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Physical safety vs Fire and safety

Updated: 4 days ago

Following on from my previous post, regarding trafficking, I need to update on the matter of nightly access. Due to new fire and safety laws; that came into force in October 2023 women’s physical safety is jeopardised even further.

The law states that for fire and safety reasons the locks on doors for short term holiday rentals and currently it seems private rental’s has to either have a turning cylinder to open the door from the inside as opposed to one that has a key like a chub. This is because in the event of a fire the keys may not be in the door and take time to find.

This type of lock was fitted recently to my door, with ‘ security’ keys that are supposed to be special and not easy to obtain. But I found this not to be true. I placed a body board at the door to prevent anyone from entering; turning the lock or moving the handle, and it was shown quickly that someone was trying to enter with a key as i slept. Therefore I requested to change the lock or fit a bolt.

My landlord was understanding of my concerns for safety and told me to contact the locksmith who had fitted the lock to request he fit a bolt.

I did this and he told me that he couldn’t due to fire and safety laws. I told him how I needed to be able to be safe whilst I slept and the body board I was using to prevent anyone entering showed someone was constantly trying at night.

He said to tell the landlord to call him.

I did this and my landlord said the locksmith was adamant that no bolt could be fitted.

I therefore decided to look into the new fire and safety law. I found discussions online regarding it. Tenants wanting Yale locks and the answer was yes they could have but run the risk of getting locked out, as they can accidentally lock behind you.

I also learnt that they can fit a bolt to a fire door , under the new law but it must open easily with one action.

I therefore wrote to my landlord informing him of my findings.

He made contact with some fire officers advisory and returned back to me the correspondence. Yes I can have a bolt fitted but it is to be fitted properly and according to standards . He said to therefore contact the locksmith again and ask him to fit the bolt and let him know when it was done.

I contacted the locksmith and he said he would need to see it, the emails first. But was on holiday. That was last Friday. Today is Tuesday 28 May 2024 and he is due back to work. I forwarded him the related email from my landlord and also informed my landlord that I had done so.

Now I will continue to wait for the security I need to sleep safely. I will update you as it happens.

Meanwhile I would like to show you how to use a body board to prevent entry. I was also told that a chair put under the handle would help.

Btw previous to the new cylinder lock fitted I had a chub type lock which I believed I was safe with as long as I had my key in the lock. I have since learnt that although it is very difficult, if someone has a key they can push the one on the inside out and get in.

This is how the body board fits under handle and if you push it towards the cylinder you can block it from being turned

As you can see here though the evidence shows on the board that attempts have been made to enter whilst I sleep and with time and repetition the indentation weakens its ability to prevent the key being turned but at least works temporarily and shows evidence of attempted entry.

#Safety whilst sleeping::when other folks have #Key to #Unlock your door, where is physical safety.

(This video is also on my YouTube channel but I am not able to embed on here so I have uploaded for you here.)

Following on update Monday 3 June 2024

Last week the locksmith returned from holiday so I called him to see when he could fit the bolt. He was still resistant regarding the law but I told him I had forwarded him the email from my landlord. He said he hadn’t read it but then upon reading it still had issues around what type of bolt.

He said he would find out but was going away on holiday again soon.

To be honest I feel like I am being played. So I went and asked insurance broker and housing association questions around this regulation. The insurance broker said find out the name of the fire officer who approved my home. And the housing association was not familiar with this law. They told me their tenants were able to fit whatever lock they chose.

I don’t see other rented properties having the same unsafe locks only places like hotels.

I therefore question the who matter. But meanwhile a friend has shown me that there are small gadgets that can be fitted personally to stop people entering hotel rooms etc, so I intend to get one. I will let you know how well they work in the near future.

I don’t expect the locksmith to ever fit

the bolt but watch this space and see.

Monday 10 June 2024

No sign of the locksmith yet. Funny that.

But meanwhile I purchased a portable inside lock , here is a short video I made to show you.

They will work on most locks and cost about £5 online

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