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I have visited a school that has key-operated locks on the inner face of classroom doors. I seem to recall that classroom doors fitted with a lock, should have a thumb turn fitted to their inner face to ensuring that the door will always be available without the use of a key and to prevent persons being inadvertently locked in the classroom . I cannot seem to find any guidance on door locks apart from BB100 (clause and the CLG Education guide, both which only make reference to 'doors on escape routes'. I suppose that the door to a classroom also provides the MofE and therefore, technically may be interpreted as 'on an escape route' from the classroom. I would appreciate your thoughts please.

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I would agree with you, all doors that can be used for MoE are 'on an escape route'. However providing the door in not locked when the room is occupied, I think you need to look at the chances of the door being inadvertently locked and is there written procedures to ensure this does not happen. The standard for this situation is BS EN 179: 2008.

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Hi Tom,

I was wondering if you can help or advise in anyway relating to an issue that has arisen.

In summary, there is cast iron external staircase attached to the rear wall and flank wall of our property and hanging over the airspace of the single storey neighbouring property has been removed without any prior notice or consultation.  The staircase has been in situ approximately 100 years and provides access to the roof terrace of our flat and acts as a means of escape in the event of an emergency albeit onto the roof of the neighbouring property.  

The neighbour has had Planning permission granted for the construction of four units and the staircase removal allows two of these flats to be constructed to the front of the building. From our perspective we wanted to know if there is a clear legal right of way granted to our flat since we have had continuous and uninterrupted use of the staircase whilst in our ownership (6 years) and as it has been there for 100 years, can it just be removed.

Many thanks




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You will need a property lawyers advice for this - it is not unprecedented for needed escape routes into neighbouring premises to be removed where the appropriate legal agreements for access were not in place or expired. On the other hand cases of continuous and uninterrupted use with no legal agreement have been upheld too!

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