Fire Safety Signage

To help you understand the legislation and requirements for signage we have put together this step by step guide to fire safety signs. Once you have gone through it, and if you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help!

Clear communication is vital when a building has to be evacuated. Exit Routes, Final Exits and Fire Fighting Equipment, need to be clearly identified by easily understood signs.

The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has done a great deal of work to create graphic symbols for signs which are common to different countries. This has been agreed in the European Community Safety Signs Directive (EEC/92/58), and each member state must form its own legislation from this Directive. In the UK this has been done by the Health and Safety Executive, who have produced the health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 No.341.

The European Scene

The problem in Europe and specifically within the European Union, has been that each country has been using its own text and graphic symbols, in relation to signs. This has caused confusion in the past, and could mean the loss of a life in a real emergency.

The objective therefore is to get a universal, and easily understood safety message in use as quickly as possible.

The EC Directive

The objective of the E.C. Directive was to harmonise the way member states communicate the safety message by way of signs, so that they can be understood by everyone, regardless of language.

Uniform Colours And Uniform Graphic Symbols

  • GREEN - GO
  • RED - STOP - FIRE
  • YELLOW - HAZARD
  • BLUE - MANDATORY NOTICE

The European Response

The European response was to create a universal language which achieves total and international understanding of Risk, Hazard and Means of Escape in an emergency, within the working environment.

A picture speaks a thousand words, and cuts across the language barriers.

The UK Response

The British Standards Institute published as long ago as 1980 BS5378: Part 1; and 1982 BS5378: Part 3, for colour and geometric shape, to meet the objectives of international harmonization. These standards above are based on ISO 3864: 1984: and ISO 6309: 1987. The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations are the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive, and came into force on the 1st April 1996.

The UK Regulations

In 1990 the British Standard BS5499: Part 1, was published, based on the ISO graphic symbols for signs (ISO 6309: 1987.) This standard deals with Fire Safety Signs, Means of Escape, and Fire Fighting Equipment Identification, and ensures a true international standard of recognition.

The Guide to the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations states that Fire Safety Signs conforming to BS5499: Part 1: 2002; satisfy the requirements of the legislation.

All existing places of work were expected to have signs that conform to the standard and satisfy the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations as of December 1998.

The Guide to the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations states that Fire Safety Signs conforming to BS5499: Part 1: 1990; satisfy the requirements of the legislation.

All existing places of work were expected to have signs that conform to the standard and satisfy the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations as of December 1998.

Where To From Here?

The most important consideration when updating Fire Safety Signs is to ensure continuous unambiguous Means of Escape information.

Remember it is a requirement that where direct sight of an Exit or Fire Exit is not possible, a sign, or series of signs, using appropriate directional use of arrows is expected to be provided.

Still Confused?

We are here to help!

We will help advise on all Safety Sign problems.

Site surveys simplify your problems and our signs are guaranteed to satisfy current regulations.

Fire Risk Solutions can supply signs from a range of over 2000, which vary in shapes, size and information, in rigid plastic, self-adhesive or photoluminescent. If your sign is not available from this vast range then we can have it made to order.

Customised signs with your own site message can also include your corporate logo. Contact us and we will arrange for a full site survey and quotation free of charge and with no obligation.