Mezzanine stairs are used to provide access to mezzanine floors or levels in a building. A mezzanine is a partial floor, usually located between the ground and first floor in a building, but it can also be between other floors. It is often used to create additional space in a building without necessarily extending the building’s footprint.
Mezzanine stairs are used primarily to access mezzanine levels within a building.
What are primary uses:
- Access to Additional Space: Mezzanine stairs provide access to an additional floor or space within a building without extending the building’s actual footprint. This is particularly useful in buildings with high ceilings where vertical space can be effectively used.
- Offices and Commercial Buildings: In commercial buildings and offices, mezzanine stairs can be used to access additional office space, conference rooms, or break rooms located on a mezzanine level.
- Warehouses and Industrial Spaces: In warehouses, mezzanine stairs can provide access to storage or office spaces located above the main warehouse floor. They can also provide a vantage point to oversee operations on the warehouse floor.
- Residential Buildings: In homes with high ceilings, a mezzanine floor can be used to create an additional bedroom, home office, or lounge area. The mezzanine stairs would provide access to this additional living space.
- Retail Spaces: In retail settings, a mezzanine floor can be used to display additional merchandise, provide space for a cafe, or even offer an area for customers to sit and relax.
- Libraries and Educational Institutions: In libraries or educational institutions, mezzanine stairs can provide access to additional reading or study areas, book stacks, or computer labs.
- Emergency Exit: Mezzanine stairs can also serve as a part of a building’s fire safety system, providing a means of egress in case of emergencies.
- Architectural Interest: In some cases, mezzanine stairs are incorporated into a design to add architectural interest, enhance the aesthetics of a space, or create a unique focal point.
In all of these uses, the key function of mezzanine stairs is to safely and efficiently facilitate the movement of people between the main floor and the mezzanine level.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has specific guidelines regarding the design and construction of mezzanine stairs to ensure they are safe for use. While these regulations may vary slightly depending on the specific use of the mezzanine, here are some general OSHA guidelines for mezzanine stairs:
- Stair Width: According to OSHA, the minimum width of stairs should be 22 inches.
- Angle of Stairway Rise: The angle to the horizontal must be between 30 and 50 degrees.
- Vertical Clearance: The vertical clearance above any stair tread to any overhead obstruction should be at least 6 feet 8 inches.
- Stair Treads: All stair treads should be reasonably slip-resistant, and the nosings should be of non-slip finish. Rise height and tread width should be consistent in each flight of stairs, including any foundation structure used as one or more treads of the stairs.
- Handrails: Stairways having four or more risers, or rising more than 30 inches (whichever is less), must have at least one handrail. If a stairway is wider than 44 inches, it should have a handrail on each side. If it is wider than 88 inches, it should have an intermediate handrail located approximately midway of the width.
- Railings: All open sides of stairways with 4 or more risers shall be equipped with standard stair railings or standard handrails as stipulated by OSHA.
- Landing Platforms: Every stairway floor shall have a landing not less than 30 inches in the direction of travel and extend at least 22 inches in width at every 12 feet or less of vertical rise.
- Maintenance: The stairs should be maintained free of hazardous conditions such as sharp edges, burrs, etc., and should not have any ladder projections that could be a trip hazard.
Remember that these are general guidelines, and specific requirements may vary depending on the specifics of the project and local code requirements. When designing and constructing mezzanine stairs, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional to ensure full compliance with all safety regulations.