In order to provide useful instructions during emergencies, provide warnings, caveats and prohibitions, or even to direct building occupants to find ways to escape and undertake safe fire evacuation, proper signs should be installed throughout the building. Let us take a look at essential information you need to know about these safety signs-this knowledge could help save your life in the future.
These signs must conform to standards set by the UK Government
The proper design, colors, shapes, sizes, and even locations of fire safety signs in public buildings in the UK are all covered by the regulations included in BS 5499: Part 1: 1990. In the UK, complementary requirements for fire safety signs are also imposed by both the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 and the Fire Precautions Act 1971. One benefit of standardizing these fire safety signs is that people can learn to recognize and understand these when they see such signs in every public place that they go to. For example, repeated exposure to the same 'Fire Exit' signs will inevitably maximize retention, facilitating effective fire evacuation should the need arise.
Fire safety signs are classified into different categories
So as not to confuse the different signs and the purposes for which they have been installed, safety signs have been classified into: 'Mandatory', 'Supplementary', 'Fire Equipment', 'Safe Condition', 'Warning', and 'Prohibition '. Signs that are considered 'Mandatory' have a circular shape featuring a predominant white symbol or text splashed on a blue background. One classic example of this sign is the one which says 'Fire Door-Keep Shut'. 'Supplementary' signs have a square or oblong shape and have a black text on a white background. These complement existing signs, as in the case of directional arrows used along with common 'Fire Exit' signs. One of the most important set of signs in the lot, 'Fire equipment' direct users to the location of critical fire equipment required during emergencies. These come in a square-shaped shape with a white symbol or text splashed on a bright red background.
Meanwhile, 'Safe Condition' signs are typified by the 'Fire Exit' sign. These fire safety signs are usually made of white symbol or text against a contrasting green background. The so-called 'Warning' signs are usually triangular in shape, have black symbols or text on a yellow background, completed by a black triangular band. A typical example of this type of sign is one which indicates, 'Caution: Risk of Danger'. Finally, 'Prohibition' signs, more commonly seen due to the nature of the signs themselves, have a circular shape with a prominent slashed red band in front. This type of sign typically features a black symbol on a white background inside a red circle with a red bar.
The installation and placement of these signs must conform to existing regulations
The Health and Safety Regulations 1996 mandates that all employers must provide specific fire safety signs. These must be installed in appropriate locations depending on the signs themselves. Especially for business establishments, full compliance with these regulations is required in order to procedure a license to operate.