The main purpose of fire safety labels is to indicate useful fire safety equipment to the public and fire fighters when a fire-related emergency occurs. Fire safety labels can also be used to alert people to activate fire alarm points and locate assembly points. They will help save lives.


Fire safety labels in buildings

Building owners and manager have put up fire safety labels in your workplace because it is the law and they can receive serious penalties if they don’t — so don’t ignore these signs and labels, read and understand the information or instructions. It could prove extremely useful one day.

Fire prevention and detection equipment such as fire blankets, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, wet risers, sprinkler controls and foam inlets can all be made visible to work staff and the public by using fire safety labels and signs. Labels provide clear instructions on how to use a piece of equipment, directions or things that are prohibited.

Whether in the office, school or public buildings, fire safety is of the utmost importance and it is vital that your working environment complies with all building regulations. Fire safety labels located in the right places can help to prevent accidents and tragedies. Don’t ignore them.

Fire safety labels are what advise and warn people about fire hazards to help prevent fires from starting, or give directions to people in the event of an emergency to the nearest fire extinguishers or escape route to fire exits. Your building should have the appropriate fire safety labels marking the fire alarm call points, the fire extinguisher points and the location of fire hose reels.

Colour coding and standards

Fire action stickers are usually pre-printed with information relevant to the action and provide a space for you to enter user information specific to your building, such as the fire brigade’s telephone number or an assembly point.

In the UK, fire exit signs are coloured green and white as this colour combination signifies a safe condition. Fire exit signs are typically green.

In the UK, blue fire safety signs are used to indicate a mandatory action, such as keeping a fire door shut. These blue signs require you to carry out an action in order to contribute towards your safety and must be coloured this way according to BS 5499.

In the UK, red fire safety signs are used to indicate prohibition, the location of fire equipment and supplementary information. An example of a red label is, no smoking in this area, fire hazard, or do not use the lift in case of fire.

Simple message

All fire safety labels are designed with a simple, unambiguous message to be clearly understood and often include relevant graphics to assist understanding, such as a little green man running towards the fire exit.

Training

Do you all know how to use a fire extinguisher? The label will show you where they are but we all need basic training in how to use them. Training and practice should be carried out at least twice a year and if you are unclear about the meaning of a label or piece of equipment, never be afraid or ashamed to ask — lives are at risk. The labelling and wording on the actual extinguishers can be extensive and detailed — it is important that you read and understand how to use the different types of extinguisher. Don’t ignore it.

Always familiarise yourself with exit points, follow the green running man. Read the labels so that you know where exit routes and assembly points are.

Fire safety labels on furniture

Regarding furniture, fire safety labelling is required to indicate the ignition resistance of each item and must be attached to all new furniture at the point of sale. Never ignore these labels. Read them and never remove them. The label itself must be attached to the piece of furniture in a prominent position so that it will be clearly visible to a potential purchaser and the wording can be easily read on both sides.

Display labels contain very useful information regarding the steeps taken to ensure compliance and should be specific to each item of furniture.

This website, Fire Safety Guide, provides excellent information regarding the regulations affecting furnishings and fittings.