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Evacuation Signs

Many organisations regard the safety of their staff as being able to evacuate a building by means of a clearly defined fire exit route. Although this is a key element of an organisation’s evacuation planning strategy, there is considerably more to it than that.

More recently, “invacuation” or internal building shelters have become an integral part of an overall safety strategy. Unfortunately, the need for these has only been increased by the threat of global terrorism.

Evacuation signs strategy

On October 2006, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) came into force. This was a major change in legislation and fire certificates are no longer issued or in force. As an employer, or someone who has control of a workplace, you must take steps to ensure that you have what is known as a “suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment” in place.

Signage review

Key to the successful implementation of the risk assessment, is the review and design of all relevant signage and evacuation plans for all areas of the organisation.

The requirements are simple. They should be informative and easy to understand, not just to personnel, but also to visitors. Equally, they should be current at all times and plans should be produced whereby they can be easily updated and housed in a suitable holder.

Invacuation Planning

Just as important as Evacuation Planning, so too is “Invacuation Planning” – the safe shelter of staff and visitors in an internal area of a building. If the threat (be it bomb or gas leak) is outside your building, then the safest refuge is almost certainly in Internal Shelter Areas (ISAs). It is crucial that the routes to, as well as the ISAs themselves, are clearly signed.

Evacuation sign design

The design of this special signage needs to be viewed in conjunction with all other signage e.g. corporate wayfinding and fire exit signs.

Well-planned strategies and signage can shave minutes from evacuation time, bringing huge benefits. A minute in a genuine emergency can literally mean saving hundreds of lives and, in a drill, staff resume productivity more quickly, thereby reducing costs.

For more information on Cobal’s work in this area or a copy of our Guide to Evacuation Planning Signage, please email [email protected] or give us a call on 01635 570600