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Alpro at the riverside

Alpro at the riverside
Panic hardware from Alpro is being used by Middlesbrough Football Club at its Riverside Stadium. The club has spent £5m on the 33,000-capacity ground after winning promotion last season to the Premier League. The overhaul involves 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 rapid exit down escape routes in the event of an incident and offer the option to ‘lock off’ the hardware on non-match days to give easy operation of the door. After activation, the emergency door hardware allows authorized 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 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 aluminum touch bar is easily cut to length on site by the installer, and the products are valued by engineers for simplicity and speed of implementation.

The application at 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 Stadium 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.”

The Alpro latches at the Riverside Stadium have been fitted on doors created and installed by Tyne & Wear-based Metal Services Limited. The company has particular strengths in the residential, retail, commercial and transport sectors with a portfolio 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.

The Riverside Stadium opened in 1995 and replaced Ayresome Park which had been one of the venues for the 1966 World Cup. It was the first stadium designed and constructed in compliance with the recommendations made on crowd safety by the Taylor Report.

Middlesbrough FC won promotion to the Premier League last year after a seven-year exile from the top tier. Famous former players include Brian Clough, Nobby Stiles, Graeme Souness, Paul Ince and current interim England manager Gareth Southgate. The club began the season with a massive win against local rivals Sunderland. They are now struggling towards the bottom of the table.

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