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Doors swing in


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We have a social club with the main entrance doors open in. The doors are on one of only two escape routes. The building has three storeys with a possibility of around 600 persons. Conditions of licence made by LABC say that either the doors are held open or they are manned. Neither condition is likely to be met as the main entrance does not have a lobby and the weather would just pour in. Manning is likely to be by a wee man who gets paid in pints and needs to visit the loo on a regular basis. My FRA rejects the situation as most unwise. Don’t know what you think but FRS didn’t either notice or comment on the arrangement, which I find strange.

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Certainly the 60 persons rule of thumb is breached but on the LABC ruling couldn't the alarm be altered for a two stage alarm, the first a silent alarm, lights, playing a certain record over the tannoy or some other method and then the full evacuation signal, during the silent phase a member of staff could be instructed as part of the fire procedure to go to the appropriate doors and latch them back.

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Definitely not Tom. Delayed, phased evacuation requires stringent managerial oversight. Staff in such places are often low calibre and staff turn-over often high. Drills are seldom undertaken and if they are, they are not properly done. The consumption of alcohol is likely to be on the high side and control of numbers not properly implemented. Besides, this club has a manual fire alarm system. I have recommended upgrading to at least category L3 but it will remain simultaneous evacuation.

It is interesting for me to note that no dispensation has been given to any other venue in this Council area in this regard. In fact they have insisted on making alterations at other venues, often at significant expense. Anyway, I am sticking with my view that the situation is less than acceptable. If the Club and Council view it otherwise, that is their prerogative.

thank you for replying Tom.


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