Fire safety signage explained

Correctly installing and displaying fire safety signs is one of the few mandatory protocols for every business across the UK. In fact, not only does every business need to incorporate these signs, but it is a legal requirement to be able to read and understand these signs in order to enter employment. We want to make sure every business and every person is fully aware of what safety signs mean and how to incorporate them in your business. As such, the team at Cheshire Fire have written this article to detail all you need to know about fire safety signage.

A look at the different types of fire signage

Fire safety signs each follow a nationally universal design so that they are easily recognisable. Each have been designed to incorporate certain shapes and colours to make them easily recognisable and, for some signs — help them stand out. Fire exit signs, for example, are coloured green because green – unlike red – is easier to see in the dark or in the midst of a fire.

The different types of fire safety sign are:

Prohibition signs:

Prohibition signs tell you NOT to do something. They are installed to prevent people from doing an action that could compromise safety. These signs show a black image underneath a red line within a red circle. The types of sign that fall within the prohibition category include:

  • Do not use lifts in the event of fire
  • No smoking
  • Do not extinguish with water

Mandatory signs:

Mandatory signs are also circular but are coloured blue. These signs dictates that an action is mandatory, as not adhering to the rule could be hazardous. The types of sign that fall within the mandatory category include:

  • Fire door keep shut
  • Fire escape keep clear

Warning signs:

Warning signs are yellow triangles featuring black symbols or text. These signs are to warn that an action could be a potential risk. These signs include:

  • Flammable gas
  • Fire risk

Fire equipment signs:

These signs are red rectangles that locate and label fire equipment. These types of signs include:

  • Fire alarm
  • Fire blanket
  • Fire extinguisher
Fire alarm

Safe conditions signs:

These signs are green and rectangular. They indicate a safe area. For example:

  • Fire exits
  • Fire assembly point

As noted previously, these signs are categorised into different shapes and colours.

  • Mandatory and prohibitions signs are both circular. Circular signs are mandatory instructions.
  • Warning signs are triangles. Triangular signs warn but do not demand an action be mandatory.
  • Rectangular signs, such as fire equipment and safe condition signs, are signs that guide and label.

Rules of signage

Signs are used to warn, notify, label and instruct. They’re useless if not visible. Therefore there are certain rules that must be followed with the placement and visibility of fire safety signs in any establishment:

  • Fire safety signs must not be obstructed
  • Fire exit signs must be situated along the exit route, with the arrow pointing in the correct direction.
  • Fire safety signs must be clear and unambiguous
  • Fire safety signs should be illuminated
  • Signs should be positioned at an appropriate height
  • An establishment’s fire signs should not be a mix between European and British standard signs.

Here at Cheshire Fire we’re dedicated to ensuring that all establishments have the necessary safety precautions ready in the event of a fire. We offer a huge range of products and services to facilitate this goal, including fire safety training, in which our experts will provide all the relevant and legal information for businesses to be on top of fire safety. If you’d like to hear more, or to learn about the extensive range of products and services we offer, give our team a call today.