Communication is Key
'Corridors can be a labyrinth of avenues leading in many different directions. Ensuring that a clear unambiguous directional exit route signing is available is critical. These signs should present the shorted route to safety from any given point in the corridor system.'
If you are in the process of carrying out your fire risk assessment then it is more than likely that a review be made of your fire safety signs. It is a mandatory requirement that all organisations implement a systematic approach to fire safety signs. Most importantly this applies to escape route signs; these signs are usually know as 'fire exit signs' or 'emergency exit signs'. The correct use of signs in support of your fire safety strategy is a mark of compliance with part of the RRO and The Health & Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 requirements. Aside from legislation, they are the means of guidance to occupants in the event of a fire, drill or evacuation and show the route that leads to a place of ultimate safety.
A fire exit sign is a means of conveying information about direction, location and safety. The aim and main purpose of fire exit signs is to provide a clear, concise and consistent message to whoever is in the building. A successful sign system should minimise the anxiety and confusion of occupants. Solutions Fire Safety all too commonly discovers the incorrect, often confusing and mixture of both old and new signs.
When considering a sign system it is essential to spend time at the planning stage. Examination of the building and site will achieve the optimum solution and reduce the possibility for error and omission. To this end not only must signs display the correct graphical symbols but they must be placed within the 'zone of influence', i.e.
• the correct viewing distance
• Easily read and understood from an appropriate distance
• Clear viewing area
• Signs are not blocked by furniture, poster boards etc.
Signs are about offering a constant message that reinforces in peoples minds action and behaviour on a day to day basis as well as giving clarity to appropriate action in an emergency situation. The positioning of these fire safety signs and not just those relating to way guidance are governed by legislation and British, European and International Standards. Incorrect or contradictory messages can result in confusion and in an emergency when efficient egress is vital, confusion can be deadly. Not only this, but effective signing that offers Instruction, Education, Information, Location and Identification is a major contribution to standard conformance the satisfaction of legislative requirements
How can we help you?
‐ Still confused? Solutions Fire Safety provides a photo luminescent guide 'Escape Route Signs, Use of Arrows' to use as a quick reference when considering the meaning of your emergency exit signs. Solutions Fire Safety also recommends referring to a copy of the British Standard BS5499 Part 4: 2000 to direct you in conjunction with all other parts.