Floor Coverings For Escape Routes: What To Consider
A number of factors needs to be considered. The first refers to the physical attributes of the materials used as a floor covering.
The second is the way the chosen flooring surface impacts on users in its everyday use, including maintenance of the surface and whether it can retain its integrity.
The third refers to the impact of the floor covering on its users in an emergency evacuation or emergency scenario.
A number of features can be added to staircases and high traffic areas in high-rise buildings, offices and industrial settings to minimise risk of slipping on an everyday basis and in an emergency, which could otherwise prevent residents or building users reaching safety and hinder emergency services.
Anti-slip rubber stair treads tend to be resistant to most cleaning agents making them durable and more likely to retain their integrity. Bubble or checker plate raised patterning on rubber helps to limit slipping in every day and during evacuation.
Anti-Slip stair covers are also available in polyester resin with silica crystals. These often have yellow security edges to ensure they are clearly seen. However resin coverings will vary in fire resistance and so detailed consultation with suppliers is required on this. Fire resistant resins are available from specialist suppliers and are used in a range of building applications including roof structures.
Safety Features For Heavy Traffic Areas
Heavy pedestrian traffic areas can also have anti-slip floor coating which is painted onto steps, ramps and platforms, often in industrial settings. However these materials tend to be applied to metal, concrete and timber.
Hand-rails should be fitted wherever possible to aid descending and climbing on stairs.
Everyday risks can also be reduced with anti-slip stair tread covers. These tend to come in colour schemes which make them more visible on stairs – this in turn helps to minimise risks during evacuations of buildings and fire drills.