Case Study: FRP Chosen for Highly Visible Fire Escape

0539-Fire EscapeThe new three-story fire escape for the City of St. Louis Water Department is seen daily by hundreds of thousands of travelers on Highway 44 - and it is fiberglass! Since the fire escape would be attached to the east side of their offices and highly visible, keeping the fire escape aesthetically attractive was important. The fact that fiberglass would not require painting or maintenance was a major factor in its selection.

Product: Fiberglass Fire Escape
Process: Pultrusion, Fiberglass Fabrication

  • EXTREN® Series 525 fiberglass reinforced polyester, fire retardant
  • DURADEK® I-6000 1-1/2" fiberglass reinforced vinyl ester grating, fire retardant, yellow
  • SAFRAIL™ fiberglass reinforced polyester handrail and ladders
Sizes: EXTREN® structural shapes:

  • 8" x 3/8" Wide flange beam
  • 6" x 1/4" Wide flange beam
  • 8" x 4" x 3/8" Channel
For: City of St. Louis
User: St. Louis Water Department

Engineers for the St. Louis Water Division had used fiberglass structurals on other projects over the last year so they were familiar with the advantages of fiberglass. Even though this particular fire escape is not in a corrosive area, they knew that fiberglass would reduce the amount of maintenance required on the structure. The engineers also realized that the initial cost was going to be higher, but selected fiberglass after the overall installed cost and life maintenance was evaluated and found to be more cost efficient. Terry Scheihing, the chief engineer for the City of St. Louis, used the EXTREN® Design Manual to assist with the engineering for the project.

Robinson Steel Construction, the contractor on the project, was able to install the fire escape with standard carpenter tools and without the need for heavy equipment.

The fire escape is expected to keep its attractive appearance for many years, with very little maintenance.

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