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Fire Action Signage - Communal Block


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Is this the correct fire action signage for a block of flats with a 'Stay Put' fire escape policy in place?  Just had new signage placed in the communal area which seems more appropriate for an 'evacuation' fire escape policy. 

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Typically, communal areas within a block of flats would be on a simultaneous evacuation. This is not to be confused with the dwellings evacuation protocol which will primarily adopt a stay put policy as you have said above. There should not be any alarm raised within the dwellings if an alarm was raised in the communal area unless under instruction from Fire Brigade or fire/smoke has entered into a dwelling. 

But this can be slightly different depending on the characteristics of the building and the Fire Strategy written. 

Further details can be found in BS 5499/ BS ISO 7010 for signage, but IMO the above would be suitable for a communal area.

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That is very confusing.  It is already been established through a recent FRA that the apartments have a stay put fire escape policy in place. From your information are you saying that communal areas are different and may have a simultaneous evacuation in place?  If so would there then be a requirement for a common fire alarm?

The tenants of the block have not been notified that there is now a stay put policy in place and are still under the impression that an evacuation policy is still in place, and the new signage only confuses the matter. 

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Looking at the sign, it appears to be a generic one for somebody discovering a fire. It does not make any mention of evacuation of either the communal areas or apartments. Messyshaw may be able to give some advice on what is required, however for your particular building this will depend on the FRA. Given the Iack of information thought, I would suggest the tenants request a meeting with the building owners / management company to clarify the situation.

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There are fire action notices available that avoid confusion like this.  I carry on my van signs that state 'Visitors Notice' and 'Residents Notice' - for care homes we look after.  They are worded differently and I do make sure the appropriate sign is displayed in the correct location 

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I suspect, as Keith says, the FAN fitted is a generic one bought off the shelf. But as Samm says, the stay put part of any residential evacuation plan only applies to within the flat, and not in the common parts.

Frankly, its impossible to say which sign is the correct one without understanding the fire risk assessment, the building's layout, the method of construction and occupancy characteristics. The only way to get a definite answer is to ask the landlord.

But in the meantime -risk wise - is it a problem? Instructing people to stay put when they shouldn't obviously creates a risk. But telling people to leave the building when they could have stayed put is more of an inconvenience than a risk in most cases. 

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