As it emerges that fire exit signs are expected to experience huge growth in the coming years, we consider the key priorities in signage and how you can ensure safe and efficient fire evacuation should an emergency arise.
The Global Emergency Exit Sign Market Report 2018 has revealed the global emergency exit sign market is predicted to reach £661m by 2022. But this shouldn’t be shocking information. In the UK it’s mandatory to have visible and easy-to-find fire exits and there’s never been a better time to make sure your premises are thoroughly covered and prepared for an emergency.
An emergency exit sign is a device in a public place that clearly explains the location of the nearest emergency exit in case of a fire or other emergency. Directional arrows or a running figure accompany the words ‘fire exit’ and direct people safely off the premises. Here, we outline what you need to consider ahead of installing fire exit signs or any other fire signage.
What’s so important about fire safety signs?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) provides the backdrop of all fire safety laws in the UK, while the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 refer specifically to safety signage. The latter states that fire safety signs and signals are required where, despite putting in place all relevant measures, a significant risk to the health and safety of employees may still exist. While certain signage comes with standard requirements, fire exit signage is site specific to account for the fact that no two layouts are ever the same.
The use of signs is essential in helping people escape an emergency incident – they work to provide reassurance throughout the route with continued directional signs.
The shape of things to come
For emergency escape, signs for doors, exits, routes and equipment are required by law to be square or rectangular in shape with a green background and white symbols and pictograms. Furthermore, the safety colour green should cover at least 50% of the surface of the sign.
Depending on the size of your premises, you may not need fire exit signs. If it’s obvious where the exit is (for example, if there’s only one door as it’s a small space), there’s no need for a sign. For larger, more complex buildings, however, signs are essential and should clearly demonstrate directions along the escape route.
Most signs are made of rigid plastic and are available with self-adhesive, while photoluminescent signs can be installed to ensure they’re still visible even when it’s dark.
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