Fire Escapes / Fire Exit Stairs
Physical structures must be built in such a way that outbreaks of fire and the spreading of fire and smoke are prevented and that it is possible, in the event of fire, to rescue people and animals and to carry out effective fire-fighting operations.
All usage units with habitable rooms on each level must be accessible via at least two escape routes that are independent from one another. The first escape route must lead via at least one required staircase in usage units that are not at ground level. The second escape route can be a place that is accessible by the fire brigade’s rescue equipment or a further, required staircase.
Fire exit stairs and fire ladders are alternative escape routes. They cannot be planned as necessary, vertical escape routes from the first. The ‘Working Paper on Escape Routes’ describes the individual requirements. Fire exit stairs in the form of an open, steel staircase can also serve as access routes for the fire brigade.
A second escape route via fire escapes and fire stairs is obligatory in many buildings to ensure that safe escape is possible in an emergency. The fire stairs could be the last resort in the event of fire. The second escape route should also enable access by the fire brigade.
Both clear legal provisions and the cooperation of customers and planners are responsible for compliance to these regulations. A steel staircase that is incorrectly installed or insufficiently maintained is just as insupportable as the complete failure to provide a required escape route.
With MEISER fire escapes you can be sure that you are well-equipped for any emergency.
The spiral staircase represents a special case among all the forms of circular stairs and requires the least space. Its main characteristic is the load-bearing column in the centre. Spiral staircases are often only mentioned as an aside in standard literature as there are no concrete provisions that regulate them.
Because of the special form of the steps we need to differentiate in principle between the clear tread width (distance between the central column and the inside edge of the banister hand rail) and the usable tread width (from 100 mm run, see DIN 18065) in spiral staircases.
Another special characteristic of spiral staircases is the shifting of the walking area from the centre to the outside at approx. 0.5 – 0.7 of the staircase radius. The smallest outer diameter of a staircase should not be less than 1,300 mm as this only allows severely limited use. A usable tread width of 1,000 mm can be achieved with an external diameter or approx. 2,900 mm.
The standard spiral staircase currently produced by MEISER has a central column with a corresponding step sleeve column. This means that we are in a position to realise a wide range of versions and customer requirements. In the basic form, four column pairs are used which can be selected according to the diameter and height of the staircase and in line with static requirements.
In order to avoid sleeve movement between the individual sleeves in our ‘push-fit system’ we also offer steel spacer rings as turned parts. Another possibility is a column that is split by storey with welded plates to screw on the individual steps. Step connections are achieved using a pipe sleeve and a special screw. Banister shafts are mounted to every second step using a screw connector.
One critical issue is the positioning of access landings above one another with a height between floors of approx. 4,000 mm. It is not possible to select a safe ratio of rise to run for every diameter in order to guarantee a minimum passage height of 2,000 mm.
The handrail on the central column and access security are supplementary measures that ensure safe use and protection from unauthorised access.
It is our job to propose the optimum solution to you. You can place your trust in our ability and our expertise.
Special requests from architects always present us with the challenge of realising the request in accordance with valid regulations. We are also a strong partner in the manufacture of complex welded structures.
MEISER holds the manufacturing qualification in the welding of steel structures in accordance with DIN 18800 Part 7; 2002-09 Class C.
Taking into account experience gained from accidents, the step measurement formula is applicable from a safety perspective if it leads to rises of between 140 and 190 mm and runs between 320 and 260 mm. The relative size of the rise and run take into account
the average persons step measurement.
The following is valid for a staircase that is easy to walk on:
2x (s) rise + (a) run = 630 ± 30 mm
The angle of climb should be between 30° and 45°.
A rest landing should be included after a maximum of 18 steps (per flight of stairs).
Grating flooring on spiral staircases is fitted with anti-skid protection as standard without a non-slip front edge, and welded in a surrounding frame in flat-rolled steel (outer edges are straight and of uniform height). An additional welded, non-slip front edge forms the connection to the straight grating step in accordance with DIN 24531. It improves
safety during the use of spiral staircases, but is not officially required.
Not every building is suited to the mounting of a staircase system at all points. Our design engineers and structural engineers will, however, always provide you with a special solution to connect the staircase to the building safely.
The connection to the building is an important element in the overall structural concept. We always work with our customers to find the best solution; a solution that fulfils all requirements so that it is simultaneously architecturally justifiable and statically verifiable.
It is not possible to install a spiral staircase in all buildings. Different building law requirements in the various federal states often mean that straight staircases are prescribed and installed as rescue stairs / fire stairs.
Other possible arguments in favour of straight staircases are the necessity of enabling large numbers of people to escape and using the given advantages of staircase geometry.
It is, however, also often architectural reasons that are decisive when manufacturing a staircase tower with two or four supports. If gratings are used to brace the central supports, they give the impression of a stabilising wall and give the staircase its own character.
Straight Staircase with two Central Supports
The use of individual supports in the stairwell gives the entire structure a special touch, whereby safe application of force into the building must be given. The roles are clearly defined here: the building holds the staircase – not the other way around.
It is possible to improve the corrosion-resistance of the surface of individual staircase components by applying additional coatings to the galvanisation of all parts of the staircase (please test necessity on flooring elements). If the flooring elements are included in the coating process please note that mechanical load (frequent use) needs to be excluded from the guarantee. The decision concerning execution lies solely with the customer. This process also gives you the opportunity of integrating the staircase even better into the colour concept of the building as a whole.
The realisation of this kind of project is a challenge that we are always happy to take on.
Stair Tower with four Supports
The compact steel structure of straight staircases often fascinates the observer. Stair widths of 1,250 to 1,500 mm or even more often need to be realised in larger buildings such as residential homes, hotels and hospitals where large quantities of people may need to be rescued. The higher structural loads usually mean that the supporting structure design needs to be stronger.
Various federal states also require that an additional children’s hand rail is installed at a height of 650 to 750 mm along the walking line in this kind of building to enable children to use the escape route safely too.