Means of Escape from Mezzanine Floors

When increasing the size of your business premises and workforce, it is important to remember that a means of escape from fire or other hazards is a legal requirement.

These requirements are set out in the Building Regulations Part B2 Fire Safety, and the latest edition of this can be accessed online for free at the Government planning portal

At a basic level, if you have a large mezzanine floor with a big workforce working on it, then you are going to need to have more large staircases to provide them with a safe exit method. A small mezzanine floor may only require one set of stairs, whereas a large floor may need 3 or 4. The exact number of staircases and the positioning of them is dictated by the existing layout of your building and fire exits.

Mezzanine Flooring Safety

Although legally you may only need to have one staircase for a small mezzanine floor, some businesses choose to invest in a second escape route if they can afford the cost and space. In some cases, an existing two-storey office building may already have a dedicated fire escape staircase, and connecting this to the mezzanine floor can sometimes avoid the need for additional internal staircases.

It is important to ensure that any changes to this existing escape route meet the necessary level of fire protection required. Staircases must not meet or discharge at the same point, or they risk being classed as one escape route. Acceptable travel distances are set out within the approved document and vary depending on the use of the building and the fire risk associated with it.

All of these factors will need to be considered when any designs for a new mezzanine floor are created and should be matched to the desired locations of staircases where possible.