False ceilings are also called drop ceilings and suspended ceilings. These ceilings feature a number of differences from more traditional ceilings: they hang lower, and there is open space between the ceiling and the actual roof structure of the building. These ceilings provide a number of advantages to those who use them, including convenience and fire resistance.
Because false ceilings are hung more than installed, they are easy to install and easy to remove. A suspended ceiling is made of a metal grid that holds lightweight panels. The grid is suspended from an anchor in the original roof structure; it is generally held in place by screws attached to steady base. Once the grid is installed, the panels simply slide into their places, supported by the metal beams. If an owner decides to redo the ceiling, removal is as simple as installation: slide the panels out of their places and unscrew the grid. The ease of moving panels also makes these ceilings convenient to cover areas that feature a lot of plumbing or electrical systems. With a false system you can cover unsightly jumbles of wires or pipes, but you can still access them easily by simply sliding panels out of the way.
False ceilings are revered in office buildings and homes for being extremely fire resistant. A test done by the Warrington Fire company in 2005 revealed that a drop ceiling was able to hold its position during a fire for 109 minutes of duress; this allows more than 1 ½ hours for rescue, recovery or extinguishing efforts before the ceiling collapses. The design of suspended ceilings distributes the heat and smoke over a larger surface, allowing the structure to hold its integrity for long periods of time. The even spread of heat and smoke can also lead to faster recovery efforts. With heat and smoke spreading out quickly, it is more likely that the fire alarms and sprinkler systems will be activated quickly.
False ceilings can also help to isolate a room in terms of sound travel. Because the does not directly lie against a structure (i.e. the roof or the floor above), it does not vibrate with the noise coming from that area. Sound waves have a chance to dissipate in the space between the false ceiling and the overhead structure, so sounds from above are muffled in the room. Similarly, the lightweight panels will reflect sound back into the room, improving sound travel in the room that contains the ceiling.
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