In the event of a fire or other emergency, fire exit signs help to lead people who are unfamiliar with their surroundings to safety. For employers and businesses to comply with current fire safety legislations, it is vital that correctly located and well positioned fire safety signage is displayed throughout buildings. Fire safety signs should always be professionally installed by a competent person who is familiar with fire safety laws, and failure to do so can result in legal action for you and your company.
What signage do I legally need to have?
To adhere to fire safety legislations, signs such as ‘Fire Exit’ need to not only display the words ‘fire exit’ but must also display the fire symbol. In addition, Fire Exit signs must include arrows which display the route to the nearest safe exit. Each Fire Exit sign with arrows must be within view of the last Fire Exit sign on the route and should therefore be placed at any change in direction of route to the Fire Exit. The final Fire Exit sign which is positioned at the end of the route does not need to include an arrow but must be clearly located above the Fire Exit door which provides safe outdoor access.
In the UK it is mandatory to provide clear and unobstructed Fire Exit signs. Photoluminescent signs are used if the building does not have emergency lighting so that fire safety information can be seen in low light conditions or in the dark. If there are multiple exits to the premises, Fire Exit signs must show the fastest route to the nearest exit which may vary in larger buildings.
Am I responsible?
Employers and/or building owners or occupiers have a duty of care to their employees and are responsible for regularly carrying out fire safety risk assessments. Employers must apply the findings of the risk assessment and ensure that measures (including fire safety signage) have been taken to ensure that every person in the building is as safe as possible from potential fire safety hazards. Non-compliance can result in legal action which could lead to prosecution, and potentially imprisonment. To find out more about who is responsible for fire safety in your building, visit the HSE Toolbox website.
At IFS we can provide fire safety signage that will keep you legal. If you are concerned that your fire safety signage may not be sufficient to meet the requirements of your building, call us today on 0845 521 4111 for advice.