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Signage (i)

Posted: 18/02/2013 10:51

  • 'Running man' exit signage (with directional arrows as required)
  • 'Fire Exit Keep Clear'
  • 'Fire Door Keep Shut'
  • 'Keep Locked Shut'
  • 'Automatic Fire Door - Keep Clear'
  • 'Push to Open'
  • 'Break Glass to Open'
The most important signs are those indicating the means of escape, usually consisting of Fire Exit signs (with the 'running man' symbol) on or above designated final exits, and similar signs (with directional arrows if necessary) indicating the route to the final exit. These should be of an appropriate size to be readily seen, and may be internally illuminated as part of the emergency lighting system - this is often a requirement in areas used by members of the public.

Fire Exit signs must comply with the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996. There are a number...

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Protected Routes

Posted: 04/01/2013 17:18

  • Corridors, lobbies, stairways
  • Clear exit width maintained
  • No unauthorised storage
  • No combustible materials
  • Fire doors all working and kept shut
  • No breach in fire resisting construction
Where rooms open onto a 'dead-end' corridor (that is, offering only single direction of escape), or onto a corridor that serves sleeping accommodation, or where there is only one route out of the building, it will usually be necessary to make this a 'protected route'.

This means ensuring that the walls, ceiling and floor all give at least 30 minutes fire resistance, that there are no breaches in the fire-resisting construction, and that the fire doors are kept closed, unless held open by an automatic system.

It is important that protected routes are kept free of combustible materials and furnishings, or any heat-producing equipment like photocopiers and portable...

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Exit Doors

Posted: 20/12/2012 11:44

  • Sufficient exits of suitable width and disposition
  • Clearly signposted
  • Easily openable without the use of a removable key
  • Marked on outside 'Fire Exit Keep Clear' if necessary
  • Kept clear of obstructions inside and out
  • Open outwards if more than 50 people may use it
The size and distribution of final exit doors must take into account the number of people occupying the premises, the activities carried out and whether there is a need to provide for wheelchair users. It is important that exits are clearly marked (with the possible exception of the main entrance) and kept clear of obstructions inside and out. Where there is a danger of obstruction occurring outside (eg by parked vehicles) the outer face of the door should be marked with a sign 'Fire Exit - Keep Clear'.

Fire exits must be kept...

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Means of Escape

Posted: 12/12/2012 12:44

  • Exit Doors
  • Protected Routes
  • Travel Distances
  • Signage
In any workplace it is important that there are sufficient means by which the occupants can make a safe escape in the event of fire. It should be possible for those present to simply turn their back on the fire and escape by their own unaided efforts to a place of safety.

In general terms, means of escape should comply wherever possible with the standards set down in the Building Regulations, or other guidance issued for the sort of activity carried on, but this may be impossible to achieve in an older building. 

However none of this lessens an employer's obligation to carry out an appropriate Fire Risk Assessment and deal with the findings.

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The Fire Action Notice

Posted: 05/12/2012 10:20

  • Simple, clear and concise
  • Action to take on discovering a fire
  • Action to take on hearing the alarm
  • Location of Assembly Point
  • Separate instructions for certain groups/individuals
You should find copies of the Fire Action Notice strategically placed around the building, preferably adjacent to the fire alarm points (though possibly in other locations too, such as the staff notice board or, in Hotels, B&B's and Guest Houses, on the back of bedroom doors).

The fire routine it describes should be simple and clear. It should say what to do if you hear the fire alarm sounding, or if you discover a fire. Read it from time to time to make sure you understand it, and that you agree with what you are asked to do. Sometimes Fire Action Notices are found to be hopelessly out of date because nobody bothered to...

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