To follow on from our recent posts about fire exit signs we have put together this short tutorial on fire exit signs their meanings and where to position them. For larger projects or new builds you may wish to organise a site survey. If you would like further advice please call our Sales Team on 01737 764764.
One of the most common mistakes we see with the positioning of fire exit signs is the sign above a doorway. The sign that should be used in most instances should be the arrow up, indicating progress forward from here (indicating direction of travel), and in the case of above a door means, progress forward and through from here.
However we commonly see the incorrect fire exit sign with down arrow. While this wrong sign is unlikely to cause too much confusion as to which way someone should go it is technically incorrect. The down arrow fire exit sign means progress down from here, and technically would only be positioned above a door if there was a change of level downwards immediately after the door way.
Fire Exit Signs form one of the most important parts of your emergency escape plan, they are used to correctly mark the most efficient escape routes. Careful positioning of the relevant fire exit signs, will assist evacuation in times of emergency. Every building will have it’s own unique layout and seeking advice from experts is always advantages when planning your escape routes. However there are certain common building layouts, that occur time and again and knowing which fire exit signs to place where can save lives.
In this post we cover some of the most common examples
Fire Exit Signs On Stairs
Sign 1. means progress down to the right as viewed from in front of the sign. Sign sited on wall of half landing.
Sign 2. This means progress down from here as viewed from in front of the sign. Sign can be suspended from the ceiling or could be mounted on the wall above the stair head.
Fire Exit Signs in Corridors and Building final Exits
Sign 1. Progress forward and through from here as viewed from in front of the sign positioned above door.
Signs 2a and 2b. Progress to the left/right from here. Suspended at change of direction.
Sign 3. Progress forward and through from here as viewed from in front of the sign. Positioned above the door. Note: Outside the final exit (labelled 3) if the door can be obstructed a ‘Fire Exit Keep Clear‘ sign is needed on the outside of the door. This could be enhanced with the use of bollards or yellow hatching. If the door is the last door before exiting the building you may have a sign that reads ‘fire exit’ without the need for an arrow.
Fire Exit Signs Above doors
Sign 1. Progress forward and through from here as viewed from in front of the sign. Positioned above the door.
A common mistake here is to have a fire exit sign with the arrow pointing down, which means progress down from here, and technically would only be positioned above a door if there was a change of level downwards immediately after the door way.
Sign 2. Means progress down to the left from here as viewed from in front of the sign. Positioned on the landing.
If you are still unsure of of where to position your fire exit signs please give us a call on 01737 764764 to speak to one of our advisors or to arrange a site survey.
Fire action notices can contain several texts which are in common use but may not be appropriate for all circumstances but there are certain messages that should be included. There are four significant areas that need to be addressed.
1. Raising the Alarm.
This should advise of the most appropriate method of action whether this be by operating the nearest fire alarm call point, calling 999, verbally or by any other alarm procedure used in there evacuation procedure.
2. Fire Brigade.
The fire brigade is often called automatically through the alarm system, however it may be necessary to call the fire brigade manually. Your Fire Action notice may also give additional information which you would be required to pass on to the operator, such as telephone number and exact location details.
3. Assembly Point
A blank space is provided for details of the nearest assembly point. An assembly point is usually a static safe area marked with the appropriate signage. For premises that have no clear area to use as a regular assembly point mobile extendable fire assembly point signs can be used to guide occupants to the designated safe area.
4. Additional Instruction
It is customary to include further instructions such as “do not stop to collect personal belongings” or “ do not return to the building for any reason until authorised to do so”.
Where should you display your fire action notices?
Best practice suggests fire action notices should be displayed next to every fire alarm call point and next to the final fire exits. This gives the relevant information at a glance to the person raising the alarm and any further action that maybe required.
There are two distinct styles of fire action notice, one the traditional blue and red sign with written instructions and the other incorporating graphic symbols in line with BS EN ISO 7010. Both of which meet current legislation however the graphic symbol version is growing in popularity due to the effectiveness of relaying information quickly through symbols which would be critical in an evacuation situation.
The summer months and the holiday season are the ideal time to carry out a signage audit. Your business premises may be quieter, as staff jet off on their well earned breaks, often leaving car parks and buildings temporarily easier to access. Use this time and the increased access to assess your company signage, making sure signs are present, in good condition and correct to the latest legislation.
Also the summer can be a time when there maybe a need to increase security to your grounds or buildings. Building sites and disused quarries can seem attractive places to play, potentially with tragic consequences, so ensuring your boundary safety signs are all in place becomes critical.
Taking Stock of your Safety Signs
Take time to walk around your premises, it may take a couple of trips round if you have a large or complicated building layout.
Note all your existing fire and safety signs. Do you have all the necessary signs covered by
legislation? Through the course of the year things happen to your building, were signs
replaced after that wall got repainted? Were your signs covered up when you had the last office move round? This photograph illustrates a common example. The fire alarm call points in this hotel were relocated during a refit. Unfortunately the sign has not been updated and the fire action notice now marks just a redundant blanking plate. On the flip side, you guessed it, the alarm call points were relocated but they have failed to install the correct fire equipment signage to mark its new location. Many people find that their fire signage is often in the wrong place, check your emergency escape signage is being displayed properly. If you are not sure whether you are completely covered legally get a site survey done to give you peace of mind.
While it isn’t yet a requirement to change all your existing safety signs to the new ISO 7010 versions, the advice is not to mix signage from different legislative standards. Best practice recommends, if changes or additions are needed, updating to the most recent standard.This photo shows a BS 5499 fire exit sign directly mounted next to a sign with symbols from the EEC directive 92/58, which could lead to confusion.
Care of your safety Signs
Safety signs over time can become dirty or damaged and several environmental factors can effect your signs. Signs in areas of high traffic can become dirty quickly. Make sure all signs are clean and clear and can be easily read, and cleaned where needed. If they are illegible and beyond cleaning replace where necessary.
For more information about safety signs or any other signage query please contact our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’ve ever had any dealings with any aspect of Health and Safety, the chances are you’ve come across the acronym COSHH or one of the COSHH symbols. However, you may still be uncertain about what COSHH actually stands or what the symbols mean. Don’t worry though, help is at hand with our informative short guide to COSHH.
What does COSSH stand for?
COSHH stands for ‘Control of Substances Hazardous to Health’ and under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, employers need to either prevent or reduce their workers’ exposure to substances that are hazardous to their health.
What are ‘substances hazardous to health?’
Broadly speaking, substances hazardous to health include any substances that could cause harm to employees, contractors and other people. These hazardous substances can come in many different forms, including:
What do the COSHH symbols stand for?
The COSHH symbols are a set of international symbols that allow you to understand the different hazards within your organisation. They have been in use since 1967, with each symbol representing a different type of hazard. In 2009 the symbols were updated to reflect the international nature of hazardous substances. See the chart below for a guide to the new international hazard symbols:
COSHH training is designed to safeguard your employees, teaching them to to identify, measure and control the exposure to harmful substances. A COSHH training course should provide you with:
An understanding of how and which substances can harm health
Knowledge and definitions of exposure limits
Skills to understand exposure and to conduct risk assessments
A greater understanding of practical control measures and safe systems of work
Where can I find out more?
The HSE has a free downloadable guide called ‘Working with substances hazardous to health’ – which is a brief overview of COSHH.
The RoSPA Workplace Safety Blog also contains further information on COSHH, as well as other useful posts on all matters relating to occupational health and safety.
As part of the Stocksigns’ support of “Go Green Week” we are looking at various ways you can use signage to boost your company’s “Green Credentials”. In this post we are revisiting the additional environmental benefits of using photoluminescent signs.
Many companies are committed to recycling and purchasing non-toxic supplies, but they still work in buildings whose materials, electrical systems and waste systems were in place long before being “eco” became the business buzz word of the moment and before the economic benefits of being green were truly understood. Different companies will have different factors to consider when improving their green credentials. For example, a solicitors firm will have different concerns than a construction site. But one way Continue reading →
With the wintry weather set to continue for a few weeks yet, it’s time to take extra safety precautions. The councils do their best to grit and salt our roads, to protect road users as best they can. But what happens at the travellers’ destinations? Many road users are on their way to work and schools, where they encounter private roads, driveways and car parks, all outside the councils jurisdiction. It is here in these close to home places where most accidents occur and quite often these are the same places that do not get the safety treatment they deserve.
Don’t let your premises, car park or pathways add to this winter’s accident statistics. Clear car parks and pathways of ice and snow, and regularly grit with salt to stop them re-freezing. When clearing snow ensure you have the right tools. A Snow pusher is lightweight and has a bi-directional blade making clearing of large areas quick and efficient. Products such as Ice Melt will clear icy patches quickly, with no damage to carpets, floors or plants.
Once staff and visitors are inside your premises the hazard doesn’t stop, floors in receptions, entry points and non carpeted corridors become slippery even with relatively low footfall levels. Make sure these trouble spots are regularly mopped, adequate door matting is available and suitable slip hazard signage used.
Winter Hazard Zones Check List
Grit all car parks.
Ensure all external paths are cleared and regularly gritted.
Areas with high footfall such as entrances and smoking shelters, need extra attention.