Creating a safe working environment is a top priority when designing an office space. One crucial aspect to consider is fire safety. Incorporating fire-resistant materials into your office fit out protects your employees and assets and ensures compliance with safety regulations. Below, we will explore different fire-resistant materials that you can use to enhance the fire safety of your office fit out.
Fire-resistant drywall, or gypsum board or plasterboard, is popular for constructing office walls and ceilings. It is made of gypsum plaster and reinforced with glass fibres or other additives to improve its fire-resistant properties. This type of office fire protection can withstand high temperatures and delays the spread of flames, providing valuable time for evacuation and firefighting. It is also available in various thicknesses, offering different levels of fire resistance, such as 30, 60, or 90 minutes.
Incorporating fire-rated glass into your office fit-out can enhance both safety and aesthetics. This specialised glass is designed to contain fire, smoke, and radiant heat. It consists of multiple layers of glass with an interlayer that expands when exposed to high temperatures, forming a fire-resistant barrier. Fire-rated glass can be used in windows, partitions, doors, and other openings, allowing natural light to flow while maintaining fire compartmentalisation.
Installing fire-resistant doors is crucial to preventing the spread of fire and smoke within your office space. These doors are engineered to withstand fire for a specific duration, typically 30, 60, or 90 minutes. Constructed with fire-rated materials, such as steel, they have intumescent strips that expand when exposed to heat, creating a seal to restrict smoke and flames. Fire-resistant doors are essential for fire compartmentalization, providing safe evacuation routes during emergencies.
Select fire-retardant fabrics when selecting furniture, curtains, or upholstery for your office fit out. These materials are treated with special chemicals to inhibit or slow down the ignition and spread of fire. Fire-retardant fabrics are available in various styles and designs, ensuring safety and aesthetics. Be sure to check for fire safety certifications, such as BS 5852 or BS 7176, to ensure compliance with regulations to give you peace of mind.
Fire-Suppressant Paints & Coatings
Applying fire-suppressant paints and coatings to walls and ceilings can provide an additional layer of fire protection. These coatings contain fire-resistant properties that help delay the spread of flames. They are designed to react when exposed to heat, forming a protective barrier that insulates the surface beneath, preventing a fire from spreading. Fire-suppressant paints and coatings are available in various finishes, allowing you to maintain the desired aesthetic appeal of your office fit-out.
When designing an office fit out, prioritising fire safety is paramount for all employers and organisations. By incorporating fire-resistant materials like fire-resistant drywall, fire-rated glass, fire-resistant doors, fire-retardant fabrics, and fire-suppressant paints and coatings, you can enhance the overall fire safety of your workspace. Remember to consult with fire safety professionals and adhere to local safety regulations during the fit-out process. Creating a secure and protected environment ensures the well-being of your employees and safeguards your valuable assets.