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Fire Exit Signs

Posted by Nicky Smol on February 13, 2024 in Other news

Fire Exit Signs

What is a Fire Exit Sign?

A fire exit sign is an emergency safety sign indicating the location of the nearest emergency ‘exit’ in case of a fire or other emergency. However, when it comes to IMO Safety Signs on ships and vessels, there’s not really an ‘exit’. That is why we often refer to emergency exit signs as ‘Assembly point signs’.

Our Fire exit Signs are designed to be highly visible and easy to understand. Fire Exit Signs by T-ISS are high quality photoluminescent signs to guide people quickly and safely to the nearest assembly point or embarkation station. Fire (exit) signs are an essential part of emergency plans, ensuring that assembly points can be easily found even in smoke-filled corridors or low-light conditions.


Why is the term ‘exit sign’ not appropriate on ships and vessels?

The term ‘exit’ suggests a clear path to leave a building or structure, but on a ship at sea, the concept of a traditional ‘exit’ doesn’t quite apply. In maritime emergencies, crew and passengers are guided to specific areas like assembly points or embarkation stations, not directly off the ship. At T-ISS, we believe that ‘Fire Exit Signs’ on ships should be labeled more accurately to reflect this reality, with phrases like ‘Assembly Point’ or ‘Embarkation Station’ to guide individuals during emergencies.

Where to put Fire Exit Signs

Placing Fire exit signs at the right locations is just as important as the recommended size and height of the signs. If fire exit signs are not placed correctly or are not clearly visible, it can lead to serious safety hazards. In the event of an emergency, such as a fire, these signs are crucial for guiding individuals to safety. Improper placement or visibility issues can cause confusion, delays, and potentially put people at risk of getting lost or trapped inside the ship during critical moments when every second counts towards a safe evacuation.

It’s of utmost importance that fire exit signs are strategically located and easily seen to ensure the quickest and safest exit path for all occupants.



Fire Exit Signs with self-adhesive backing

Our Safety Signs are produced by SafeSign, the only manufacturer that supplies all signs with self-adhesive backing. You will never have to use adhesives or other methods for fixing. This self adhesive backing, from a PE closed-cell foam, is specifically designed to withstand the harsh marine environment. All signs are also delivered with a protecting front film, which must be removed after mounting the product.


Illuminated Fire Exit Signs

At T-ISS, we offer IMO Safety Signs as well as Electrical Escape Signs. These illuminated signs, or Fire Exit Lights, are signs that have an integrated lighting source. This light source makes sure the signs are always visible, even in low-light conditions or in the dark. These Illuminated Fire exit signs require an external power source. However, during an emergency, there is a heightened risk of power failure. In this case, the Fire Exit Sign must still be visible for safe evacuation.

For this reason, the Emergency Exit Signs at T-ISS can still produce light, hours after the power goes down, because of their photoluminescent properties. This is a unique feature for Emergency Exit Signs, ensuring your safety even in case of a total power outage.


What are the requirements for a fire exit sign?

The requirements for fire exit signs can vary by jurisdiction, but common standards typically include the following elements:

  • Visibility: Fire exit signs must be clearly visible to everyone within the ship. This often means they should be illuminated, either by internal lighting or by an external light source, ensuring they can be seen in low light conditions or when power is out.
  • Legibility: The sign should have legible text and standardized symbols. The “running man” symbol, an exit door, and an arrow indicating the direction are universally recognized symbols.
  • Location and Height: Signs should be placed at specific heights and locations to ensure they are easily noticed. They are typically installed above doors or along corridors and stairwells, at a height that makes them visible above obstacles and crowds.
  • Color and Design: Regulations such as ISO 7010 specify color and design requirements to ensure consistency and recognizability. Green and white are commonly used colors for escape route signage.
  • Maintenance: Signs must be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure they remain in good working order.
  • Compliance: Compliance with local building codes and safety standards is mandatory. These codes dictate the specific requirements for the size, placement, and type of fire exit signs based on the building’s design and use.
  • Emergency Illumination: In addition to being illuminated, fire exit signs in some jurisdictions must also be connected to an emergency power supply to ensure they remain lit during a power outage.


fire exit sign

What sign should be on a fire exit door?

On a fire exit door, the sign should clearly indicate that the door is an exit, specifically for use in case of a fire or other emergencies. The specifics can vary depending on the country’s regulations and standards, but typically, the sign should include:

  1. The Word “Exit” or “Fire Exit”
  2. Standardized Symbols
  3. Illumination
  4. The Color Green with white text and/or symbols
  5. Directional Indicators (arrows)

What does a blue sign on a fire door mean?

A blue sign on a fire door typically indicates a mandatory action or instruction related to the use or function of the door. In the context of fire safety signage, blue is universally recognized to signify that a specific action must be taken. When you see a blue sign on a fire door, it’s usually accompanied by text or a symbol that conveys what must be done, such as ‘Fire door, keep closed’.


What do I need to be aware of when choosing exit signs for my company in the maritime industry?

Choosing exit signs for the maritime industry involves specific considerations that ensure safety and compliance with international maritime regulations and standards.

Here are some key factors you need to be aware of:

  1. Compliance with International Maritime Organization (IMO) Regulations: Ensure that Fire exit signs meet the requirements outlined in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which includes specifications for emergency signage on ships.
  2. Durability and Water Resistance: Maritime environments are harsh, with high humidity, salt, and potential water exposure. Choose exit signs made of durable, corrosion-resistant materials that can withstand these conditions without degrading, such as the SafeSign signage we offer at T-ISS.
  3. Photoluminescent Materials: In the maritime industry, photoluminescent (glow-in-the-dark) signs are often preferred because they do not rely on electrical power and remain visible even after power failures.
  4. Visibility and Legibility: Signs should be clearly visible and legible from a distance and under low-light conditions.
  5. Mounting and Placement: The placement of Fire exit signs should follow the guidelines provided by maritime safety regulations, ensuring that exit routes are clearly marked and continuous, leading to muster stations or lifeboat embarkation points.
  6. Language and Symbols: Use internationally recognized symbols, such as those specified by the IMO, to ensure understanding across diverse crews.
  7. Maintenance and Testing: Regular maintenance and testing of exit signs are crucial to ensure their continued effectiveness, especially in an environment as challenging as the maritime industry.
  8. Certification: Look for exit signs that have been certified by relevant maritime authorities or classification societies. Certification ensures that the signs have been tested and meet specific safety standards required for use on ships.

    Our DNV Certificate can be found here.


Become a dealer of our Safety Signage

The safety signs we offer under the brand name SafeSign, are in line with the signs and symbols as developed by the IMO. These symbols and signs consist of safety-related messages that are easy to understand worldwide. This way the signs will be self-explanatory, regardless of nationality or language.

Are you interested in the Safety Signs of SafeSign? Contact us for more information about becoming a dealer!