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Too many self-closing doors in domestic flats

Comment 5th July 2010

An extraordinary feature of current building regulations in the U.K.  is that almost every door within a flat has to be self-closing. It is impossible to live in such an environment and in practice these doors are usually removed or the self-closing device is soon made inoperative.

I would agree that the EXIT doors from a flat usually need to be self-closing and have a degree of fire resistance, in order to enable other users of the building to use the exit routes in safety, but no other internal doors within a flat need to have this feature. I can only assume it was dreampt up in Brussels by an over-zealous fire officer who did not consider the practical implications.

I am a retired Chartered Surveyor and Civil Engineer, with extensive experience in the U.K., East Africa, and Hong Kong and I know what I am talking about. This regulation needs to be amended quickly.

Why does this matter?

This regulation is never observed once a building has been completed and occupied so it is treated with contempt. All laws should have the general support of the public. If not, they are ignored and this can lead to a climate in which even important laws are ignored, leading to a general breakdown in law and order.

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