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Fire exits in communal area in building converted to flats

Guest SimonF

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My girlfriend lives in a flat which shares an entrance/exit to the street with 3 other flats. One of the other tenants ensures that the front shared door is locked by a key which is hard to open, down low and the door is warping, there is also a latch operated internal lock.

I have made him aware of the requirement not to have a key lock on this door (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) but he still puts a sign up on the door saying everyone must lock the door with a key.

I really feel unsafe when I stay (I don't have a key, so would be trapped if my girlfriend was out) What are our options? Can we arrange someone to discuss this with him who has authority and provide him advise with alternatives for strong locks that open with an internal latch.

There is no other communal escape from this property.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The RR(FS)O art 14 states "emergency doors must not be so locked or fastened that they cannot be easily and immediately opened by any person who may require to use them in an emergency" therefore locking this door is in breach of those regulations.

First you must establish who the RP or RP's are for the premises (art 3) for it is up to them, who have a duty to comply with articles 8 to 22 and see if they can resolve the problem. If they cannot then the next step is the enforcing authority (local Fire and Rescue Service) check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/uk-fire-rescue-services-details/.

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