If you run a public body or business, you have a duty of care over your staff and your customers. This, of course, should apply to private companies and bodies, too. But do you necessarily have the best approach when it comes to fire signs? What is the general UK law regarding fire signs for commercial properties?
In this quick guide, we’re going to look at the basic rules and regulations of fire signs, and what you need to do to make sure that signage for your business is up to code within legal guidelines.
What are the Rules and Regulations of Fire Signs?
The UK is currently governed regarding fire signs through the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996. This falls in line with directives agreed upon by EU member states in the early 1990s.
This means that, across Europe, the law regarding fire signs requires all businesses to warn of potential fire hazards and dangerous situations in specific ways. There are warning signs, mandatory signs, safe condition notices, prohibition signs, fire equipment notices and additional information notices.
What are Common Fire Signs & What Should They Look Like?
Let’s consider the most common and require fire safety signs all UK businesses and commercial properties should be making use of.
Mandatory Signs – These signs are normally blue circles with white text and instruct actions which users must always follow. For example, you may find a mandatory sign asking you to keep specific doors shut in case of fire.
Warning Signs – These are yellow triangles which inform you of any potential hazards or risks which are likely to occur. For example, any risk of fire or electrical hazard should be obvious through a yellow triangle.
Safe Conditions – These green rectangles will let building users know where safe areas are they can head to. The most obvious example of this would be, of course, notification of where they can find a fire exit or escape.
Prohibitions – Prohibition signs are very easy to spot. These are red circles with bars through them to show that a certain action is not allowed. For example, they will tell you not to access a certain area or not to smoke.
Fire Equipment – These red signs can be circles or rectangles and will show you where you can find basic firefighting equipment. For example, they may tell you where you can find a simple extinguisher, a hose, or a fire blanket.
Other Signs – Other supplemental notices in red will include directional arrows, which will show you where to go to safely escape a fire.
Why Use Fire Signage for Your Business?
If you don’t follow the law of fire signs, you won’t just be creating an illegal scenario, but a dangerous one. You have a duty of care to keep your staff, premises, and customers safe.
Failure to include the fire signs listed above in your business could lead to fatalities. Don’t take any chances – make sure you’re completely up to speed with fire signage for your business! If you would like to find out more about how we, Northants Fire, can help you, please get in touch today on 01604 760600 or head over to our contact page for more details.