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Ceco Introduces StormPro 361 Severe Weather Door System; First of Its Kind to Meet FEMA 361 Guidelines.

Business Editors

BRENTWOOD, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 10, 2001

Ceco Door Products announced today the introduction of the first and only severe weather door system to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines.

The StormPro 361 door system, designed to withstand severe weather conditions that include tornadic force winds, was developed by Ceco Door Products for commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. The door system is on the market after extensive testing in April at the Texas Tech University Wind Engineering Research Center in accordance with the FEMA 361 guidelines.

"Ceco is proud to unveil the first and only door system to meet the FEMA guidelines," said Carl Hellman, president of Ceco Door Products. "Our goal was to design an integrated door system that endures tornado winds and flying debris. We wanted to develop a door system that can help save lives, specifically in those areas of the country subject to frequent tornados and hurricanes."

Hellman said there has been an increased emphasis on the development of "safe rooms and community shelters" in the tornado belt of the United States. "Agencies like FEMA are raising the awareness and offer grant incentives because of the need to develop safe rooms that can better protect and save lives. The StormPro 361 door system enhances the effectiveness of safe rooms in community shelters as well as schools, commercial buildings and industrial plants. The door system can also be retrofitted on existing buildings."

According to the National Weather Service, in an average year 800 tornados are reported nationwide resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries.

"Places like Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Iowa...they face an incredible wrath of tornados many of us can't imagine," said Hellman. "So do Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. Safety structures are a very real concern. We can now provide a very important element to that equation."

The 14-gage steel door is three-foot by seven-foot and 1 3/4" thick, with a three-way locking device hinged to a 14-gage steel door frame 5 3/4" thick. The door is mounted with three hinges and includes a commercial panic device with three-point latching for egress.

The Texas Tech University Wind Engineering Research Center conducted two tests in conformance with FEMA 361 criteria. The first was a wind pressure test where the door system was required to withstand the criterion of 252 pounds of pressure per square foot (1.74 psi) for five seconds. This force is applied to try to force the door open by simulating the vacuum created by a tornado with wind speeds of 250 miles per hour. The StormPro 361 door system exceeded the internal pressure test and withstood pressures up to 2.25 psi before the test was terminated.

In the second test, the door system withstood a 15-pound two-by-four-inch lumber section fired three times at 100 miles per hour, which corresponds to a 250 mph ground-level wind speed.

"When the firings were completed the door was still hinged to the frame and locked," said John Ramaker, Ceco engineer who developed the door and observed the tests. "This was the first door we tested and it met the guidelines. We weren't entirely sure what to expect, but with this new door system design, it's pretty exciting to know you met the guidelines on the first try and to know you created a component that can protect lives and property."

Several other companies have attempted to meet the FEMA guidelines at Texas Tech's Wind Engineering Research Center, but Ceco is the first and only door system to meet the standards. The Wind Engineering Research Center is the world's preeminent tornado and analysis center, and recently collaborated with FEMA on a safety shelter book.

A toll-free hot-line has been set up to address questions of architects and engineers regarding the StormPro 361 door system at 1-888-CECODOOR, or further information can be found at www.cecodoor.com.

Ceco Door Products is one of the world's leading manufacturers of steel doors and frames for commercial, industrial and institutional construction applications. Ceco doors and frames are produced in the industry's first ISO9001 certified manufacturing plants located in Milan, Tenn., Oklahoma City, Okla., Harlingen, Texas, and Valle Hermosa, Mexico. More than 350 authorized distributors in 15 countries market the company's products. Ceco is an Assa Abloy Group Company.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 10, 2001
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