19 May 2021
Fire Safety Signs and Symbols Explained
Fire signage is a crucial element of any building’s fire safety. We see it every day at work, in shops, restaurants and gyms, but we don’t often pay it much attention until we have to. This is usually because we’re familiar with some of them – the colours of the sign coupled with its location make it obvious, such as the white-on-green of a fire exit sign.
However, there are actually several categories of fire safety signs, and knowing what they are can prevent serious consequences, so Fire & Security Group has created this rundown of the various safety signs and symbols.
What do the Different Colours of Fire Safety Signs mean?
Each fire safety sign falls into one of three categories, and each of these categories has its own colour. Here’s what they mean:
Red Fire Safety Signs
Red fire safety signs mean the location of fire fighting equipment or the prohibition of certain actions, such as ‘no smoking’. Signs indicating the location of fire fighting equipment will be square with a red background and white symbols.
Green Fire Safety Signs
Green fire safety signs indicate a means of escape or a place of safety. In accordance with BS 5499, they must feature the symbol of a walking man, with an arrow signifying the direction people need to travel in.
Blue Fire Safety Signs
Blue fire safety signs denote mandatory action. As per BS 5499, these signs must take the form of blue circles with white font or symbols – ‘fire door keep shut’ is one of the more common blue fire safety signs.
Fire Extinguisher Signs
Fire extinguisher signs differ in that they often contain each of the three colours. The sign itself is usually a long, vertical rectangle, because it needs to display a lot of information. The top section is a red square with a white symbol, a small blue section below with white text denotes the type of extinguisher, and a large green rectangle with white text denotes what fires the extinguisher can be used on.
These signs should be displayed next to every fire extinguisher on the premises. This information can prevent someone from using the fire extinguisher on the wrong type of fire, which could have disastrous consequences.
Fire Action Notice
Although these signs also contain information regarding mandatory actions, they’re not to be confused with the other blue fire safety signs. Fire action notices are long, white, rectangular signs with blue and red sections displaying mandatory actions and prohibited actions respectively.
The blue sections contain blank spaces – these are to be filled in by the person responsible for the building’s fire safety, who should write in the emergency service number, the evacuation route and the safe meeting point. Fire action notices should be placed next to fire alarm call points and in any area that can be accessed by every employee.
These signs can literally save lives. Anybody in charge of a commercial premises must ensure that the appropriate fire safety signs are installed in the property – this is a legal requirement as per The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 and The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
Fire & Security Group are experts in fire safety, supplying and installing fire safety equipment such as fire alarms and fire extinguishers. We also prove fire risk assessments and fire safety training for customers across the UK. Our services ensure that people remain safe in a building and that businesses are meeting their legal obligations – contact us today to see how we can keep you safe.