15 Different Fire Safety Signs and Their Meanings

Understanding fire safety signs and their meanings is crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone in a building. These signs provide essential information that can help prevent accidents, guide individuals during emergencies, and ensure that fire safety equipment is easily accessible and used correctly. In this article, we will explore 15 different fire safety signs, explaining their appearances and the vital roles they play in maintaining a safe environment.

15 Different Fire Safety Signs

Fire safety is a critical aspect of maintaining a safe environment in any building, whether it’s a workplace, school, hospital, or public space. Understanding fire safety signs and their meanings is essential for ensuring that everyone knows how to respond in case of an emergency. Here are 15 different fire safety signs and their meanings:

1. Fire Extinguisher

The sign is typically a red rectangle featuring an image of a fire extinguisher. The image is easily recognizable and often accompanied by the word “Extinguisher” or a similar label to ensure clarity.

This sign indicates the exact location of a fire extinguisher within the building. Fire extinguishers are essential for combating small fires before they spread. They are often found in easily accessible areas such as hallways, near exits, or in designated safety zones. Knowing the location of fire extinguishers is crucial for quick response in case of a fire.

Fire extinguishers are designed to tackle specific types of fires, such as those involving electrical equipment, flammable liquids, or ordinary combustibles like paper and wood. Individuals need to be trained on how to use a fire extinguisher effectively, including understanding the PASS technique (Pull the pin, Aim at the base, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep side to side).

2. Fire Hose Reel

This sign is a red rectangle featuring a hose reel symbol. The symbol usually includes a coiled hose and may be accompanied by the words “Hose Reel.”

This sign marks the location of a fire hose reel, an essential piece of firefighting equipment. Fire hose reels are installed in buildings to provide a steady and controlled supply of water for fighting fires. Unlike portable fire extinguishers, fire hose reels are designed for more extensive firefighting efforts. They are typically found in strategic locations such as stairwells, corridors, and near exits to ensure they can cover a wide area. The hose is usually connected to a reliable water source, allowing for continuous operation until the fire is under control. Users should be trained on how to operate the fire hose reel effectively, including how to uncoil the hose and manage the water flow.

3. Fire Alarm Call Point

This sign is a red square featuring an image of a hand pressing a button. It often includes the words “Fire Alarm” or similar instructions.

This sign indicates the location of manual fire alarm call points, commonly known as “break glass” points. These devices allow individuals to manually trigger the building’s fire alarm system by pressing or breaking the glass. Activating the fire alarm call point immediately sounds the fire alarm throughout the building, alerting occupants to evacuate and notifying emergency services. Fire alarm call points are typically located near exits, stairwells, and in high-traffic areas to ensure they are easily accessible in an emergency. Prompt activation of the fire alarm system is crucial for a swift evacuation and timely response by firefighting personnel.

4. Fire Exit (Running Man)

This sign is a green rectangle featuring a symbol of a running man and an arrow. The arrow indicates the direction one should follow to reach the fire exit.

This sign directs occupants to the nearest fire exit, guiding them to safety in the event of a fire. The running man symbol is universally recognized and helps overcome language barriers, ensuring that everyone understands the exit route. Fire exit signs are strategically placed along evacuation routes, including hallways, stairwells, and near doors. They often glow in the dark or are illuminated to ensure visibility even in low light or smoke-filled conditions. Knowing and following the fire exit signs can significantly reduce evacuation times and help prevent injuries during an emergency. Regular drills and familiarity with the building’s evacuation plan are essential for effective use of fire exits.

5. Emergency Exit (Left/Right)

These signs are green rectangles featuring a running man symbol and an arrow pointing either left or right. The direction of the arrow indicates the path to the nearest emergency exit.

These signs indicate the direction to emergency exits, helping guide people out of the building safely. The running man symbol, combined with the directional arrow, provides clear and concise instructions during an emergency. Emergency exit signs are placed at key points along evacuation routes, including intersections, corners, and doorways. They help ensure that occupants can quickly and efficiently find their way out of the building, even if they are unfamiliar with the layout. Proper placement and maintenance of emergency exit signs are critical for effective evacuation, and regular inspections should be conducted to ensure they remain visible and functional.

6. Fire Door Keep Shut

This sign is a blue circle with white text that reads “Fire Door Keep Shut.”

This sign indicates that a fire door must be kept shut at all times. Fire doors are specially designed to resist the spread of fire and smoke between compartments of a building. By keeping these doors closed, you help contain the fire, limiting its spread and providing more time for evacuation and for emergency services to arrive. Fire doors are typically found in corridors, stairwells, and between different sections of a building. Ensuring that these doors remain closed is critical for maintaining the integrity of fire barriers within the structure. Building occupants should be educated on the importance of not propping these doors open.

7. Do Not Use Lift in Case of Fire

This sign is a red circle with a line through a lift (elevator) symbol.

This sign warns against using elevators during a fire. Elevators can become inoperative during a fire due to power failures, or they may stop at floors where the fire is present, potentially exposing occupants to smoke and flames. The safest way to evacuate a building during a fire is to use the stairs. This sign is typically placed near elevator doors and in lobbies to remind people to use the stairwells for evacuation. It’s essential for building occupants to understand the dangers of using elevators during a fire and to follow the recommended evacuation routes.

8. Assembly Point

This sign is a green rectangle featuring a symbol of a group of people.

This sign designates a safe gathering area, known as an assembly point, where people should assemble after evacuating the building. The assembly point is a predetermined location away from the building where occupants can be accounted for. This helps ensure that everyone has evacuated safely and assists emergency personnel in identifying anyone who may still be inside the building. Assembly points are typically located in open areas such as parking lots, playgrounds, or other safe zones away from the building. Regular fire drills and clear communication about the location of the assembly point are essential for effective evacuation procedures.

9. Fire Action Notice

This sign is a blue rectangle with white text detailing fire procedures.

This sign provides detailed instructions on what to do in case of a fire. The instructions typically include steps such as raising the alarm, calling emergency services, using firefighting equipment if safe to do so, and evacuating the building. Fire action notices are strategically placed throughout the building, often near fire alarm call points, exits, and in common areas. The goal is to ensure that everyone knows the procedures to follow in the event of a fire, which can help reduce panic and ensure a more orderly evacuation. Regular training and awareness programs can reinforce the information provided on these signs.

10. Fire Blanket

This sign is a red rectangle featuring a symbol of a fire blanket.

This sign indicates the location of a fire blanket, a safety device designed to extinguish small fires. Fire blankets are typically made of fire-resistant materials and can be used to smother fires by cutting off the oxygen supply. They are especially useful for kitchen fires, electrical fires, and for wrapping around a person whose clothes are on fire. Fire blankets are usually stored in easily accessible locations such as kitchens, workshops, and near high-risk areas. Knowing the location and proper use of fire blankets can be crucial in preventing small fires from spreading and causing more significant damage.

11. In Case of Fire Do Not Use Lift

This sign is a red circle with a line through a lift (elevator) and flames symbol.

This sign reiterates the importance of not using elevators during a fire emergency. Elevators can malfunction during a fire, trapping occupants inside or taking them directly to the fire floor. Instead, stairs should be used for evacuation. This sign is typically placed near elevator doors and in lobbies to ensure it’s visible to anyone considering using the lift during a fire. Clear instructions and regular fire drills can help reinforce the necessity of avoiding elevators during emergencies.

12. Push Bar to Open

This sign is a green rectangle with a white bar symbol and accompanying text.

This sign indicates that a door can be opened by pushing the bar, typically found on emergency exit doors. Push bars (or panic bars) allow for quick and easy egress during an emergency, enabling large numbers of people to exit swiftly without the need to turn knobs or handles. These doors are essential for maintaining a clear and accessible exit route, especially in high-occupancy buildings. The sign helps ensure that everyone knows how to operate the door correctly in an emergency.

13. No Smoking

This sign is a red circle with a line through a cigarette symbol.

This sign indicates that smoking is prohibited in the area. Prohibiting smoking helps reduce the risk of fire, particularly in environments with flammable materials or where fire hazards are present. The no-smoking sign is commonly found in various places, including hospitals, schools, offices, and areas with combustible materials. Enforcing this rule is critical for maintaining a safe environment and preventing accidental fires.

14. Fire Assembly Point (Arrow)

This sign is a green rectangle with a group of people symbol and an arrow indicating direction.

This sign shows the direction to the designated fire assembly point where people should gather after evacuation. The assembly point is a safe location away from the building where occupants can be accounted for and receive further instructions. Directional arrows help guide people to this safe area, ensuring a coordinated and orderly evacuation. Clear communication and signage about the location of the fire assembly point are essential for effective emergency planning.

15. Fire Sprinkler Control Valve

This sign is a red rectangle featuring a valve symbol.

This sign indicates the location of the fire sprinkler system control valve. The control valve is a critical component of the building’s fire suppression system, allowing for the management of water flow to the sprinklers. In an emergency, knowing the location of the control valve is important for fire personnel and maintenance staff to manage the system effectively. Proper signage ensures that the valve can be quickly located and operated to help control or extinguish a fire.


Understanding and recognizing fire safety signs are essential for ensuring swift and effective responses during emergencies. These signs not only provide crucial information but also guide occupants to safety and help prevent the escalation of fire incidents. By familiarizing yourself with these 15 fire safety signs, you contribute to a safer environment for everyone. Regular fire safety training and awareness are key to reinforcing the importance of these signs and ensuring preparedness in the face of potential fire hazards.