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In order for employers and business owners to comply with the current fire safety legislations and fulfil their legal requirements to keep their employees safe, commercial premises must be fitted with fire exit signs at relevant locations within their building.
While every premises is different and will have differing access points, fire exit signs perform the same job in each and every building. Ultimately the signs are there to direct people to their quickest escape route out of the building in the event of a fire or other emergency.
Popular British Standard Fire Exit Signs
Fire Exit Signs are Green and white in colour - with arrows to denote which direction to go. Fire exit signs should be placed at each and every change in direction on any given route to a fire exit. This includes changes in direction in corridors, stairs, open spaces (if the direction to the fire exit is ambiguous) as well as above all doors or junctions. This is of course dependent on the size of your premises – for example, a small, one-roomed premises would only need a sign above the door if there is no other way out!
Wherever you are in your building a fire exit sign should always be visible, and once you’ve past it the next sign should be visible from there - with arrows pointing the direction to exit. The only fire exit sign that doesn’t require arrows is the final sign which should just state "Exit" or "Fire Exit" and should be positioned above the fire exit door which provides access out of the building.
Fire exit signs can be positioned on walls, suspended from ceilings or fixed above doors.
Fire Exit Signs should be fitted at ceiling level not less than 1.8m above the floor level, to ensure it can be seen over the heads of people. Ideally whatever height you fix your signs at, this should be consistent throughout (where possible). But wherever it is positioned, it needs to be clearly visible, even if lighting fails during a fire.
Photoluminescence fire exit sign variants glow in the dark and are typically able to be seen at night or in low light conditions.
While the role of both is to ensure the safety of those within the building, they do serve different purposes. A fire exit sign is there to indicate the direction of an exit in the event of a fire, while a fire safety sign can have many other functions, such as alarm call point signs, fire extinguisher signs, fire door signs and assembly point signs.
The purpose of a fire exit sign is to show people the shortest route out of the building – that will change depending on your location within the building (if it’s a big building). Signs should be positioned to direct you to the closest possible exit, which may mean you have signs leading you to different exits depending on where you are when the times comes to vacate the premises.
Please note; companies should be guided by their fire safety assessment information, these are informational guides only.