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  Severe Weather Door System Meets FEMA Guidelines

The StormPro® 361 door system by Ceco Door Products is a commercial severe weather door system designed to withstand severe weather, hurricane and tornado winds that meets the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines.

"Ceco is proud to unveil the first 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 tornadoes 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 doors system can also be retrofitted on existing buildings."

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

The 14-gauge steel door is 3-ft. by 7-ft. and 1 3/4-inches thick, with a three-way locking device hinged to a 14-gauge steel doorframe 5 3/4-inches 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 by Ceco Door Products is 14-guage steel with a three-way locking device. The door is mounted with three hinges and includes a commercial panic device with three-point latching for egress.The StormPro® 361 door system by Ceco Door Products is 14-guage steel with a three-way locking device. The door is mounted with three hinges and includes a commercial panic device with three-point latching for egress.In the second test, the door system withstood a 15-pound 2-by-4-inch lumber section fired three times at 100 miles per hour, which corresponds to a 250mph 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."

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 the manufacturer of steel doors and frames for commercial, industrial and institutional construction applications. Ceco doors and frames are produced in 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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