What colors should be used for fire related signs?

ANSI defines red as the color used for any safety signs or labels that signify danger, the color that marks fire protection equipment, and the color that indicates the need to stop. ANSI is not an institution that can enforce rules. The entity is merely a non-profit that supervises standards made for services, processes, produces, systems, and personnel that are created by voluntary committees. However, these standards are often adopted by governmental entities like OSHA to put into action.

Under OSHA requirements, the standard color for fire and fire hazards is red, which is one of the most eye-catching colors when it comes to signage. OSHA enforces this standard for businesses to incorporate into their visual safety program. OSHA’s description for red signage states that it should be used to label fire protection equipment, alert people of dangers related to fire and flammable objects that have a flashpoint below 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and lastly warn of anything that requires something or someone to stop before proceeding.

When encountering fire and the risk of fire the signs should always be red to signify danger and potentially lethal consequences which often go hand in hand with fire-hazards. Combined with the white lettering that usually accompanies fire safety signage, the visibility level becomes higher in any situation which overall creates a much safer environment for everyone in the vicinity.

Fire extinguisher behind glass with fire extinguisher sign above

There are countless emergency egress and fire protection systems around businesses that are related to fire and need to be marked visibly. A few examples include:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire alarms
  • Fire exits
  • Fire lanes for parking lots
  • Fire doors
  • Evacuation areas

If the correct color is used for fire hazards and their respective protective equipment, then it is more likely that employees, customers, visitors, etc. will recognize the meaning of the sign. It will inevitably catch their eye as it is supposed to and will always make the facility safer in comparison to not having fire signage at all.


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