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Fire exit signs pointing up or down?


Guest KarenL
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Good evening. Please can you advise if it is okay to place a fire exit sign with a downward arrow above a doorway to indicate that the fire exit route is through the door or is that just to indicate downstairs?

Also if the front door of a building is being used as a fire escape can we use a green exit sign or does it need to say Fire Exit?

kind regards, Karen

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Hi Karen

An upward arrow on a fire exit sign should be used above a doorway if the direction is either straight on from here or straight on and up from here. A downward arrow should only be used if the fire exit is straight on and down from here.

With regards to sign posting your final exit door, as it it is used as a normal exit as well, the green exit sign is correct as the exit is not specifically used just in an emergency but the word exit should be accompanied with the running man symbol in the direction of the exit but with no arrow. The sign should be placed above the door if possible. If not possible it should be placed where the sign can be clearly seen and is less likely to be obscured by smoke.

However, if the main door is being used as a fire exit, as well as an exit, and it is possible that the exit can be obstructed from the outside i.e. parked cars, you will need a fire exit / keep clear sign on the outside of the door.

I hope this helps.

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To add to the above submission check out http://www.fia.uk.com/en/info/document_summary.cfm/docid/E2CF2288-5FBA-4A49-85150B74D5060E17 for the Fire Industry Association guide on fire signs. It refers to old standards but there is very little difference the current standard is BS EN ISO 7010.

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  • 4 years later...

Hi. I am confused which directional arrow I should use above a doorway that opens on to a small landing with stairs going up and down.  In case of a fire I want to direct people down.  Should I use the up arrow on the doorway to progress through to the landing, then have a downward left on the landing to direct down the stairs?  The doorway is close to the stairs, I'm concerned the up arrow on the door could be misleading.  Can the downward arrow be used above the door and be understood to still progress through with intention of going down?  Many thanks 

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Strict interpretation of the signage rules is the use of an up arrow above the door as up is for straight on as well as up. When through the door you have another change of direction requiring another sign for the stairs (usually diagonal down & left, or down & right depending on how the stairs run) 

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Thank you very much for your response.  That's how I have understood the regs.  But my personal view is an upward arrow in a time of panic could be misunderstood as has two meanings and could send someone in the wrong direction!  Best stick to the regs, thanks again. 

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The arrow up means straight on which is the same convention that you would interpret from an arrow or direction information anywhere else. That is an understood convention. Check out arrow signs on traffic lights and road signs. The Standard BS 5499 Part 4 2000 is so simple and is replicated worldwide within ISO 7010 and ISO 16069 Safety Way-Guidance Standard.

A possible solution could be if you put the sign on the floor like map it would point through the door, if you then raise it up to 90 degrees it points upwards, could it be why the upward arrow has been accepted for straight on.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, If I have a final exit door that once you pass through it you are on the same level but you need to immediately turn left toward the Assembly Point, do I install a sign internally above this final exit door with the arrow pointing up or to the left please?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

is viewing distance measured from size of panel/size of blade or size of graphic 

eg if there is a white border around the green running man graphic or clear transparent space border - where is the neasurem t taken from ?

53D474F5-0077-4A54-8438-38A1D13F5CB4.jpeg

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  • 6 months later...

Hi, can anyone help. I have a customer who says that regulations state that exit signs need the word "exit" as well as a running man sign and an arrow. I can find no such regulation, but he says he got pulled on this when putting a sign up at an airport, and they had to replace the signs with ones that had wording on them. Can anyone throw any light on this?

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It's not a regulation, but the latest edition of the signage standards (ISO 7010) do say exit signs should include text unless in buildings where only staff would need to understand the signage. It's not retrospective unless a risk assessment deems it so (which any sensible one is unlikely to do so except in certainly specific cases).

Of course it's impossible to comply with where you need internally illuminated exit signs - they are still making these with obsolete arrows and symbols on so you won't see text legends for a long time yet!

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  • 2 months later...

Hi

Please could someone advise best fire exit sign.  I work in a very old country house.  One fire exit is to go through a door and then turn immediately left through another door, and then once through here turning immediately left again (so the person would turn through 180degrees to get out).  do the fire exit signs with arrows diagonally up and to the left apply here? I was thinking I'd have straight up arrows above all doors but wondered when the up and left arrow would apply?

thanks in advance for any help given

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Are you going upstairs (or going to the corner of a large open area)? If not then you do not use the up/left arrow.

If you have to pass through a doorway it should have a compliant sign with an up arrow above it.

If you need to turn left there should be a compliant sign on the wall with a left arrow on it (although if it's a very small lobby/area such that as soon as you pass through the first door you can clearly see the next door and sign I might be tempted not to need the sign)

Change in direction, passing through a door and changing level all require their own signs, there are no shortcuts by putting anything other than an up arrow* above a door

exit%20signs.JPG

 

* a lot of people put a down arrow above a door to point at the door to show 'this door' which is technically wrong, but a debate all in itself as to how much of a real issue it is.

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  • 1 year later...

how are ordinary people to know to know this. this is also for people who come in off the street

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