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To ensure that you’re fully prepared in the event of a fire starting on your premises, it is of the utmost importance for you to have installed appropriate fire safety signs around the building so that everybody knows what to do in an emergency.

In this month’s article, we’ll be looking at what each one of these signs means to help you give your property the highest level of security when it comes to fire safety. 

fire exit sign

Prohibition Signs

These signs are designed to warn a building’s occupants of the potential fire hazards certain behaviours may encourage, and therefore prohibit said behaviour.

The most common prohibitive sign in use is that of the ‘No Smoking’ sign, which you’re probably familiar with.

Prohibition signs are red in colour and are effective when used as a means to comply with fire safety regulations, applying them whenever and wherever a fire hazard is identified.

Warning Signs

Designed to inform people of nearby danger, warning signs are bright yellow in colour and framed by a thick black triangular border, and they can usually be found by entrances to rooms where hazardous materials are kept, such as flammable liquids and radioactive materials.

Mandatory Signs

Often consisting of a circular blue design with instructions on them, mandatory signs indicate actions that everyone in the area needs to carry out or comply with.

Such actions can include always ensuring a fire door is kept shut or that hard hats are worn on the site.

However, in the event of a fire there will be different mandatory instructions you will need to follow, and these are often longer or more complicated than the mandatory actions you find on circular signs so will feature on a rectangular one.

The white text on a blue background denotes mandatory action, and this is primarily how you can identify this type of sign.

Safe Condition Signs

These signs consist of a green rectangle with the information to be communicated placed centrally in white text.

They are used to, among other things, indicate escape routes and first aid equipment, and should always be prominently placed.

Supplementary Information and Fire Action Signs

A legal requirement of fire safety compliance is the provision of appropriate fire safety information to all those concerned.

Fire action signs provide all of this information in one key sign, and therefore prove invaluable in terms of fire safety; they include details like where your evacuation point is, and whom to call in an emergency, among other things.

Supplementary information, on the other hand, covers any additional information that it is important for people to know.

This can include such information like pointing towards escape points. Ask your fire safety assessment body for more information on the variety of these kind of signs.

Fire Fighting Equipment

Used to mark the location of fire alarm activation points and of fire equipment, these signs are placed in highly visible areas, with visibility being further achieved by the red colour of both the fire equipment and its signage.

Signs are red and rectangular, with a white coloured pictogram of the equipment centrally placed.

Exit Signs

Every exit that provides a means of escape from the premises must be appropriately signed. These signs are similar to the safe condition signs in design, and denote an emergency exit and also provide instructions for opening the exit door if required.

The proper illumination of fire safety signs

A fire safety assessment from a professional body will inform you about whether your signs require illumination in order to be easily spotted and understood by individuals on your premises.

More often than not, the fire safety signs you need to illuminate will be exit signs, as in a scenario where the building loses power and darkness descends, you’ll need to be able to find the exits as easily as possible.

Maintaining your signs appropriately

Because your fire safety signs are so important in guaranteeing the safety of individuals on your premises it is an absolute must that you carry out regular maintenance on your fire safety signage.

If you fail to properly maintain your signs then you risk putting people’s lives in danger. Maintenance of the signage can involve anything from a simple wipe over every once in awhile to checking that the lighting around the signs is working correctly.

Protect & Detect is a leading fire safety and security company, servicing Ipswich, Colchester, Cambridge, Bury St. Edmunds, Chelmsford and beyond.

Protect & Detect offers a wide range of fire safety and security services including; fire alarms, fire extinguishers, burglar alarms, intruder alarms, fire sprinkler systems, access control, door entry systems, CCTV, barriers, nurse and warden calls. Contact our friendly team today for a quick quote.


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