BREXIT And The Ongoing COVID Crisis

In recent months Signs For Safety took steps to make sure we were prepared for Brexit and the continuing COVID crisis. We invested in additional stocks of key materials, particularly those sourced from the EU, and have also put the necessary documentation in place for import/export requirements.

Signs For Safety continues to operate throughout the crisis with the objective of meeting customer requirements and providing the usual high levels of service. The additional measures we have taken, place us in a good position to keep customers supplied, whatever the next few months hold in store.

Although as a business we are able to react to short lead times, we would always encourage forward orders for critical and larger volumes of signage. Please get in touch with our Sales Team.

Fire Extinguisher Identification Signs

Fire Extinguisher Identification Signs

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, means the occupier of a premises is Fire Extinguisher Identification Signsresponsible for compliance.  This includes the fire safety policy, as well as fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers.

There is no single fire extinguisher that is suitable for all fires. Based on a fire risk assessment, your premises may be at risk of one or several types of fire and will need the appropriate fire extinguishers to tackle the various identified risks.

Having more than one fire extinguisher may lead to confusion in times of emergency. Extinguishers have coloured identification panels which dictate their use on or above their operating instructions but should cover no more than 5% of the body surface area.

To add at a glance clarification of the right fire extinguisher to use in the right circumstances, Fire Extinguisher Identification signs should be mounted next to the fire fighting equipment.

 

Classes of Fire

UK fire extinguisher regulations say you should have a minimum of two ‘Class A’ extinguishers (wood/ paper/ ‘Carbonaceous’ fires) on every storey of the building, although very small premises it may be more practical to have just one.  These can be in the form of water or foam extinguishers. However, other extinguishers should also be present based on the risk assessment and the class of fire risk.

Classes of fire include:

Class A                Solids such as paper, wood, soft furnishings and plastic.

Class B                Flammable liquids such as paraffin, petrol and oil.

Class C                Flammable gases such as propane, butane and methane

Class D                Metals such as aluminium, magnesium and titanium

Class F                 Cooking oils and fats

Electrical            (Former Class E) Fires involving electrical apparatus.

 

 

Former Class E – this type of fire can fall into any of the classes, as it is not the electricity burning but the surrounding materials set alight by the electric current.

 

 

Fire Extinguisher Identification

In addition to the individual fire extinguisher identification signs, we also produce a handy poster detailing the type of extinguisher and its uses which can help familiarise staff with fire fighting equipment.

Fire Extinguisher Identification Signs

The presence of firefighting equipment forms part of your overall safety policy for your premises and should involve regular inspections to make sure equipment is present and in working order. On occasions, fire extinguishers may get moved and not replaced. Our fire extinguisher missing signs will tell the viewer that important equipment is missing and should be replaced.

If you would like to talk to us about your Fire Signage requirements please do not hesitate to get in touch.

How to get people to wear a facemask and adhere to social distancing_with signs

How to get people to wear a facemask and adhere to social distancing?

How to get people to wear a facemask and adhere to social distancing_with signsThe Government’s mantra of Hands, Face, Space is undoubtedly good advice but there are different levels of acceptance. With mask-wearing being one of the most argued elements, we look at how you can use signage to encourage people to comply with this and other COVID safety advice.

The UK Government’s current guidelines are to wear a face-covering in indoor spaces or where social distancing is difficult. You can read the most up to date guidelines here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

While the majority of people are complying and wearing a face covering and also social distancing to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID there are still others that resist the government’s guidelines.

While some people do have legitimate medical reasons not to wear a facemask there are still those that just do not want to comply whether through belief or political opinion.

Currently, there are lots of psychological discussions on peoples’ behaviour, mask-wearing and COVID preventative actions. There is always a slight resistance to change until it becomes a ‘social norm’. Social norms can change rapidly if there are enough early adopters. In an online experiment published in Science, researchers found that to change social norms you just need 25% of people to be on board. From this percentage onwards the majority of people will follow suit. Unfortunately, there will be those individuals that will not adopt these new ‘norms’. While a polite spoken reminder can often provoke people into mask wearing action or safely keeping 2 metres from others, the threat of conflict can make this difficult and without additional support when challenging someone’s behaviour business owners will need other cues like signage to help get maximum compliance.

 

The Role of Signage and COVID Prevention

covid prevention education signsEducation

People will generally adopt certain behaviours when they completely understand why it is necessary. Different people will respond to different forms of messaging. Those that respond to more visual stimulus will respond to a simple wear a mask icon, whereas those that use more of their emotional brain will respond to positive re-enforcement with wording such as ‘Wear A Mask and Stop the Spread of COVID’.

Confidence Building

Professional clear signage will reassure the public that you are taking all the necessary precautions and their safety is your priority. People will remember the businesses that handled the pandemic efficiently and reassuringly.  Home produced signs will do little to support your branding. If budget allows, consider bespoke signage that can be printed using your logo to help build brand.

Message Consistency

Marketing firm Yankelovich, Inc. suggest, the average modern person is exposed to around 5,000 ads per day, with that amount of messaging you will need to be consistent with your signage to get your instructions through all the ‘noise’. Ideally use the same symbols and wording on all your signage, and other communications, throughout the visitors’ journey.

This is backed by the use of psychology in general advertising, one popular belief is the “Rule of 7,” which suggests consumers need to hear a message seven times before they will consider taking action.

We have a range of COVID Safety signs in different styles to ensure consistency through your business.

       Covid prevention signs

Adapting the Message to Your Audiencechild friendly covid graphics

Think about your visitors use the tone of voice consistent with your brand while still getting the message across and use language and graphics that will suit your environment. Read our Getting the COVID safety message across in a child-friendly way using posters & floor graphics case study.

For more information see our COVID related safety brochures covering COVID General safety and also our Back To Work brochure designed to help to get your business open again.

Simple New Year Safety Signs Audit

The New Year is an excellent time to carry out a safety signs audit. Ensuring your safety signs are up to date is one new year’s resolution you really should keep up.

Carrying Out A Safety Sign Audit.

You can carry out a simple safety sign audit yourselves. All business owners are obliged to carry out risk assessments to protect their staff and visitors and this is a good place to start with your signage audit. Review your latest risk assessments and where risks were identified assess whether signage could be used to alert people to any hazards that cannot be eliminated by any other changes. For example, it may not be practical to remove internal steps if the building is on several levels but highlighting the hazard with clear and appropriate markings and signage will reduce the risk. Things change over time so it’s worth reviewing your risk assessments to make sure nothing has changed, you may have purchased new equipment or refurbed an area since your last assessment.

Create a checklist to help ensure your audit is carried out thoroughly. List all the areas covered together Simple New Year Safety Signs Auditwith the hazards identified, the existing signage, are the signs visible, clean, undamaged? Are there any more safety instructions that should have signs but don’t at present? Once you have created your checklist complete with all your existing signage, this can be used year on year for the basis of your audit.

Don’t forget your external signage, walking access routes, car parks and storage areas to note any damage to signs or signs that need cleaning. For directional signage, it is often useful to enlist the help of a friend who is unfamiliar with the premises to gauge how easy it is to follow directions and highlight any changes that could make it easier. Check exterior signs are not being obscured by overgrown foliage.

Cleaning your safety signsCleaning Your Signs

A regular cleaning regime can help prolong the life of your signs and also alert you to any damaged signs that may have otherwise have been missed. Use a soft cloth and mild detergent to clean your signs. For exterior signs or in locations with high dust levels it is worth rinsing with plain luke-warm water to remove any hard or abrasive particles first to avoid scratching the sign surface. To dry use a dry, preferably lint-free cloth and blot gently to avoid streaks.

Sign Blindness

An issue that is sometimes reported is “sign blindness”. This often occurs where there are too many safety messages or instructions to convey in a small area, or where signs have been in situ for a long time. Moving the location of a sign can prompt the viewers’ mind to process this change as new information and can make them more aware. This is only possible if the new location is still in a prominent place close to the hazard or is still relevant to the instruction.

Changing signs regularly can also make the viewer more aware of new information. Using the same location but changing the information regularly will lead to the viewer to expect a change and they will be more mindful and check to see what new information is being communicated. This works particularly well with safety posters. Regularly changing your safety posters or having them on a rota, will keep the messages fresh, they will work as mini-campaigns and should work in conjunction with your overall safety plans and training.

If you find an area has multiple signs and messages the brain has difficulty in processing the information, replace cluttered multiple signs with composite signs or multi-message signs to create a tidier look that is also easier to comprehend.

We have several standard ‘off the shelf’ multi-message signs particularly covering hazard signs and construction safety signs but we can also make bespoke signs using the correct safety symbols complying to the latest legislation but conveying messages specifically for your specific situations.

If you would like any advice about your safety sign requirements please do get in touch with our Team who would be delighted to help you call 01737 762400.