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Fire exits for pharmacy

Guest MarieF

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I am the superintendent at a new pharmacy in a new surgery. We have 2 entrances one at the front of the pharmacy and one at the rear. The rear entrance is a fire door and is next to the car park so deliveries are made through this door and the staff enter and exit also through this door. The patients only have access through the front door which has a shutter which is closed at night ( it is therefore only an aperture during working hours). My question is it is acceptable to use the fire door as we are doing for staff coming and going and for deliveries? Secondly as it opens outward onto a pathway is it permissible to put self closing hinges to prevent hitting a patient as we open it? Your advice would be very much appreciated

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Assuming the means of escape is satisfactory for yourself and the surgery when the shutter is down; also assuming the one way travel distance from the front of the pharmacy to the rear door is satisfactory and there is no inner room situation, using the rear door would be acceptable, for all purposes.

All doors are fire exit doors, if you can use them to escape to outside the premises in the case of a fire, just some are not in constant use and need signing with “Fire Exit” signs to show relevant persons not familiar with them, they lead to safety. So your rear exit can be used like any other door for staff coming and going and for deliveries but you must ensure they are never blocked.

If the rear door opens outwards and could hit persons passing, then, it must not be inset; if this is the case then the door should open onto a concrete platform to ensure level going to prevent persons tripping when they pass through the door. If this is the case then it is unlikely persons passing would be hit by the door because it is unlikely the persons passing would step up onto the platform and then down when passing your rear exit. In any case I do not see how self-closing hinges, could help but you could use barriers/handrail which could prove effective.

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