Ritherdon FireSeal - Protection for Meter Boxes
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Ritherdon-In the case of meter boxes in some blocks of flats, once the door has been damaged or removed, the wooden board at the back of the box is the only barrier between the flat and the common corridor outside. The FireSeal can also be used as a fire rated access panel for risers.
To re-instate acceptable fire protection in cases like this, Ritherdon & Co developed and tested the FireSeal - a fire and smoke resistant meter box door and frame unit. The FireSeal was an adaptation of the range of Ritherdon meter box repair units. It has higher temperature resistant locks extra door strength and can be fitted to a wall to cover a variety of aperture shapes and sizes.
Another fire related hazard identified in some London tower blocks was a potential smoke pathway between floors via unsealed meter boxes and the electrical ducting (see the adjoining figure). For this reason intumescent seals were fitted right around the gap between the door and frame and also between the frame and wall. The FireSeal was just the start for Ritherdon, who went on to develop the Fire Seal Vented, then the Riser FireSeal.
Fire Resistance Testing
The FireSeal was tested by Chiltern International Fire (now BM TRADA) to the method specified in EN 1363 and EN1366 and was demonstrated to maintain its integrity as a barrier to fire penetration for at least 60 minutes in temperatures approaching 1000 °C. The testing report can be found here in the website library.
Although the FireSeal's finish was discoloured by the testing temperatures, the structural integrity of the units themselves was not compromised. Once the units had cooled-down, the locks and hinges worked and the doors could actually still be opened and closed.
Improving Fire Safety
Depending on the situation, BS 9999: 2008, recommends that elements in a multi-storey block should typically provide between 30 and 60 minutes fire resistance. The FireSeal easily managed that, matching the performance of the fire doors normally used in flats.
These fire rated barrier products are currently helping to improve fire safety in Leeds and we’d like to thank the Fire Safety Teams at Leeds City Council for their help in developing this innovative product.
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