Safety of occupants is of prime concern in any large commercial or residential buildings. Such a large building is prone to different types of hazard, common among which is fire hazard. If you are the owner or caretaker of such a compound then one of your prime duties is protection and safe evacuation of residents and workers in case of a fire breaks out. Safe and timely evacuation ensures minimum loss of precious human life and also less risk of related mishaps such as stampede. Fire exit signs can play a crucial role in such a situation by steering people in the correct direction so that they can escape unhurt.
Importance of Fire Exit Signages
Signs for fire exit are placed at prominent places at different points of the building and premises to guide people though an escape route to an assembly area which is the ultimate place of safety.
They are not placed at the main entrance or exit to the building but are intended to point out the alternate routes from the building. This is because fire exit passages are usually situated at the shortest distance to the safe area whereas the main entry or exit may be quite far off.
Also not everybody is aware of all the existing alternate passages that lead out of the building. Fire exit signages are their only chance of escaping to safety when finding such alternate routes amid all that confusion seems almost impossible.
Installing your Fire Exit Signs
Although fire exit signages play a vital role in saving lives in large buildings and premises, their location and size can make all the difference to their effectiveness.
Small signages placed at improper height will hardly be noticeable whereas signages with photo luminescent markings will be visible from a distance even in the dark. The signs should be installed at the correct height according to normal human line of vision and prominently positioned so that they are not lost amid a clutter of distracting signages.
The standard practice is to install the signs at a height of 2 – 2.5m from the floor above doors or in open spaces such as corridors and passages. If the signs are to be wall mounted, then the standard practice is to install them at a height of 1.7m – 2m from the floor. While placing fire exit signs in large expansive areas such as warehouses and factories, install them at height and successive distance as seem convenient and effective.
Size of Fire Exit Signs
Size of signages will depend on the distance from which these are to be viewed and whether you are opt for simple signs or signs with photo luminescent markings. For simple signs that will not glow, the standard size of the signage should be 300mm x 100mm for a viewing distance of up to 10mts, 600mm x 200mm for up to 20mts and 1200mm x 400mm for up to 40mts.