Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Despite often going unnoticed, fire safety signs in the workplace are vital. Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 legislation, commercial properties are mandated to present certain signs. The rest depend on the size of your premises; it is common to have a broad variety of signs to keep customers and staff safe.
In this article, we’ll explore the different types of signs, your requirements regarding them and how they can keep people safe.
Fire Action Notice
This is probably the most important of the fire safety signs and is thus obligatory in all commercial spaces. Fire action notices detail the actions to take in the event of a fire. Whilst the layout of the sign may be different depending on the workplace, the content is largely the same. Instructions should include:
- Sound the nearest fire alarm
- Call the fire brigade
- Leave the building and meet at a predetermined assembly point outside
- What not to do e.g. collecting personal items, returning to the building before it is deemed safe
Fire Equipment Signs
Fire extinguisher signs are another of the mandatory fire safety signs in the workplace. They should detail which class of fire they are designed to extinguish. The company producing the fire extinguisher also includes information on how to operate the extinguisher, printed on the item itself.
Your building may not need or warrant a fire alarm but, in the likelihood that it does, you must also present a fire alarm sign, demonstrating where the alarm is located. Perhaps you could present this near to a fire action notice, so that occupants know the procedure to follow after activating the alarm.
Other equipment signs for items like fire blankets and hoses are only mandatory if you keep them onsite. These signs must be placed near to the fire equipment they refer to, offering clear and concise instructions on how to use them.
Fire Assembly Points, Exit Routes and Doors
Fire Assembly Points
Your Fire Assembly Point should, primarily, be accessible.
For anyone who is under the jurisdiction of the sign, provisions should be made to ensure that, in the event of a fire, people with mobility issues can get to it easily.
Furthermore, this point should be outside the building and well clear of any potential building collapse or flammable materials.
Fire Exit Signs
It’s important to note that your premises may not have a fire exit sign, if your site is small and the exit obvious.
However, if your building does use fire exit signs, ensure that they clearly demonstrate the route to the nearest point of escape. Furthermore, these signs must be clear enough so that people who don’t typically work in the building can understand them. The safety of any office visitors is your responsibility, too.
It’s vital that anyone in the building knows to abide by the rules regarding fire doors. Whilst hot days may encourage you to prop the door open, these doors must always be kept shut, hence the sign.
Fire doors prevent the spread of fire and smoke throughout a building; they can buy enough time for everyone to safely exit.
However, if they are kept open, fire and smoke have a better chance of moving throughout the building.
Notice that fire safety signs are also colour-coded. Each colour designates a certain category:
- Red signs are related to fire equipment. Fire extinguishers, for example, are always red, though the class of extinguisher is denoted in a different colour.
- Blue signs mandate an action on your part. Such actions are both mandatory and simple, like keeping a fire door closed.
- Green signs refer to guidance, helping you navigate your exit away from danger.
Whilst fire signage may often seem like an eyesore, remember that it is there for your safety. The information they present has often saved lives. To learn more about fire safety signs in the workplace and how to respond during a fire, take one of our online fire safety courses or call us at 01327 552160 to book in-person training.