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Installing Safety Signs

The application of fire exit signs and fire safety information signs in a premises is vitally important. Highlighting to users where they can; receive first aid, gain fire fighting equipment and directional signs to lead a user to safety, are all potentially life saving.

It is impossible to specify the requirement of signs within a building without carrying out a full survey. The requirements of legislation must then be met:

  • The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 state that final exits and locations where the escape route may be unclear must have signs installed to reduce uncertainty
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires installed signs to comply with BS 5266-1 and BS EN 60598-2-22
  • Building Regulations also require compliance to BS 5266-1
  • Local Authorities and Fire Prevention Officers will have preferences as to the requirements of signage and lighting so seeking their views is always advisable

Fire Exit Signs

Fire exit signs can either be illuminated by an external light source or have their own internal light source to display the graphics on the signs legend. The legal viewing distance of fire exit signs is defined in BS 5266 pt7 / EN1838 and are as shown below.

Externally illuminated signs - 100 x the height of the panel / sign
Internally illuminated signs - 200 x the height of the panel / sign


Reviewed: 19/11/2019 (doc:72 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.


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