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Panic hardware at the Riverside

Middlesbrough Football Club has spent £5m on its 33,000-capacity Riverside Stadium after winning promotion in the 2015-16 season to the Premier League. The overhaul involved work on the general stadium structure as well as new floodlights and media facilities.

Safety measures include use of Touch Bar two-point panic latches from Alpro on fire and exit doors. The latches allow exit down escape routes in the event of an incident and offer the option to ‘lock off’ the hardware on non-match days to allow operation of the door. After activation, the emergency door hardware allows authorised entry back into the site once an evacuation has been carried out.

Panic hardware is a ‘life-safety’ device and Alpro models are CE-rated as well as complying with EN1125. During design, the two-point latches undertook 1.5 million test cycles which is the product company says seven times the most rigorous requirements of standards bodies. They are fitted on single or double door combinations and can be used with or without an external lever-based access device which is also available from Alpro.

The latches are ‘non-handed’ meaning they are suitable for left or right applications. The tactile aluminium touch bar can be cut to length on site by the installer.

Middlesbrough FC employs the two-point latch but there are also single and triple-point models in the Touch Bar range. The equipment was specified at the Riverside on grounds of build quality and compatibility with door materials.

Keith Parry, Sales Director at Alpro, said: “This is one of many successful projects in the leisure sector. Our footballing loyalties are mixed in so far as we have other applications at Manchester United and Reading FC. We also cross both codes of the game with an installation at Exeter Rugby Chiefs.”

About the installer

The Riverside Stadium have been fitted on doors created and installed by Tyne & Wear-based Metal Services Limited. The company works in the residential, retail, commercial and transport sectors, including major high street brands and a regional airport. Metal Services has many certifications including ISO 9001, Constructionline, and the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme.


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