One of the most common questions surrounding mezzanine flooring is whether or not there is a need to add fire protection to the semi-permanent structure.
In the UK, there are over 22,000 workplace fires every year, with a handful of these exacerbated by poorly installed mezzanine flooring that lacks the correct fire protection. Having a mezzanine floor with no fire protection can lead to costly and even fatal consequences, which is why it’s important to install the correct fire protection for your mezzanine floor.
Fire protection is a crucial component in all building regulations, protecting the lives of those inside and minimising the spread of fire. The exact regulations vary depending on your unique installation but with 40 years of industry experience, we are here to offer our advice. In this blog, we’ve broken down all the information you need to know about mezzanine fire protection.
When to Add Mezzanine Fire Protection?
Put simply, the most likely answer is that your mezzanine floor will need fire protection. However, each project is different and at JUST MCP, we assess on site on an individual basis in relation to the specific building codes and local legislation.
- Mezzanine floors that measure less than 10 m in any direction do not require fire protection
- Mezzanine floors that measure up to 20 m will require some form of fire protection and warning system
- Mezzanine floors larger than 20 m in any direction will require more extensive fire protection and a warning system
- Mezzanine fire protection is also required if the floor exceeds more than 50% of the entire building space or exceeds 400 m2.
If you are planning to use your new mezzanine flooring for additional office space or to create areas that employees or the general public will use, then you will be required to add fire protection, irrespective of the size. This is because a mezzanine floor creates a void space, which can act as a flue for a fire to spread, so protecting the people in your building from this is essential.
Ways to Add Fire Protection to a Mezzanine Floor
There are several ways to protect a mezzanine floor from the spread of fire, providing up to 60 minutes of fire protection. Some of the most common solutions that we employ to our mezzanine flooring include:
A column casing is a fire-resistant material wrapped around the columns of the mezzanine floor to provide fire protection. They create a barrier that prevents the columns from burning, therefore preventing the floor from collapsing in the event of a fire.
A cavity barrier is a material that is placed between structural components to prevent the spread of fire. The purpose of a cavity barrier is to provide fire protection for a mezzanine floor by stopping the spread of fire from one level to another. Without a cavity barrier, a fire could easily ignite the upper levels of a mezzanine floor and quickly spread throughout the entire structure.
Our one-hour fire-rated fascia is a layer of material that is attached to the edge of a mezzanine floor, adding another layer of fire protection. The fascia helps to prevent the spread of fire from the mezzanine floor to the rest of the building and is typically made of a flame-resistant or intumescent material.
As leading mezzanine floor fire protection suppliers, we offer a complete fit-out service that includes suspended ceilings above your mezzanines.
Suspended ceilings are a unique way to protect your mezzanine floor, reducing the amount of open space above it. Fitting a suspended ceiling with preventative measures, such as fire-rated tiles or downlight covers, will protect the mezzanine floor below in the event of a fire.
We also recommend installing smoke detectors, sprinklers and alarms on your mezzanine floor, as well as making sure that there is a clear evacuation route in case of emergency – especially if employees will be working on the floor.
Adding other passive fire protection methods throughout your mezzanine floor – as well as the facility itself – can create enough time for those inside to evacuate safely. Our partners at FPC are experts in passive fire protection, providing exclusive products and excellent solutions for protecting your mezzanine floor. Together, we always stress the importance of fire safety.
Other measures can also be taken to make sure that the mezzanine flooring itself is more resistant to fire by covering it with cladding or a decking material that has a high fire rating, preventing the spread of any fires and giving people more time to evacuate.
Make sure you are prepared for a fire
No matter what type of mezzanine flooring you have or what it will be used for, it’s important to take the correct steps to protect against a fire. At JUST, we offer a free, no-obligation on-site visit to correctly assess your needs and to ensure that the level of safety for your new mezzanine floor remains high and adheres to the fire safety building regulations. As the leading supplier of mezzanine flooring in the West Midlands, we carefully build each project from the finest materials to guarantee safety and stability for your new floor.
Contact us today to book your on-site visit.