Flames

Essential Fire Safety Signage

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

 

Where do I start…?

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

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

 

Fire Exit Signage

Fire Exit Sign

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Fire Door Signage

Fire door keep shut

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

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

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

 

Fire Action Notice

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

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

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

 

Fire Assembly point

Fire Assembly Point

 

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

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

Fire Safety Equipment:

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

– Fire Extinguishers

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

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

 

Fire Extinguishers

 

– Fire Alarm Call PointFire alarm call point

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

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

 

– Other fire safety equipment signage

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

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

Fire hose reelFire Blanket Wet riserDry Riser

 

Glow with the flow…

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

 

School signs

School Holiday Sign Audit

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

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

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

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School entrance signSchool Identity

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

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

 

 

Information and way finding

Lost property school sign

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

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

 

 

CCTV Sign

Security

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

 

Signage Condition

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