When it comes to any office fit out, one of the most important aspects that needs to be considered is safety. The design and layout of a building, in conjunction with the style of construction and the materials used, all play a pivotal role in making sure that people can be evacuated safely in the event of a fire and that the spread of smoke and flames are prevented. However, without the relevant experience, it can be difficult to know what is fire-safe and what isn’t in terms of the materials used for your office partitions. With that being said, read on to discover more about fire safety in terms of office design.
Before we take a look at the different suitable fire partitions for an office, it is first important to establish your responsibilities, as well as the responsibilities of the designers or building contractors you hire.
As an employer, you are expected to do the following:
- Provide a safe environment in relation to fire safety for everyone that uses the building
- Make sure that any modifications to your offices do not compromise the safety of the premises
- Gain professional fire safety advice whenever necessary
- Appoint one or more competent people to help make sure that there are appropriate fire safety
- arrangements in place
- Provide suitable staff training for fire prevention
- Conduct risks assessments
- Identify significant findings of a risk assessment and make sure people are aware if they are at risk
- Make sure that your office complies with the applicable regulations and standards that are in place
Now that you are aware of the role you play when it comes to ensuring the safety of your offices, let’s now take a look at some of the different materials out there…
Drywall partitions - Drywall partitions are recommended to improve the fire-resistance of the interior walls in your offices. This will help to contain and control the spread of flames.
Fire resistant steelwork - It is also important to point out that you should not use steelwork in office design unless steps have been taken to ensure it is fire resistant. For example, at a bare minimum, intumescent paint must be used.
Fire protection glass - Finally, we have fire protection glass, which has developed considerably over the years. Having this installed throughout an office will improve the fire safety considerably, as it minimises the spread of smoke and flames throughout the building.
We hope that you now have a better idea of what materials result in safe partitions, as well as some other pieces of useful advice that can help you in terms of creating an office space that is fire-safe. However, if you have any further questions or you are worried that your premises is not safe in terms of the materials that have been used, please do not hesitate to give us a call for more information. We would be more than happy to help you in any manner that we can.