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Guest Rebek

How can you stop children from a childcare centre leaving through a fire exit?

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Guest Rebek

I work in a childcare centre where there are doors to the outside play area are also fire exit doors, children are able to open these doors by pushing down on the bar and then get outside at inconvenient times which is unsafe, staff have suggested putting a movable barrier/room divider in front of the door so they can't open it all the time or a simple lock but would this be breaching fire safety regulations and if so is there a better solution or do we just have to put up with it?

Thanks

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Rebek - how old are the children here? There are a number of security solutions you can employ such as simply raising the door handle if the children are small to electro-magnetic systems linked to the fire alarm system. It will all depend on the age/dependence of the children and your budget.

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Guest Rebek

Hi

The age of the children is 2-4 and both exit doors have a push bar which is what they are able to push on to open - what would be the easiest option?

Becky

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Hi Becky the easiest option in my opinion would be to raise the door handles to approximately head height for an adult therefore out of reach of the children. Are you able to modify the building - i.e. the easiest option would be to remove the push bars and replace with a standard door handle at about 1.5 - 1.8 metres.

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I would suggest the warning device, it will not stop the children opening the doors but it will inform you it has been opened and you can act immediately. You could try a home made device, door bell, bell wire and a micro switch and see if it works and then purchase purpose made devices.

Check out http://www.safelincs.co.uk/fire-exit-door-security/

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Guest DSulliva

I am a teacher working in a school with children between 3 and 11 years of age. My classroom has a UPVC half glass double door which opens directly onto the external fire escape. This door is locked with a key when the school is closed and unlocked during school hours. There is a small simple bolt used to secure the door during the school day which can be opened easily in the event of fire. Please could you advise me if this bolt should be fitted above the reach of children OR within the reach of our youngsters in case of fire. I am concerned about the safety of this door which could be opened easily by young children 1 to 3 floors up above the level of the playground. Please could you tell me if the bolt should be within reach or beyond the reach of children.

If you can't help, maybe you could advise me on who to contact.

Many thanks in advance.

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The simple answer is there should not be a bolt at all but I fully see your dilemma and I can see why the fire risk assessor has allowed it.

Under normal circumstances the pupils could be at risk of falling if they can get onto the external escape but in the case of a fire the pupils cannot escape because of the locked door and must rely on another person to effect their escape.

Because the risk of a pupil getting onto the external escape and falling is greater than a pupil being unable to escape in the event of a fire, then I would personally accept the bolt located towards the top of the door, providing there is guaranteed that an adult will be available in the classroom whenever pupils are in the classroom, however that is for the Responsible Person (RP) to decide upon.

All schools are subject to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 therefore there should be a fire risk assessment (FRA) conducted or arranged by the RP and available which details all the fire safety matters regarding the school. If you contact the fire risk assessor who conducted the FRA he/she should be able to reassure and advise you on this matter.

The normal way to deter unauthorised use of fire exits is to fit a device that will sound a bell or buzzer if somebody opens the door. Check out warning devices at http://www.firesafe.org.uk/security-and-fire-safety/ but unfortunately it will not stop the younger pupils getting onto the external escape.

Check out https://www.safelincs.co.uk/fire-exit-door-security/

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Guest AndyWi

We are working on a school, that needs a secure access into the playground area, only accessible during the morning and evenings (kids arriving and then leaving) During the rest of the day, it needs to be securely locked, to prevent unwanted intruders onto the site, but also to keep the kids in. However, in the event of a fire evacuation, the kids will need to escape through this gate. We are assuming that some sort of device linked to the fire alarm would be best, but were hoping you could point us in the right direction.?

Many thanks

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Guest

I am a teacher working in a school with children between 3 and 11 years of age. My classroom has a UPVC half glass double door which opens directly onto the external fire escape. This door is locked with a key when the school is closed and unlocked during school hours. There is a small simple bolt used to secure the door during the school day which can be opened easily in the event of fire. Please could you advise me if this bolt should be fitted above the reach of children OR within the reach of our youngsters in case of fire. I am concerned about the safety of this door which could be opened easily by young children 1 to 3 floors up above the level of the playground. Please could you tell me if the bolt should be within reach or beyond the reach of children.

If you can't help, maybe you could advise me on who to contact.

Many thanks in advance.

tricky one as if adults are not always present children are in room and can't reach bolt to escape how would school explain death or the fact they fell of chair and broke there leg trying to undo it. Possibly mo've high enough for young children not to reach.

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Electromagnetic lock linked to the fire alarm with the green break glass override above the height a child can reach, or with a pull tag sealed hinged cover.

More costly than a bolt but not uncommon as a solution in both child and elderly care premises

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Guest

I am starting a toddler group at the local church. The emergency exit from the hall lead straight into the carpark with a push bar to open in an emergency. Unfortunately it is not unknown for toddlers to push and try to exit when not an emergency! As you can understand this will cause an issue wih cars etc
Is it possible to add a simple latch or some such device - operable by an adult - clearly signed in addition to push bar or would that impede exit?

Please advise

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Guest Michelle

Hi I was wondering is it a fire safety issue if School keep one gate locked before school so everyone has to arrive and leave through one gate. If there was s fire that end of school surely it’s a risk. Are schools allowed to do this.?

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Is this a gate from an external yard so people would already have left the building?

Depending on the layout of the premises and external areas, proximity of building to external travel routes, structural fire protection etc, it could be fine, there are many factors to consider

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Guest EYTeacher

I am an early years teacher and work at a primary school, we have a side garden for children aged 2-5 years which is not gated and leads to a large playground one end, and stairs with path for exiting the school the other end.

At the moment our early years children play in this side garden with only plastic movable fence pieces either end, it is far from ideal and toddlers and children with SEN naturally don't stay contained, we have been told by the EY manager that it cant be gated as this is the fire exit for elementary children. Surely it can be made secure with the appropriate low gates and lock, any ideas how the side garden could still be secured if it's a fire exit? We are in Italy but i'm sure you have a better idea than I do and that the legal requirements are fairly similar, you know so i can put forward a sensible suggestion! Help! :O

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My FS knowledge only applies to England and Wales and to a degree the rest of the UK but certainly not Italy however this is my opinion. Fencing off any area is usually acceptable providing there is adequate gates to enable people to escape safely and the means to open them, is easy to open, not using a key. Your problem is not allowing the younger children to open them, but allowing the older children/adults to have free access. One way would be to locate the catch at a height reachable to older children/adults and not the younger children. Maglocks with a manual override or covering the handle with a sheet of clear plastic that has to be lifted to access the handle these are available to cover manual calls boxes which could be adapted. I am afraid it is a difficult situation to resolve.

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Guest UNI

Hi there

Wanted some advice on weather a push bar fire door located in a child soft play area not visbale to the adults seating area, lits located behind the children's slide) should be alarmed to warn when children have opened it?  Any advise would be gratefully received.

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Guest Nix

We have a fire exit in pre school leading into a first floor metal fire escape. When it’s very hot, we like to open the door for some air. To stop the children escaping into the fore escape, we use a children’s stair gate across the opening. Are we breaching fire safety rules?

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Guest Guest CPC

Just found this useful thread - I am responsible for a Village hall owned by the Parish Council, which a preschool uses during the week; Monday to Friday during term times.  They are not the only users of the hall.

I've just popped in to check something and discovered that they have placed child safety gates across the access to 2 of the fire exits, and left these in place although they have finished for the day.  There is a 3rd fire exit which is not impeded at all.

Please can you advise whether this is permissible?  The fire exit doors have the standard push bars on them to exit the building.  One of these doors leads to a secure garden area, the other leads to the front garden which is some distance from the road but is not fully secured.   The 3rd fire exit (unblocked) is the main doors to the hall, which also leads to the secure garden area.

I am concerned that in the event of a fire the Parish Council would be held responsible for this, although it is not our decision to use these gates.  If the Preschool are allowed to use them whilst they are in session, should they be removing them at the end of every session to prevent a potential issue for the other hirers?

Many thanks.

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