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Fire exit signage

Guest NEITTech

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Guest NEITTech

I visited a school yesterday and one thing that stood out to me is that there was no fire exit signage anywhere. There was none above final exits, and none in corridors or above any other doors to point towards the final exit.

I think I know the answer, but my question is, is there any possible justification? The building itself is approximately 10 years old so relatively new. It's a large, complex building so I'm really struggling how this could possibly have been missed. The site has annual external fire risk assessments, and the academy trust has a central health and safety department. I saw the list of actions to complete from the latest fire risk assessment and there was no mention of fire signage.

I made the point when I was upstairs in the middle of a corridor, that I, as a visitor who has never visited the site before, was well and truly lost and there was no signage in sight. On further checking, there wasn't anywhere else either.

Your comments are appreciated.

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Government Fire Risk Assessment guidance for educational premises, which has ACOP like special status under Article 50 of the Fire Safety Order as all the guides now do, absolutely requires exit signage in anything other than  the smallest simplest premises.

Age of Build doesn't help as most signage that would be required for Fire Safety Order compliance is outside the scope of Building Regs so would have been picked up during the Building Control process (which itself is recognised as actually not much use at ensuring even the things that are covered by Building Regulations are correct!) although as emergency lighting would come under the BR process I'm surprised there weren't at least a few internally illuminated exit signs at final exits and rooms used as places of assembly.

Who did the FRA?

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I believe the academy trust pays a local firm to do it. I haven't seen the risk assessment, and I don't know if I'll actually be able to get access to it, but like I said I have seen the list of defects that was reported back to the individual school headteachers and there was no mention of signage this year (and I'm assuming previous years given that there doesn't appear to be any in place!)

I'm going back soon to do a few informal focussed audits and one of the areas I'll be looking at will be fire safety so I will pay more attention.

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