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Re-entry for stairwell fire doors question


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Hi all, just looking for some input please.

I've just started working for a company within a 3 story building. Each floor has a large open planned office with a stairwell at either end of room - one is the main stairwell and the other stairwell is used in the event of a fire. 

The doors to the stairwell used in the even of a fire are fire doors and are suitably labelled. However, on the other side of the doors there are no handles, rendering re-entry to the office impossible were you to be in the stairwell. There is, of course, an eventual fire exit at the foot of the stairwell but what if there was a fire blocking it? You would be trapped in the stairwell as you cannot re-enter any of the doors on the floors above due to there being no handle.

I understand the desire to prevent people from re-entering an area where there is a potential fire...but is it right not to have handles on both sides of the door?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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As a 'protected stair' it won't be blocked by a fire whilst people are in the building as if the fire is on one of the floors the doors and structure will hold back the fire and smoke for up to 30 minutes, plus also as a protected stair it is required to be free from combustibles and ignition sources so a fire doesn't ever start in it - this is why smaller buildings can still be built with just one stair.

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