Suspended Ceiling Fire Ratings Explained
Suspended Ceiling Fire Ratings ExplainedSuspended ceilings are a common choice for commercial buildings and homes, offering a range of benefits such as noise reduction, improved insulation, and a sleek, modern aesthetic. But what many don’t consider is the fire rating of suspended ceilings. Fire ratings indicate the amount of time a ceiling can resist fire, and they’re essential to ensuring the safety of the occupants.
Fire ratings are determined by laboratory testing and are expressed in minutes. The higher the rating, the better the fire protection. For suspended ceilings, the minimum rating is 30 minutes. This means that when exposed to fire, the ceiling will remain intact for at least 30 minutes. In addition to the fire rating, there are other factors to consider when selecting a suspended ceiling. For example, some materials are more resistant to fire and smoke than others, so it’s important to choose a material that is both flame resistant and fire retardant.
Some materials, such as mineral wool, are both flame resistant and fire retardant, making them an ideal choice for suspended ceilings. It’s also important to consider the installation of the suspended ceiling. The installation must be done according to the manufacturer’s instructions in order to ensure the best possible fire protection.
Reaction to Fire RatingReaction to fire rating is a measure of how a material behaves when exposed to fire. It is used to assess the performance of a material and the hazard it poses when exposed to fire. Reaction to fire ratings measure the speed at which the material burns, produces smoke and toxic gases, and the heat it releases. These ratings are expressed on a scale of A1 to F, with A1 being the most fire-resistant material.
Structural Fire Protection RatingStructural fire protection ratings measure the amount of time a material can withstand fire before it starts to degrade. This rating is often expressed in minutes and indicates how long the material will protect against the spread of fire. The higher the rating, the better the protection. A rating of 30 minutes or more is usually considered to be adequate for most applications. In conclusion, when selecting a suspended ceiling, it is important to consider the fire rating and other factors such as the material used, the installation process, and the reaction to fire rating.
By taking all these factors into consideration, you can ensure the safety of the occupants and the integrity of the building.
Installing Fire Rated Suspended Ceilings Under Timber
When installing a fire rated suspended ceiling under timber, it is important to ensure the timber beams are of sufficient size and strength to support the weight of the ceiling. The fire rating of the ceiling must also match the fire rating of the timber. Ceiling tile and grid manufacturers will have fire certificates in place for any of their systems that have been tested for installation under timber joists.
This fire certificate will outline the environment in which the test was conducted and what you need to do to ensure that the fire rating also applies to your ceiling. Failure to follow this guidance can void your fire rating.
Installing Fire Rated Suspended Ceilings Under Concrete
Installing a fire rated suspended ceiling under concrete is a bit simpler than installing it under timber. Many more ceiling tile and grid systems have been tested under concrete as it is a less volatile form of installation. The main things to consider are the type of fixings you are to use, and to ensure that you follow all testing data guidelines.
Installing Fire Rated Suspended Ceilings Under Steel
Installing a fire rated suspended ceiling under steel requires a different approach. As steel is non-combustible, the fire rating of the ceiling must match the steel’s fire rating. Additionally, the ceiling must be securely attached to the steel and the steel must be properly installed to ensure that the ceilings weight will be carried correctly.A good range of tiles have been tested under steel, so there is a good variety of option for this installation type.
Installing Fire Rated Suspended Ceilings Under Mezzanines
Installing a fire rated suspended ceiling under a mezzanine is the most complex of our installations. This is due to mezzanines having many variables such as its structural make up. The main things that we look at are: -
- Is the mezzanine made from steel or timber?
- What flooring is the mezzanine lined with and what is the material?
- What centres are the main supports and stations installed at?
- Will you be suspending from the structure itself?
The Zentia Mezzguard BP2620M Ceiling Tile with Armstrong Prelude grid system.
With the system, you will still need to make sure that you are following the manufactures guidelines and doing such things as clipping the tiles down using hold down clips and installing your main runners at the correct centres.