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Simple magnetic door catches

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I am secretary of the residents’ association for a block of 57 retirement flats.  Each flat has a 30min fire door onto the access corridor.  One of the results of a recent fire and safety inspection was the instruction that the simple magnetic door catches, that have been fitted, by residents, on the entrance doors to some of the flats, must be removed.  His reason for this instruction was as they could prevent the doors fulfilling their purpose as fire doors.

This instruction was not well received by our residents, who enjoy the privacy of their own homes and, as such, do not leave their doors wide open at all times.

The magnetic catches allow residents to hold the door open as they enter or leave their homes.  This is essential for those with mobility problems who require the use of powerchairs, wheelchairs, rollators, and walking frames.  Without this aid some residents would effectively be prisoners in their own homes, and their removal could be seen as discriminatory.

The block was built in 2005 and has been regularly inspected without any comment regarding these doorstops.

We have been told that we must comply with the instruction but wonder whether there is some alternative that could be fitted to allow disabled residents easy access their flats.  The use of a ‘Dorgard’ type fitting would not be practicable as it requires the bolt to be depressed by foot.

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