If you are responsible for any type of commercial premises, you may already know that you need fire safety signs. Fire exit signs are probably the ones we are all most familiar with but there many other types of safety signage required as outlined by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.

Fire safety signage is essential to assist people escape from an emergency incident, with re-assurance throughout the route with continued directional signs. These signs are particularly important to guide people unfamiliar with the environment, although in the event of an emergency, those who are normally familiar with the environment may become disorientated and confused. This can of course include the emergency services that may need to enter a building after you have evacuated.

Positioning of Fire Safety Signage

Fire Safety signage should indicate the location of fire safety and fire-fighting equipment such as fire alarm call points and fire extinguishers and provide clear instructions for mandatory requirements such as ‘fire door keep shut’.

Your fire safety signs should be professionally installed by a competent person who is conversant with regulatory requirements, and with due regard to the layout and risks associated with a particular premises.

Although there are standard requirements for some signage, fire exit signage is site specific, as no two layouts are the same. Building occupants should be able to view an emergency exit sign from wherever they are in a building. Point of sale materials, for example, should not obscure any emergency exit signage.

In some environments, hanging or floor mounted signs may be required alongside conventional wall mounted signs.

When looking at sign installation, try to envisage yourself as someone unfamiliar to the site. Displays can block the view of emergency exits, and whilst staff will know where their nearest exits are, the general public or visitors to your site will not.

Types of Fire Safety Signage

At Hartson Fire, we stock a huge selection of fire safety signage ranging from self-adhesive stickers to rigid signs showing a number of different instructions. The can include the types of extinguishers on site and where they can be used to fire exit and fire assembly points.

If your commercial premises are based in Wales, we also have a complete range of bi-lingual signs. Though bi-lingual signs are not mandatory in every commercial premises, the Welsh Language Commission advises those buildings which are accessible by the public should always have fire safety signage (as well as all other signs) in both Welsh and English.

On a final note, always take due regard of the panic effect, no one truly knows how they will react to a fire or other incident until it occurs, and such an incident will immediately change people’s behaviours.

Fire safety signage forms part of the overall fire protection, and is essential to the safety of you, your employees, your organisation and its customers.

At Hartson Fire, to help our customers ensure they are compliant with fire safety signage regulations, we offer a free ID Sign with each purchase of a fire extinguisher from our website