Buildings, offices and institutions

A building is much more than bricks, doors and windows. We live, work, learn, care and recreate in them. From commercial to residential real estate and from educational and healthcare institutions to correctional facilities, the buildings serve to house us. In these buildings or “social hubs” different people are together, employees, patients, students, visitors, and residents. In order to provide everyone with a safe place to stay, there are numerous architectural safety features and preventive equipment and installations. Visual language like building signage also plays an important role here, instructing and informing the users of a building.

Understandable safety signage is a basic visual language and essential for this sector where there can be so many people at the same time. Displaying the escape routes and emergency exits where the mobility of the building users is taken into account is the most common. But how clearly are the resources displayed that can help prevent, or mitigate, incidents? The marking of extinguishing and rescue equipment often does not get the adequate attention, hand fire alarms are often forgotten. Safety signage is not always part of the overall signage in the buildings. While this form of signage is perhaps the most important.

We help to increase people’s safety in buildings by applying aesthetic signage. Matching the character of the building, we integrate safety signage. The recognition and visibility of the signage is central here. We encourage recognition through the consistent use of harmonized safety signs according to the latest (international) standards. We reinforce our services with our ISO 9001 certification for quality and our SCC certification for safe working.

Functional and aesthetic through simplicity and consistency

Safety signage, markings and information panels become functional through simplicity and consistency. The entirety of signage functions optimally when it is arranged as a system. A signage system is carefully planned, where visibility, the purpose of the signage, the target groups to be communicated to, material and appearance, among other things, are taken into account.

In this sector, an understandable form of visual communication is effective in preventing incidents and stimulating safe recreation, living and working.

Blomsma Signs & Safety provides safety signage, pipe markings and process identification for technical areas, route signage and wayfinding. A purposeful implementation that is functional through simplicity and consistency.

On this page you will find the following topics:

Legal framework and sign applications

Buildings are subject to requirements and regulations from both building codes and working conditions. On our Standards and Laws overview (sorted link) you will see a pre-selection of standards and laws that interface with safety signage and identification.

In the field of working conditions it is required by law to provide signage for the prevention of incidents, in the European member states the European Directive 92/58/EEC applies.

Employers shall provide safety and/or health signs as laid down in this Directive where hazards cannot be avoided or adequately reduced by techniques for collective protection or measures, methods or procedures used in the organization of work, or ensure that such signs are in place - Council Directive 92/58/EEC

Council Directive 92/58/EEC

Escape and evacuation

Buildings consist of different spaces and compartments. The spaces can be divided into so-called areas; residence areas and function areas. Then there are the traffic areas such as corridors and stairwells that give access to different areas in a building. The traffic areas almost always also serve as escape routes that lead to the (emergency) exits in the event of an evacuation. The escape routes pass through smoke and fire compartments that hold back smoke and fire for a certain period of time, thus creating a safe unobstructed escape route for as long as possible. Understanding and seeing through the layout of a building is essential when planning and implementing escape route signage and evacuation plans.

Clear escape route signage provides for the most efficient evacuation possible for different scenarios with primary and secondary escape routes. Stairwells, technical rooms and complex areas with tunnels, basements and areas without daylight can be equipped with a trailing escape route guidance system.

The presence of understandable evacuation plans are part of the safety of visitors and employees. This also applies to the stores of Coolblue. You can read more about this project in the project case.

Go to the coolblue project case

International standards provide for the standardization of the use of (safety) symbols and signage techniques. Symbols for indicating escape routes and emergency exits are standardized in ISO 7010. The same symbols are used in escape route guidance systems which are themselves standardized in ISO 16069. Evacuation plans according to ISO 23601 are also provided with the same safety symbols and safety colors. This interplay of components collectively forms an escape route signage system.

Rescue, firefighting and safety plans

Rescue and fire-fighting equipment can limit the consequences of an incident or calamity and save lives. Extinguishing an early fire, gaining time until emergency response services arrive, providing first aid – in short, essential resources. It is essential that these resources are easy to find. By means of safety signs and safety markings, the locations of these facilities become recognizable in the rooms. Safety symbols with recognizable signs and colors ensure quick location of these resources for users of a building and for external emergency services. The design of the signage, such as the size and shape of signs and markings used, determines visibility. Along corridors, angled or panoramic signage are more functional than flat ones.

The use of symbols that are too small may be very attractive and aesthetic, but this is detrimental to the location of safety equipment. Safety plans clearly show the location of safety equipment, among other things. These drawings and overviews are used by emergency services and licensing for the use of a building.

Safety signs and markings on pipes and tanks

Safety signs and markings on pipes and tanks are primarily there to represent risks and preventive measures to avoid incidents. These signs also provide technical information about the function of an area and of a pipe or tank. Such as the designation, content or flow direction of the contents of a pipe. Buildings have technical spaces for climate systems, at healthcare institutions and laboratories there are complex piping systems for utilities and specific (hazardous) liquids and gases. Safety signs or composite signs clearly display the dangers, prohibitions and commandments. These composite signs prevent a proliferation of separate stickers and ensure a structured transfer of information. At filling points and storage facilities for hazardous substances (liquid nitrogen), all these markings occur together, a safety zone sign for the loading area and markings on the tank and piping.

Traffic signs, Wayfinding and Lineation

Traffic to and from buildings and parking facilities will be streamlined with signage. Relevant traffic rule for the participants of the traffic are displayed with traffic signs and line markings. From the public roadway to a parking space in a parking garage, signage appears everywhere along this route to help us get to our destination in an orderly fashion. A balanced mix of design, strategic placement and regulations from traffic laws form a coherent information system.