How much safety signage is too much?

Customers often ask us to advise them on the number of signs that their building may need. Although this may sound like a straightforward question, in reality there is no quick answer. The number of signs required by a business should be determined by various factors such as the size of the building, the use of the building and also the occupants who both visit it and work in it on a daily basis. To provide you with a better understanding of this we’ll break it down in to these sections.

The building size

You’ve probably already accounted for your building size as this seems like an obvious factor, the larger the building the more signs, right? Instead of just considering the building size you must account for the internal design for a more precise answer. This would include all entrance and exit points such as fire exits and emergency escape routes. If your building design is complex then this certainly will affect the number of signs required.

The building use

The use of the building is very important when considering signage. The nature of your business will determine this and your signage requirements should be assessed as part of your overall risk assessments. Different types of businesses will have more risks than others so the correct signage is required for safety. Examples of this could include where heavy machinery is present or where dangerous chemicals are stored. Signage should be present to warn both staff and visitors of such dangers and should be clearly displayed.

Way-finding should be present to safely and efficiently guide staff and visitors through the building and if access is possible to the general public this should be increased where necessary.

The buildings occupants

The occupants of a building will have a big affect on the type and amount of signage required. A building should serve the needs of the occupants therefor these occupants should have their needs assessed before signage is decided upon. Specialist signage may be required to improve accessibility under the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act). Examples of this could be age sensitive signs in Nurseries and schools or increased way-finding signs in care homes and hospitals.

Overall, plans and drawings of your building can provide a systematic method of determining the signage you require; similarly an audit on foot through out all the possible routes of access and working spaces can identify potential signage areas. If you’re still not confident about the number of signs your building will need DB Signs can offer you advise on this and any other signage related issues you may come across.

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