What is mezzanine floor fire protection and why is it necessary?
So called ‘fire protection’ is effectively insulating material of the mezzanine floor steelwork to prevent it from heating quickly in a fire. Unprotected steelwork gets hot quickly and can suddenly fold. Fire protection is specified for a certain period of time such as ‘half hour’, ‘1 hour’, ‘2 hour’ or ‘4 hour’. The period of time làm gác xép refers to the time that the protected elements remain structurally sound in the event of a fire. The fire protection required for various areas of buildings is specified within the Building Regulations part B.
Fire protecting building elements as per the regulations is a statutory requirement, protecting lives and property and enabling the fire brigade to assess how long they can safely fight a fire before a risk of fold.
Providing fire protection to mezzanine floors is generally known as ‘fire rating’ them, and a mezzanine floor fitted with fire protection may be referred to as ‘fire rated’.
Do mezzanine floors always need to be fire protected?
The requirement for fire protection depends upon a use, size and extent of the mezzanine floor. Mezzanine flooring that is less than 10m x 10m in size, and occupying less than 50% of the section of the building in which it is located and which is not permanently occupied and seldom accessed (used for storage) doesn’t have to be fire rated.
Mezzanine flooring that is less than 20m x 20m in size, and occupying less than 50% of the section of the building in which it is located and which is not permanently occupied and seldom accessed (used for storage) doesn’t have to be fire rated as long as it is fitted with an appropriate fire sensors and burglar alarm.
Any mezzanine floors that are permanently occupied regardless of size will need to be fire protected such as office areas, assembly and manufacturing, taking, canteen space or areas such as retail space with public access. Also mezzanines larger than 10m x 10m without an appropriate fire sensors and burglar alarm, all mezzanines larger than 20m x 20m and all mezzanines whose size is greater than 50% of the area within that they are found. It can be seen that only in the smallest storage applications can fire protection be disregarded.
How is most mezzanine flooring fire protected?
The most common means of fire protecting mezzanine floors is by making use of four key elements of insulating material, column casings, a halted hall, bulkheads/fascias and tooth cavity barriers. This means of fire protecting mezzanine floors is used to its speed of installation and low cost.
Column casings comprise a two part page metal case layered with ‘Promalit’ or similar board bonded to the inside of the ouert shell. The page metal case usually has a galvanized or white ‘plastisol’ finish to suit the application form, but can be chrome steel or coloured ‘plastisol’, and the two parts have an unobtrusive locking seam enabling them to be quickly and neatly fitted with a few taps from a rubber mallet.
Halted ceilings comprise wires had put vertically on movies from the extra cross-bow supports of the mezzanine supporting amount of hall jogger. The runners clip together and are joined in turn by intermediate extent of hall jogger to make a hall grid. Minaboard tiles are then inserted to fill the grid. The grid is usually and most cheaply based around 1200mm x 600mm hall tiles, however by adding further intermediate 600mm hall runners, 600mm x 600mm tiles can be used. The tiles fitted must be certificated to provide the mandatory level of fire protection when used in the grid under a mezzanine floor. This restricts the available choice of tiles and finishes.
Bulkheads or fascias (vertical barriers to shut down hall cavities to exposed perimeters at mezzanine floor edges or voids) are achieved by creating a framework from galvanized section and cladding the framework with plasterboard to uncover the required level of fire protection as per the manufacturers specifications. Our bulkheads/fascias are then ornamented.
Tooth cavity barriers are top to bottom barriers within the hall void created with vitamin wool insulating material to subdivide the void into spaces as per the Building Regulations in order to prevent smoke or flame traveling through the hall void.
Alternative means of fire protecting mezzanine floors
Sometimes aesthetic or other considerations such as positive pressure fire extinguishing systems preclude the use of halted ceilings. Alternatives include taped, jointed and ornamented plasterboard ceilings on a metal furring (MF) hall framework and similarly boxed in copy providing flush finishes or intumescent painting of hot rolled copy and cross-bow supports.
All the components of fire protection should be certified to provide the specified degree of protection in the application in which they are being used. For example it is not acceptable to use any old halted hall below a mezzanine floor; the hall tile and grid system must have certification specifically providing the desired level of protection under a steel joist type mezzanine construction, which significantly restricts kids of manufacturers able to give you a suitable product.
This general information relates to mezzanine flooring fire protection in The united kingdomt and is intended for guidance only. Each application needs to be looked at without attention merits.
It is always prudent to discuss your unique project with an approved inspector or building control specialist prior to commencing work, a job with which your mezzanine floor contractor will be prepared to assist.