After the devastating national tragedy that occurred at Grenfell Tower last year, attention has been focusing recently on how to make sure everyone can get out of premises. This topic has now come up in discussion between letting agents, local locksmiths, cottage owners & insurance companies.
The Chief Fire Officers Association, the professional voice of the UK fire and rescue service, has provided information on complying with fire safety law for people who provide sleeping accommodation.
Apart from providing information on what to do when the alarm goes off, you need to make sure that any escape routes can be used safely. An escape route includes any rooms, corridors and stairs which you have to go through to escape from a building.
Exit doors, such as the front or back door, should always be easy to unlock and must not need a key to unlock from the inside. A simple Yale-type latch or thumb turn is usually good enough.
If you would like to see a full copy of the government guidelines, visit: – https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/11085/payingguests.pdf
Whilst carrying out our annual property inspections this year, we are beginning to see an increase in thumb turn locks at holiday letting properties and understand that they are police preferred and meet insurance specifications.
To substantiate this, a local locksmith informs me that present advice he is being given by a fire officer is not to secure front doors with a deadlock because in an emergency such as a fire, if the key isn’t in the lock it may prevent an escape.