the operating instructions covering no more than 5% of the body surface area and visible through a horizontal arc of 180 degrees when the extinguisher is mounted.

The new harmonised European standard on fire extinguishers – BS EN3 –  which came into effect in 1st January 1997, provides a single standard for fire extinguishers across Europe. It replaced the old British Standard BS 5423, which has now been withdrawn.

BS EN3 is the standard now used for the specification, manufacturing and purchase of extinguishers in the UK. An additional standard BS 7863 details the revised colour coding system and supplements BS EN3.

BS EN3 is not retrospective and pre-existing extinguishers do not need to be replaced with extinguishers to this new standard. However, any replacements as a result of damage, wear or un-serviceability or new extinguishers will need to meet this new, later standard. While BSEN3 has now been in place for a number of years, understanding the colours and codes should be part of your regular health and safety training and form part of your new staff induction programme. There are a number of resources such as Fire Extinguisher Colour Guide Code Charts that can serve as staff information points and training aids. Fire Extinguisher location panels can aid your routine premises maintenance. As well as providing information on the use of the particular fire extinguisher mounted they also give a visual warning as to when the extinguisher has been used and not replaced.

The New Standard Fire Extinguisher Standard
The main differences between the old and new standards are:

  • A minimum of 95% of the extinguisher body must be red
  • Zones of colour, indicating the contents of the extinguisher, are permitted
  • The markings on the extinguisher must follow a specified layout
  • Pictograms are used indicating the type of fires that the extinguisher is suitable for
  • A minimum body shell thickness is specified
  • Minimum fire performance ratings for the size of the extinguisher are specified
  • Operating temperatures of some extinguishers are increased
  • Some discharge times are increased

Although there are many technical changes and the improvements in the new standard, the most noticeable change is to the colour of the extinguisher bodies.

Fire Extinguisher Colours and Codes

Understanding the colours and codes should be part of your regular health and safety training and form part of your new staff induction programme. In the UK we were used to a system of using the colour of the body of the extinguisher to indicate its contents. However, this system has been peculiarly British with all extinguishers in Europe being coloured completely red.

Since extinguisher colour is no longer used to identify the type of the extinguisher, it falls to the standard pictograms to illustrate the types of fire that extinguisher can be used on. The pictograms are: Fire Extinguisher Types Pictogram

Class A fires involving organic solids; e.g. wood, paper
Class B fires involving flammable liquids
Class C fires involving flammable gases
Class F fires involving cooking oil and fat

A concession was made in this latest standard for a small zone of colour to be available on the body of the extinguisher to further help identify the contents of the extinguisher. A colour zone of up to 5% of the surface area of the extinguisher can be positioned on the top half of the front of the extinguisher body and be visible from 180 degrees. The British Standard BS 7863 outlines the colours that can be used in this way and follows the colour coding that has been used for many years. In addition, there is now a new colour for the Wet Chemical extinguisher (see guide above). The colour codes are:

Red – Water
Cream – Foam
Blue – Powder
Black – Carbon Dioxide
Canary Yellow – Wet Chemical

A further effect of the latest standard is that customised colours (most commonly chromed stainless steel) are no longer allowed; although, as there is no immediate need to change these extinguishers, they (and particularly the stainless extinguishers) may well be in use for some considerable time.

Replacement of Extinguishers
Even though pre-existing extinguishers do not need to be replaced, the gradual appearance of the new, latest standard extinguishers alongside older types may cause some confusion. The continued presence of other coloured extinguishers in an area may suggest to some users that the red extinguishers will contain water but this might not be the case, with potentially serious consequences.

Everyone should now what to do in the event of a fire and this includes being able to select the appropriate type of extinguisher to use. To reduce the chances of confusion, mixing new and old standard extinguishers in the same area or building should be avoided.

Note also that the British Standard on servicing BS5306: Part 4 states that all extinguishers installed in any one building or single occupancy should have the same method of operation and, if intended for the same function, should all be similar in shape, appearance and colour.

Summary for Fire Extinguisher Identification

  • Ensure that all new extinguishers obtained comply with BS EN3
  • Ensure that everyone is able to identify the different types of fire extinguisher and their respective use through training and guides
  • Provide information on the colour standards for fire extinguishers
  • Clearly sign extinguishers and their use with fire safety equipment signs
  • Do not mix extinguishers conforming to the old and new standards
  • Do not mix extinguishers which have different operating methods

Stocksigns has the largest range of fire safety signs on the market for more information on these and our other safety signs why not order our safety signs catalogue or call our Sales Team on 01737 77 40 72.