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Home :: Fire Safety Signs

Fire Safety Signs

The installation of fire safety signs is part of an employer's responsibility under the law to ensure, so far as is possible, their employees' and the general public's health, safety and welfare at work. Under UK Health and Safety laws it is an employer's duty to:

  • Make the workplace safe and without risks to health to employees and the public - the use of safety signs can alert people to hazards, and show safety procedures

  • Ensure plant and machinery are safe and that safe systems of work are set and followed - correct signs can show safe working rules and regulations

  • Ensure articles and substances are moved, stored and used safely - your signage can immediately notify persons of any substance hazard

There are a number of styles of fire safety signs. The use of a certain type depends on the message that the sign carries.

Green Signs Are Called "Safe Condition" Signs

These signs can either tell people the location of certain safety equipment, such as first aid equipment and fire exits, or tell people that it is safe to do something in case of an emergency.

Red Signs Are Called "Fire Safety" Signs

They are used only for showing the location of fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment.

Blue Circles Are Called "Mandatory" Signs

These signs give orders: you need to do whatever is written on the sign. A good example would be a fire action notice.

Red Circles With A Diagonal Line Through A Pictogram Are Called "Prohibition" Signs

You must not do whatever is shown on the sign. The fact that these signs have circles on them means that the instructions they contain must be followed.

Yellow Triangles Are Called "Caution" Signs

These should be used if something dangerous needs to be brought to people's attention. Other signs may be used to point to toilets, etc. These can be any format you wish, but you must not be able to confuse them with safety signs. Note that a lot of safety signs do not require text. Symbols are used instead to give a multi-lingual sign.

The Health and Safety Regulations 1996 require employers to provide specific safety signs whenever there is a risk that has not been avoided or controlled by other means, for example by engineering controls or safe systems of work. Where a safety sign would not help to reduce the risk, or where the risk is not significant, there is no need to provide a sign.

You need to have signs that show where your fire extinguishers are, apart from exit signs. Use a blue mandatory sign for doors that need to be kept shut for fire safety reasons, for example those doors that are designed to hold back fire and smoke. You can add any other signs that you think you need depending on your circumstances. Certainly the best option for places of work is to use rigid plastic signs fixed with self-adhesive pads or screws.

Known as "photoluminescent," some signs are available in glow-in-the-dark finishes.

You need to exhibit the current "Health and Safety Law, What You Need To Know" poster that is available from the HSE, in order to satisfy the current Health and Safety regulations. You might also need to display some posters that give people information about safety.

Another important type of poster tells people what to do in an emergency, like a fire action poster, which tells people what they need to do in a fire.

Many places of work now require health and safety signs by law. Remember all safety signs for every situation, from the simple 'no smoking' label to the photoluminescent 'safe passage' sign, must include a visual symbol by law. Regardless of the language your employees and customers speak, all fire safety signs must be quickly understood.






 
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