Fire safety signage requirements are covered by two main pieces of fire safety legislation: The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 also known as RRFSO and The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
The ‘RRO’ – is the cornerstone of fire safety in the UK, bringing together all laws relating to fire safety in one place, not just fire safety signs. The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 apply specifically to safety signage.
All business premises will need at least 2 or 3 fire safety signs. Which signs you require depends on the layout of your premises, the nature of their use, and the fire-fighting equipment you have. This will be determined by a Fire Risk assessment.
There are 4 main types of fire safety signs in the UK, however these are sometimes sliced and diced into 5 or more categories. For the purposes of this article we’ll use the 4 category model:
The Fire Action Notice’s purpose is to make sure that anyone working in or visiting your building knows what to do if they discover a fire or if they need to evacuate the building. These typically include the following information:
All commercial premises must display a Fire Action Notice. Best practice guidelines recommend that you display a Fire Action Notice next to every Fire Alarm call point, and at every final exit door, where they are most likely to be seen in the event of fire.
2. Fire Exit Routes, Doors, and Assembly Points
The specific fire extinguishers designed to tackle that sort of fire are:
Fire extinguisher ID signs quickly show people what the fire extinguisher is suitable for, which is vital given that using the wrong type can quickly make a fire worse. Statistics show 95% of fires tackled with an extinguisher are neutralised within 2 minutes, so being able to locate the right type of fire extinguisher quickly is absolutely critical to the safety of your business.
A clearly signposted fire alarm call point is also essential in directing people to the nearest alarm. Every call-point should have the relevant fire alarm sign, and if you also post Fire Action Notices here, the person raising the alarm will have all the information they need to proceed.
Warning signs alert employees to fire hazards on the premises. This can include flammable substances such as gas, chemicals or oil. They are generally yellow and black, and often (but not always) triangular.
Prohibition or "Do Not..." signs are used to stop people from engaging in activities that may heighten fire risks, for example, smoking or using naked flames. They are usually circular, with a red band around the outside and a diagonal red line across the centre. These are frequently used in conjunction with Warning signs or combined frtgv into one fire safety notice.
We hope this guide helps explain the regulations regards fire safety signage. As a quick summary of the main points, if you are responsible for the fire safety of commercial premises, these are the signs that you must have and may need to have: