Fire Safety labels: Why you need to understand them

The main purpose of fire safety labels is to indicate useful fire safety equipment to the public and fire fighters when a fire related emergency occurs. Fire safety labels can also be used to alert people to activate fire alarms in an emergency and locate assembly points.

Different types of fire safety labels and stickers will help save lives which is a critical safety aspect for any private, public or commercial building.

Fire prevention and detection equipment such as fire blankets, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, wet risers, sprinkler controls and foam inlets can all be made visible to work staff and the public by using fire safety labels and signs.

Display label and permanent label

There are two types of labels: Display label and Permanent label.

Display labelling is required to indicate the ignition resistance of each item of furniture and needs to be attached to all new furniture at the point of sale, with the exception of specific items detailed below.

Permanent labelling on furniture is intended to assist enforcement officers and show compliance with the specific ignition requirements for covers and fillings. The prime objective of the permanent label is for enforcement officers to examine a label on a piece of furniture and obtain relevant information which will enable them to find out and confirm that the materials used in the item do comply with the Regulations. They will also be able to complete a cross check of the claims being made on the label with the manufacturer’s records.

*Standard red triangle and green rectangle labels are the display labels and tend to go missing soon after purchase. It is the permanent labels that you need to have, which are fixed to the item of furniture, usually on the underside of the furniture, these give all the relevant information.

fire safety labels

Fire safety labels

Regarding furniture, fire safety labelling is required to indicate the ignition resistance of each item of furniture and needs to be attached to all new furniture at the point of sale, with the exception of mattresses, bed bases, pillows, scatter cushions, seat pads, loose covers and stretch covers. The label should be provided by the manufacturer and the retailer should ensure that it is attached as required.

In all cases, the display label must be attached to the furniture in a prominent position so that the label will be clearly visible to a potential purchaser and the wording can be easily read on both sides.

Display labels contain valuable information regarding the steps taken to ensure compliance and should be specific to each piece of furniture.

An excellent guide to the regulations is provided by the Fire Safety Advice Centre. This provides detailed information on the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988/1989, 1993 and 2010. These regulations are UK law and are designed to ensure that upholstery components and composites used for furniture supplied in the UK meet specific ignition resistance levels and are suitably labelled.

Fire action notice and stickers

The purpose of a fire action notice is to make sure that anyone working in or visiting a building knows what to do if they discover a fire or id they need to evacuate the building. They are usually pre-printed stickers which provide a space for you to enter information specific to your building such as, the fire brigade’s phone number, the building exit point and the people assembly point.

All commercial premises must display a fire action notice. It is recommended that they are located next to every fire alarm call point and at every final exit door, where they are most likely to be seen.

Fire exit signs

Fire exit signs are not required for small properties or premises such as shops but for larger buildings they are a necessity. This is specifically the case when the way out of the building is not obvious.

All fire exit doors must carry a “fire door, keep shut” sticker. This is an instruction that must be followed to be safe from fire.

Fire assembly point stickers must clearly indicate the assembly point and take into account those people who may have mobility issues.

Fire-fighting equipment location signs

In the event of a fire, it is essential that occupants know where to find fire-fighting equipment, and which equipment they should use, depending on the type of fire. 95% of fires tackled with an extinguisher are extinguished within two minutes – the label provides clear instructions are how and where to use it. It is important to get trained on the use of fire extinguishers.

Is there anything else you will like to add? Then please leave a comment.

This is a guest post written by Paul Wlkinson

Paul Wilkinson is the founder of Fire & Safety Solutions Ltd, an independent company specialising in the supply and service of fire equipment and support services. Paul is all about how Fire & Safety Solutions can help clients, both old and new, with their fire and safety needs. You can find more on fire on their on FACEBOOK page.

Want to read more on fire safety? Here is one written by us!