Taking the right steps to combat fire
Why choose a fire rated loft hatch and ladder?
A fire rated loft hatch and ladder provides safe and convenient access into a loft, plant room or onto a roof, while still providing up to 90 minutes of fire resistance. It can also provide high levels of thermal insulation and therefore help to keep energy costs down.
Aluminium or wooden ladder?
The choice between an aluminium or wooden fire rated loft ladder is largely based upon preference. However, retractable aluminium loft ladders are available to fit smaller hatch box sizes. This makes them best suited for projects where space is limited. Also, wooden loft ladders are typically limited to floor-to-ceiling heights of just over 3m. Whereas, retractable ladders, such as the Supreme F30 and F60/F90 with steel hatch box, can be used for heights up to 4.6m.
Commercial & industrial projects
Heavy duty fire rated loft hatch and ladders are available for commercial and industrial projects. It is important to ensure that the loft ladder has been manufactured and tested in accordance with EN 14975, as a result you can be certain it can support a minimum load of 150 kg per tread/step. However, for commercial projects it is generally recommended to choose a loft ladder certified to 200 kg per tread. Also, aim to maximise tread width and depth by opting for a wide ceiling opening. This will improve safety and comfort for those using the loft ladder.
Fire rated products from Premier Loft Ladders
Our product range includes fire rated versions of both precision-engineered retractable aluminium and folding wooden loft ladders. These lead the field in design, technology, energy efficiency and quality. All of which are manufactured to EN 14975 and fire resistant to DIN 4102.
Installing a fire rated loft hatch and ladder
Fire rated loft ladders should be installed following the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines. The process will normally be the same as for any other loft ladder. However, after installing it is essential to fill the gap between the hatch box and the structural opening with a fire resistant mortar. We recommend using a mortar that meets class 3 DIN 18580. Alternatively, you could also use mortars tested to EN 1366-3 and BS 476 part 4 and 20. We also advise that the mortar is filled to a minimum depth of 180 mm within the gap.
As mentioned before, thermal insulation can help to keep in the warmth and lower energy use. We recommend choosing a fire rated loft hatch and ladder that offers good levels of thermal insulation. For example, you should really be looking for a product offering a U-value of less than 1 W/m2K. Read our guide to insulated loft ladders for more details.
Where security is a concern, such as in public buildings, make sure to choose a loft ladder that can be fitted with a lock. Also, ensure that the hatch is strong and durable. A fire rated steel hatch and ladder may therefore prove to be the best option.
Finally, when choosing a fire rated loft hatch and ladder you may wish to consider whether you need a made-to-measure solution. Fire rated loft ladders can come in standard sizes. As a result, they may be available from stock or benefit from a shorter lead time. However, if your ceiling structure cannot be altered then choose a made-to-measure fire rated loft hatch with ladder. Consequently, it may be slightly more expensive and you may have to wait a couple of weeks, but it should save time and cost on-site.
If you have any questions about our fire rated loft hatch and ladder product range, or would like to discuss your project, please get in touch…
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