Fire Exit Signs

Fire exit signs (or sometimes labelled Emergency Fire Exit Signs) are should clearly indicate the direction of travel to exit a building. Such a sign is vital in the event of a fire or other emergency, and Fire exit signs are a key part of health and safety in the workplace. Current legislation states that a fire exit location must be clearly marked with a fire exit sign - and the sign to be compliant with British standards and safety legislation. The vision of such a sign and exit path should also be kept free of all obstructions. Are Fire Exit Signs required by Law?

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What is a fire exit sign?

Fire exit signs provide essential information around the exit locations of a building. They can help save lives should there be a fire or other emergency on your premisis.

Fire Exit Signs are green and white in colour and often contain directional arrows to indicate which direction to proceed. This type of bold and clear signage is paramount in commercial buildings to ensure people can easily see the quickest route to safety.

Are fire exit signs required by law?

Business owners, employers, and designated members of staff have a responsibility to ensure fire safety signs exist in their property and are fully compliant at all times.

By law, fire safety signs must adhere to the following health and safety regulations. These regulations reflect the need for standardised and easily recognisable signs relating to matters of safety to exist in all workplaces. Failure to display fire safety signs in relevant properties poses a real danger to people and can result in serious harm, or even tragedy in some cases. It also means serious legal consequences will be faced.

Fire exit signs have two standards which are - best practice - and required by law:

  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety)
  • Order 2005 The Building Regulations 2000: Appendix B Non-Dwelling Houses.

How many fire exit signs do I need?

Fire exit signs should be placed in all relevant locations within a property. The quantity required will vary depending on the size and layout of your building. If the given space is very small, then you may only need one fire exit sign above the door if this is the only way out. Alternatively, if you have a more complex space then you will need a greater number of signs to mark each and every change in direction in the route to a fire exit. This covers changes in direction in spots such as corridors and stairs, as well as open spaces if there are multiple options and any chance of confusion.

Signs will also need to be placed above all doors and junctions to eliminate ambiguity. As a simple guide - wherever you are in a building - you should be able to clearly see a fire exit sign.

What fire exit signs do I need?

All fire exit signs that lead towards the fire exit, itself, should be directional. This ensures that a person moving within the building is advanced towards the final exit. The signs should identify the primary escape route which is normally the shortest distance to a place of safety. The only fire exit sign that doesn’t require directional arrows, is the final sign above the door and access out, which must state ‘Exit’ or ‘Fire Exit’. These signs are of utmost importance and should take precedence over all other signs.

Different types of fire exit signs should be avoided as this can cause confusion to people using them. For example, British standards and European standards should not be mixed. Below are the commonly used British Standards options:

Where should fire exit signs be positioned?

Fire exit signs can be positioned on walls, suspended from ceilings, and fixed above doors - depending on where they are needed and the best way to make them completely visible to people using them. Fire exit signs above doors or open spaces are ideally fitted between 1.8m to 2.5m in height so that they are visible at all times. If you need to put the fire exit signs higher, then you may need to select bigger signs to ensure they can still be seen. Fire exit signs should be fitted as close to the centre line of the escape root as possible For example, above the door in the centre. It’s important to note, signs should not be fitted onto doors or where they could not be seen if the door is opened. For more information please also refer to our separate guide on where to fit fire exit signs.

What size fire exit signs do I need?

Common fire exit sign sizes include: 300mm x 100mm, 400mm x 150mm, 600mm x 200mm.

The following is a guide to the recommended sign sizes to use for your room space:

  • For rooms with a smaller distance than 14m: 300mm x 100mm sized fire exit signs
  • For rooms with a distance between 14m and 22m: 400mm x 150mm sized fire exit signs
  • For rooms with the distance over 31m: 600mm x 200mm sized fire exit signs
  • If the viewing distance is over 47m - you will need bigger fire exit signs. These are usually 900mm x 300mm


  • Our entire range of Fire Exit Signs comply with EN ISO 7010:2012 (where applicable), and BS 5499-2:1986 Fire safety signs, notices and graphic symbols
  • FIVE YEAR WARRANTY - We are that confident in the quality of our signs we offer a 5 Year Warranty against cracking or fading.
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