Safety Signs

 Are signs required above extinguishers?

The requirement for any safety sign is determined by the formal risk assessment. In respect to fire fighting equipment including fire alarms the test is quite simple. Can they be identified and located quickly and effectively in an emergency? Do all the building occupants know the exact location of this vital equipment?

If the answer is likely to be no to any extent then the Health and Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations requires the use of appropriate markings or signs. The most important parts of any risk assessment is objective data. The only data we have on this subject is that from Essex Fire & Rescue who have states that a large percentage of employees do not know the location of their fire extinguishers. If this is the case there is clear evidence that they need to be appropriately signed.


Clear and effective communication is vital when a building has to be evacuated. Therefore, Fire Exits, Exit Routes and Fire Fighting Equipment all need to be clearly and distinctly identified by readily understood signs.

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 stipulate the shape, colour and pattern of signs for the purpose of providing signs that can be understood without the need to provide supplementary text. This is achieved by the combined use of pictograms and colours with clearly defined meanings. Borders on safety signs improve sign effectiveness by heightening contrast between the sign and its surroundings.

The type of signs you need to display depends largely on the size and type of your company. Very basically; you need to display Fire Exit and Fire Escape signs. Where direct sight of an Exit or Fire Exit is not possible, a sign, or series of signs, using appropriate directional arrows should be provided. 

Fire Equipment signs are required wherever you have fire equipment and general safety signs may be required to cover numerous different aspects eg. Construction, hazardous materials, hygiene, smoking, first aid etc.

To determine your exact requirements you really need to have a site survey conducted which will report on your company’s exact situation. Our professional engineers are sign specialists and will help to advise on all your safety sign requirements. 

FireSafe Rainbow Group © 2004-2017 | Designed by Danielle Riley Consulting