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Guest JamesBo

Do fire extinguisher signs have to be photoluminescent?

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Guest JamesBo

Morning I am in need of advise regarding signage for extinguishes am I right in assuming the signage must be photo luminescent upon normal lighting extinguished?

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The purpose of the signs are to indicate the position and type of a fire extinguisher so that, if the extinguisher is removed, this can be identified during a safety inspection, and a replacement ordered. As this will be done during the time when normal lighting is available, consequently photoluminescent sign would not be required.

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Fire extinguishers should have suitable emergency lighting adjacent (as per the emergency lighting standard BS5266) and some parties will say that you can meet this by the use of photoluminescent signage and so all your signs must meet this specification,

However photoluminescent signage requires continuous 'excitement' by exposure to light to be able to work when needed and does not count as emergency lighting unless part of a photoluminsecent way marking to BS 5266-6:1999 (or BS ISO 16069) so in reality if you need emergency lighting you would still have to provide the electrical light fittings so you might as well use normal signs.

The requirement for the sign just to identify an extinguisher is missing is only one code's take on it - other guidance suggests it's to locate the extinguisher as per the RRO requirement regarding non automatic fire equipment

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Let's not forget that the Fire Safety Order states:

Article 13 (1) : 'where necessary '..... 'the responsible person must ensure'.....

Article 13(1) a: 'the premises are'.........'equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment'

Article 13(1) b: 'and (is) indicated by signs

My take on the 'where necessary' part is that where, subject to an RA, the location of the extinguisher is not readily obvious to those wishing to use it (ie. within a cabinet or behind a curtain etc), signage is required, elsewhere it's simply good practice and not a requirement

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