Why Use LED Signs?

led signsSince our announcement that Stocksigns had acquired Messagemaker Display we have been asked by many of our customers why they should use LED signs. With that in mind we have put together a few of the benefits of using LED Signage.

  • Long Life Signs  Only high quality LED’s are used from reputable manufacturers who offer products with a typical life to half brightness of not less than 100,000 hours (11.4 years) continually on.
  • Broad Viewing Angle Viewing angles will vary depending on the application, typical viewing angles for Internal Displays are 160 degrees, whist typical angles for external LED’s would be 60 – 90 degrees as a more focused light is required under higher ambient light conditions.
  • Ultra Bright The brightness of an LED will depend on its viewing angle and colour, but the typical MCD values used in our displays is not less than 20 and rises to over 3000 for specific bright applications.
  • Extended Viewing Distance for Text As a general rule if you take the character height of the font being displayed in mm and half this value this typically represents the maximum recommended viewing distance i.e. a 100mm font height can be read at up to 50metres away.
  • Extended Viewing Distance for Images – The viewing distance for an RGB screen displaying images is normally calculated as the pixel pitch (mm) multiplied by 1 or 1.5 giving the minimum viewing distance in metres.
  • Low Maintenance – All products are designed to be maintenance free, there are no end user serviceable parts, the only maintenance required is the occasional cleaning of the screen with a non abrasive cloth and a light detergent.
  • Peace of Mind – All products come with a 2 year return to factory warranty from date of original purchase as standard. In the unlikely event of any defect arising due to faulty materials or workmanship you will be required to return the unit to our factory where we will, at our discretion, either replace or repair the display free of charge. On site and 5 year warranty options are available, please speak to our sales team for details.
  • Compatible –The most typical form of interface for signs is either serial using RS232/ RS485 or via Ethernet using TCP/IP protocol over a local area network. Alternative methods of communication including SMS, Modem, Radio, Bluetooth and PLC interfacing are also available on request.
  • Plug and Play Installation –The majority of signs are designed to be plug and play, thus most customers carry out their own installation of product and loading of software using the comprehensive instructions provided with each display. However, if required Messagemaker do offer a dedicated installation and or commissioning service.

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.

Where to use Emergency Exit Signs

We are often asked by our customers which fire exit sign they should use where and with which arrow? This simple guide will help you to select the right signs for your premises and keeping within current legislation. The directional arrows are designed to give visual instructions of the safest route to take in the event of an emergency.

A site survey of your premises can help you ensure your emergency escape plans have the correct signage and can form part of your safety risk assessment.

Below shows the directional arrows and their meanings on Emergency Exit Signs

 Fire exit sign - arrow down Progress down from here  
 Fire exit sign - arrow up Progress forward from here or progress forward and through here. The most commonly used emergency escape sign often seen above doorways.  
 Fire exit sign - arrow right Progress to the right from here  
 Fire exit sign - arrow left Progress to the left from here  
 Fire exit sign - down right Progress down and right from here  
 Fire exit sign - down left Progress down and left from here  
 Fire exit sign - up right Progress up and right from here  
 Fire exit sign - up left Progress up and left from here  

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.

vehicle safety checks

Vehicle Safety – Some simple safety checks from RoSPA

Most of us who are eligible to have a driving licence, do have a current license, and most us drive on a daily basis but how many of us actually know what necessary safety checks have to be carried out on your vehicle, let alone  carry them out regularly. Our Safety Partner RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) has created this short but informative video about the necessary vehicle safety checks required to help maintain your vehicle, they may help to save you money too!

If you have a fleet of cars to manage, why not remind your company drivers to make the necessary vehicle safety checks with our traffic signs.

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 DistanceType of sign“x” height in mm
Long DistanceExternal Fascias200mm
External location90 – 120mm
External Directions90mm
House numbers90mm
Medium RangeLocation & Direction60mm
Identification signs40mm
Close RangeRoom Identification35mm
Directories15mm
Wall mounted information15mm

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”.

Memorial Plaques – a guide to creating remembrance plaques and nameplates

Stocksigns can manufacturer a wide range of commemorative and memorial plaques and nameplates including engraved plaques, etched plaques, vitreous enamel, screen printed plaques, cast aluminium, slate and other natural materials. So whether you are looking for a professional nameplate or heritage sign we can guide you through the choice of materials and manufacturing techniques to make your ideal plaques. 

Here are some factors to think about when choosing your Memorial Plaques:

  • When choosing memorial plaques first work out what text you want to include. The shape of the plaque can depend on the length of the text line. For example, an oval shaped plaque will only accommodate long lines of text in the middle of the sign, where as rectangular or square plaques are suited to where there are long lines of text at the top or bottom. By including braille on your memorial plaques you extend your signs accessibility to the visually impaired.
    • The choice of material is also equally important. Cast signs or signs mounted on a wooden back plate are ideal as presentation plaques. Stainless steel gives a modern feel while polished brass is often the preferred choice for professional services nameplates. The engraving and etching process add depth and texture to your sign. The use of a time-honoured natural stone such as slate creates a distinguished looking durable sign.
 


 

www.stocksigns.co.uk 

Stocksigns the health and safety signs and custom made signage manufacturer

Stocksigns for all your signage needs

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.

beach safety signsbeach safety signsbeach safety signs

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

emergency exit signsThe 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.

Viewing Distances for Safety Signs – A visual Guide

safety signs installation guide

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.

Hazard Signs – Understanding Hazard Safety Signs

The category of safety signs generally referred to as “hazard signs” play an essential role in the management of your safety procedures protecting your staff, visitors and premises. Hazard signs are displayed to advise and forewarn of potential dangers. Hazard signs have a yellow triangle with a black pictogram or symbol on yellow background with a black border. Continue reading

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.