Andrew Lambridis, EVP and COO, McKEON
Andrew Lambridis, EVP and COO Celebrating an anniversary is always special for any company, but when it comes to the 75th anniversary, it is indeed a monumental milestone. As McKEON, a full-line manufacturer of fire doors, fire shutters, fire curtains, smoke curtains and custom application opening protectives, eagerly awaits its upcoming 75th anniversary, the illustrious journey so far has been one dotted with numerous trailblazing innovations.

The business was founded by current President Joseph McKeon’s father in 1946 as a regional overhead door company located in Brooklyn New York shortly after WWll. Several years later in the mid 1990’s, McKEON began to evolve into a leader in the fire door industry when McKEON invented the first-of-its-kind automatic resetting fire door system. This innovative technology allowed building owners to quickly and efficiently drop test and reset their fire doors after a fire alarm or loss of power without the need of trained door technicians at the switch of a button therefore translating into cost savings to building owners. The McKEON Auto-Set® operating system became the preferred basis of design for all overhead rolling steel fire doors in the future and where this first of a kind technological innovation spurred the beginning of McKEON’s R&D team headed by Ashraf Gomaa, Vice President of Engineering.



McKEON then directed their focus towards listening and resolving challenges the design community presented them. The challenges architects encounter when designing open floor plans are the building code requirements for fire separation, which previously limited product selection to conventional overhead fire doors and fire shutters. “We recognized the need for wide span opening protective systems that allow for building occupants to egress through these traditional type fire doors and fire shutters yet also meet or exceed the fire and life safety compliance requirements of the structure,” states Andrew C. Lambridis, Executive Vice President & COO at McKEON. The next advancement in McKEON’s growth came with the invention of fire doors and fire shutters, which accomplished just that. These systems include McKEON’s Safescape® T2000 and T5000 Series vertically acting wide span fire door systems, with built-inswing type egress doors.

The McKEON Team did not stop there but also took on the challenge that the design community faced with wide openings requiring fire separation yet with limited overhead room available to store the fire door’s coiled curtain assembly, thus the S4000,Safescape® S9000 side coiling fire door systems and the Safescape®AC8000 accordion side sliding fire door systems were created designed to span large widths without requiring more than a few inches of overhead space. Shortly thereafter came the Auto-Set®H200, a horizontal fire shutter designed to protect openings between floors, such as those frequently encountered in atrium conditions. The H200 horizontal fire shutter provided the designer a solution to the costly problem of smoke evacuation.

McKEON: Blending Technical Superiority with Top-Notch Aesthetics

Our innovation-driven door systems, coupled with our focus on aesthetics and safety is what makes us a leader in fire door technology


McKEON’s solutions do not stop in fire protection, they are also the first manufacturer to develop a wide span storm door that meets the stringent ICC 500 and FEMA 361 requirements therefore enabling the design and construction of storm shelters with large glass windows to allow natural light in and create multi use spaces.

The McKEON Team did not stop there but also took on the challenge that the design community faced with wide openings requiring fire separation yet with limited overhead room available to store the fire door’s coiled curtain assembly, thus the S4000,Safescape® S9000 side coiling fire door systems and the Safescape®AC8000 accordion side sliding fire door systems were created designed to span large widths without requiring more than a few inches of overhead space. Shortly thereafter came the Auto-Set®H200, a horizontal fire shutter designed to protect openings between floors, such as those frequently encountered in atrium conditions. The H200 horizontal fire shutter provided the designer a solution to the costly problem of smoke evacuation. McKEON’s solutions do not stop in fire protection, they are also the first manufacturer to develop a wide span storm door that meets the stringent ICC 500 and FEMA 361 requirements therefore enabling the design and construction of storm shelters with large glass windows to allow natural light in and create multi use spaces.

McKEON has gained worldwide recognition for manufacturing innovative door systems that would revolutionize the way fire doors enable open design in various building construction such as Aviation, Transportation, Education, Hi-Rise Commercial Residential and Healthcare. “It is innovation and uniqueness that has been the core driving force behind McKEON’s success for more than half a century,” says Christina Keegan, Architectural Marketing Associate at McKEON.

Andrew Lambridis cites a unique success story when the company designed state of the art fire door systems for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), one of the most culturally significant buildings in the world. The MoMA Expansion project in NYC involved the extension of the museum into the acquired adjacent building. This resulted in some unique challenges for the architectural design team. Fire doors were required to provide separation within each penetration from the existing museum into the new building, by joining the two buildings the exterior wall remained as the fire wall and the construction of joining them together created a space in between the original building these conditions then drove the requirement for egress from one building through to the next requiring side by side fire door systems for openings ranging in sizes up to 26 feet in width and 21 feet in height.

Rising to the occasion, McKEON provided unique Safescape® S9000 side coiling fire door systems with built-in swing type doors to allow safe egress from one building to the other. As a museum, the aesthetic impact was very important to the Architects DSR and Gensler. “McKEON designed the components of these fire door systems in such a way so that everything from their colour and appearance through to their operability is totally in sync with the surrounding art installations of the museum,” adds Christina Keegan.

Looking towards the future, the company continues to develop and design new fire door, fire curtain and custom application door systems. Despite the many trials of 2020 and 2021 McKEON launched three new products this year, most notably is the FireFighter®D400, a one of a kind 90-minute fire rated, hose stream tested, compliant and labelled Fire Curtain Shutter, a textile-based fabric that is lighter, much easier to handle and takes less headroom and space.

Relying on the company’s expertise in engineering and building special purpose fire door and fire curtain systems, architects and design professionals have turned to McKEON for solutions customized to meet each project’s needs. For the build industry the McKEON label provides a level of product performance that is unmatched by any of their peers in the industry in terms of innovation, technical superiority and aesthetic appeal. “Our innovation-driven wide span opening protective door systems, coupled with our focus on aesthetics and life safety is what makes us a leader in fire and smoke protection door technology,” concludes Lambridis.