Key Elements of Fire Exit Signs

Fire exit sign and fire extinguisher

The inclusion of fire safety signs is a legal requirement for all commercial premises. These signs indicate the location of fire assembly points, escape routes and fire exits throughout your property. The signs will at times also include simple and easy-to-follow instructions on safety procedures in a fire.

Before the purchase of the signs, a risk assessment is done to recognize which signs you will need and their location on your property. Fire exit signs in the U.K. are generally used to indicate escape routes and should be adequately lit to ensure they are seen.

This does not necessarily mean that the sign itself should be illuminated, but rather the location of its installation should have emergency lighting in place to guarantee it is seen if the lights in your building go off. If you opt for illuminated fire exit signs, bulbs can be used in your sign though they require ongoing maintenance.

Photo-luminescent fire safety signs are also an ideal choice since they glow in the dark. The following are the key elements which your fire exit signs should include.

Graphic Symbol

Graphics are a universal language. They are also easy and fast to understand in an emergency where confusion reigns. The universal symbol, included in fire exit signs is a running man. This symbol, when placed over a fire exit shows people the location of an emergency exit.

Directional Arrow

Emergency exit sign with arrowsYour exit sign should include a directional arrow to show the direction which people should take to the door. It is generally used in places where you need people to follow a specific route since the door is not in a position directly in front of them.

This arrow is however excluded if it might confuse your sign’s users. This is commonly in story exit openings which lead to a half landing, stadium exits or in cinemas where signs are illuminated internally. In these cases, the directional arrow in the sign will be omitted since the sign will be located directly above the exit.

Supplementary Text

In the past, fire exit signs were only text-based. Though new regulations introduced the inclusion of a symbol, you can also include text along the symbol to boost their comprehension.

The text should be in the national language of the locality to reach many people. In the UK, for instance, the text should be in English since the size of the sign cannot allow the inclusion of interpreted text.

Rectangular or Square Shapes

Fire exit signs should either be rectangular or square. These allow the appropriate display of the symbol, directional arrow, and supplementary text if need be.

The rectangle or square has a green background, which allows other elements to be efficiently displayed in white. The green colour of the sign should cover not less than 50% of its size.

Most people will only think of the route they came into a building through in a fire since this is the only familiar one to them. These routes are however typically crowded and will only lead to significant fatalities. These elements of fire exit signs are designed to ensure emergency exits are visible and offer a secure feeling during an emergency.

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