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Fire exit barred in charity

Guest LJo

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I'm currently volunteering in a charity shop where the fire door is regularly locked overnight with both bolts and keys.

When I'm in, I usually get in for 1000 after the store opening at 0900, and the fire door out the back is still locked and bolted. I brought this issue up with one of the volunteer managers who told me she didn't care and the place could burn down for all she cared. I then raised this with the paid manager, who told me that a fire door can be locked and bolted, so long as it's easy to unlock during a fire, then he demonstrated how it took him four steps to unlock the door.

I'm concerned as to whether or not I've been lied to by the managed about the actual law, as the entire place seems relatively lax in terms of health and safety concerns.

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Hi, the barring of the fire exit during night is fine but the barring must be removed during operating hours. If locks or chains are used there should be a board in the manager's office that shows the shapes of each lock or chain used on the fire exits painted in red with hooks to hang the lock or chain on. If a red shape remains visible it means that a lock is possibly still barring a fire exit.

If management is not prepared to change anything, you will need to inform your local fire service who will enforce fire safety regulation.


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  • 2 months later...
Guest JoannaL

My company is has been through an annoying theft attack. They come inside the venue though the fire exits( I don't know how) and steal as much as they can.
I tried to lock them with chains, It worked but it isn't a good idea for inspections.
I was wondering if you have any suggestion for help us this this situation.


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You can add any additional security you chose to a fire exit door, providing it is removed when the premises is occupied. If this is happening during the time the premises is occupied you can fit an individual intruder alarm to the fire exit door which will operate if the door is opened. This will not prevent unauthorized entry but it will alert you immediately so you are able to take the necessary action.

Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/security-and-fire-safety/

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