Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Could someone explain this to CC?

In our building the doors to the stairwell lock behind you automatically. They aren't unlocked except at the basement level. No level is accessible from the stairwell except the basement.

Thus, you must take the elevator if you want to go upstairs.

According to this sign, fire regulations require this. But that doesn't make any sense to me.

Let's say there's a fire on the third floor. Somebody on the fifth floor tries to evacuate. He heads down thr stairs, but two floors below there's a fire. All the doors above him are locked. Now this guy is stuck in the stairwell where I'm guessing he's far more likely to die from the smoke.

Why would fire regulations ALLOW such a thing, to say nothing of requiring it?

What am I missing?



Anonymous said...

I don't think the fire code is stating that the doors must be locked. I think the part that is fire code is the part that states the doors are unlocked during fires. These are usually automatic locks that come undone in the case of a fire alarm. Are these doors automatic?

Jamie Goodwin said...

yup. epilonious has got it.

I work in occupational safety. Now... fire doors are not required, in my state anyways, to lock behind you. Your building probably does that to assure nothing gets stored in them.

In the event of a fire alarm. Which can happen in one of two ways, when a pull station is in fact pulled, or in the event that the automatic sprinkler system looses pressure (this happens when the heat of a fire sets off the system - they have little melty things in them)

In those cases the locks would automatically fail! Sisnce locks on fire doors are required to fail in a Safe (in this case unlocked) mode. The doors would then be available to everyone.

This is why it is really important that if you flee a building because of an incident, and the alarm has not sounded, that you pull the pull station yourself.

Anonymous said...

In addition to fleeing the building and pulling the fire alarm switch, it is IMPERATIVE that you immediately call 911. This means you, personally, whoever is reading these words right here. My senior year, a dormitory caught fire and NOBODY CALLED THE FIRE DEPARTMENT because they thought that pulling the fire alarm (the red lever thing) called 911 automatically. It doesn't always work that way--sometimes it just activates a siren that warns the building's residents.

Just some more in the PSA department.