There’s a wide range of safety signs Australia requires workplaces to use.
Most of the time, we focus on hazchem signs and the like – of course, not all businesses work with dangerous chemicals and substances.
You’re probably thinking that since your business or organisation is one of them, you can probably afford to skip this one.
While you may not need to warn against chemicals, there are certain hazards that are present at literally every workplace in the country, no matter the industry.
And one of them is fire.
Fire is an ever-present risk no matter what it is you do – that’s why you need fire escape signs, evacuation route markers, exit lights and emergency exit keep clear signs, no matter what it is that you do.
The importance of fire safety signs
Minimise panic during emergencies
During emergencies, confusion, panic, and anxieties reign, leading to injuries and even death.
One of the most important things that exit signs and emergency lighting do is reduce panic, and direct your team towards firefighting equipment or emergency exits.
In the case of fire escape signs and exit lights, it’s crucial that these are light-up to ensure that they’re visible through the smoke and power outages that can accompany fires.
Guide fire responders
It isn’t just your team that can benefit from fire safety signs – so too can fire responders.
Firefighters and other emergency services won’t be familiar with the layout of the building – signs for fire hoses and water mains in particular can help direct them and help them fight the blaze, while exit and emergency lights can help them navigate.
Adheres to fire codes and safety standards
All workplaces are required by law to have appropriate fire safety signs – you’ll also be adhering to your legal obligations.
Fail to meet these legal requirements, and your workplace might be hit with a significant fine if it’s discovered, especially if an accident occurs in the meantime.
Where to install emergency and exit signs
So that’s the “why” – the next question to answer is “where”.
When it comes to workplace safety signs, placement is crucial, as it impacts visibility. After all, what good is any workplace safety sign if it can’t be seen?
When planning and installing emergency and exit lighting and fire signage, you’ll need to think about the layout of your space. We’re talking about things like obstructions, equipment, height, perspective and lines-of-sight.
Commercial properties should pay extra careful attention to exit routes to ensure they have adequate sign coverage. That includes:
Exits in particular are required by law to have illuminated exit signs directly above them. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your main exit, a side door or a dedicated fire escape.
On top of signage and lighting, these exit routes must be free from obstructions that might block signs like a fire exit left sign.
Both the word “exit” and pictograph should be visible – that means no Christmas decorations like mistletoe, we’re afraid!
Emergency exit light FAQs
Installing fire service signs are pretty straightforward.
In addition to fire safety signs however, it’s important that your workplace is also covered by emergency exit lights.
And we don’t just mean aisle lights to illuminate escape routes – this is a broad category that also includes fire escape signs and light-up signs.
Of course, these come with their own important considerations – that’s why we’re here to answer the most important questions.
How long do emergency lights need to stay on?
The whole point of emergency lighting and luminous exit signs is that during an emergency, they’re supposed to be visible through the smoke and haze.
Of course, oftentimes, fires can disrupt the supply of electricity – what happens to your lighting then?
Under Australian law, emergency exit lights and fire escape signs need to account for this, with a minimum of 90 minutes of reserve power just in case the power goes out.
Of course, signs connected to mains power aren’t the only option – while not as bright, glow in the dark emergency exit stickers can help light the way out without the need for an electrical connection.
How do you test emergency exit lights?
Thankfully, most emergency exit lights come with
After installation, you can test your emergency lights’ efficiency by putting the test key into the light switch and click on test mode. All emergency lights should have turned on by then.
Is it a legal requirement to test emergency lighting?
Absolutely! Inspecting and testing emergency exit signs and lighting on a regular basis is mandatory for all commercial buildings.
As a commercial property owner or a tenant, you need to make sure that your emergency lighting system is tested every 6 months by a licensed professional.
Should emergency exit lights be on all the time?
Generally, there are two types of emergency lighting:
- Exit signs, which are required above every exit, as well as at the entrances to stairwells and any changes in direction on the way to the exit
- Egress lights, which illuminate egress pathways out of a building
The first type are required to be on 24/7, whereas the second only needs to come on during an emergency.
Most exit lights will have 2 bulbs inside them, one of which operates on mains power and the other using an internal battery (hence the 90-minute requirement mentioned above).
How many emergency exit lights do I need?
Under Australian laws, emergency exit lights are mandatory for any workplace larger than 300m2.
The number of exit lights will be dependent on the following:
- Size of the building
- Floor size
- Number of employees working on every floor
However, just because yours is smaller than this doesn’t mean that you can get away without adhering to this requirement – depending on what class of building yours falls into, you may have to still put exit lights up anyway.
Keep your workplace safe with Signsmart
Workplace safety is one of the most important priorities for your business and employees – and signs play a crucial role in doing so.
And it isn’t just emergency and exit signs – the right signage and labels play an essential role in helping all businesses follow all industry standards for health and safety.
Signsmart meets any of your signage needs, with a wide range of different safety signs ensuring that your team is safe and knows what to do in a range of different emergency situations.
Can’t find what you need? Luckily for you, we also offer custom site safety signs that ensure you get the right signs for the job.