Fire Safety Legislation for England and Wales changed in 2006, with the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Similar legislation is in place for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Fire Safety Order does not specify what signs are required, but it does place a great number of responsibilities on the ‘Responsible Person’ for the building, be it a workplace or not. Apart from domestic premises, ships, aircraft, trains, offshore rigs and a few other exceptions, then it applies everywhere.
What the Fire Safety Order does specify is that the responsible person must make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures.
This is where we really discover the need for signs, whether they are for Fire Doors, Fire Alarms or Call Points.
There is no need for a small sign above 9Ltr Extinguisher stating ‘Fire Extinguisher’, because you have seen the appliance before you see the sign; however, if the extinguisher, hose reel etc is hidden in an alcove or cupboard, then a clear sign showing the location is definitely required.
Equally, signs proclaiming the location of Call Points help them stand out amongst other items, but they must be placed where they provide the greatest value, not immediately above the little red box. If your workplace uses different audible alarms or flashing beacons for different reasons, it’s probably a good idea to place a sign next to the one which is the Fire Alarm, to prevent confusion.