You’ve decided that your company can benefit from a mezzanine floor. And why not? After all, installing a mezzanine floor can save your company money in a number of ways. An increased storage area, retail or office space can free up valuable space that could be used to create more income.
You probably already have a rough idea of the mezzanine you prefer in mind. You possibly know exactly where it is going and what you will use it for. But can you say that you are aware of fire protection measures that need to be in place?
Not all mezzanines legally need to be fire rated. The intended purpose and use of your mezzanine will rule whether or not your floor will have to be regulated.
Loosely speaking, mezzanines intended to house offices will require fire protection measures as it is expected that people will be using them as their primary workspace. Storage spaces generally do not need to be fire rated. However there is certain criteria that may dictate that storage space must comply with regulations. Your mezzanine will need to be fire rated if it meets any of the following:
- The total area is greater than 400m²
- Any edge of your floor is greater than 20 continuous straight metres
- The size of your floor exceeds 50% of the size of the room in which it situated
- More than 3 staff members will be simultaneously present on your mezzanine
In any case, if you are going to have a mezzanine floor installed, it would probably be best to ensure that it is as fire retardant as possible in a bid to protect your staff, investment and building as much as possible.
Fire safety and protection is as important an aspect as any other in the manufacturing and construction process of any materials and should be considered a priority. When you know that your structure won’t be complete without fire protection, either you, your floor installer, or a combination of both can carry out the relevant work to fire rate your mezzanine.
Precautionary Fire Measures for Mezzanine Floors:
- Suspended ceilings: These are usually installed beneath a floor equipped with fire rated tiles.
- Fascia: A fascia can be affixed to the exposed sides of your floor.
- Intumescent paint: Mezzanine floors tend to be supported by strong columns which will need to be fire protected adequately. They can be coated with fire retardant paints to finish.
- In cases that a mezzanine is used for offices, standard fire regulations will apply. Partitions that edge along the floor should continue all the way to the ceiling and fire boxes installed above lights to maintain the structure and integrity of the ceiling.
As well as these safety measures, other alternative options can be implemented in the installation of a mezzanine. Sprinklers can be utilised and the use of emergency exit signs can be accomdated.
Undercladding joists with plasterboard can help to protect any chipboard that is used in the mezzanine.