Always check the fire exit

The residential centre shall remain nameless but it’s a true story, one that had me becoming my Basil Fawlty alter-ego for a moment.
One of the buildings we were using was long and narrow in design with a large door at the far end and a side door towards the opposite end. I was asked if we’d always use the large door as it minimised the dirt and debris being brought into the building. I was very happy to comply with this and having set up everything I (in my youthworky mode) checked how easy it would be to open the side door (clearly marked “FIRE EXIT”) in an emergency, It was at this point I discovered it was locked and set off to find the key.
Me: “Please can we have the key to the side door as it appears to be locked?”

“Yes we normally keep that one locked!”

Me: “But it’s the Fire Exit”

“Yes, but we prefer to keep it locked”

Me: (slightly more incredulous) “Ok, but IT IS the fire exit!”

“I suppose we could open it if it really is a problem”

Me: “That would be good as IT IS ACTUALLY the Fire Exit”

“Well I’ll get it opened for you but I’d prefer you not to use it”

Me: “We’ll only use it if it’s an emergency!”
I’m happy to say that the door was unlocked and there was no emergency that necessitated its use. I did however feel slightly better knowing we could actually evacuate the building if there was a problem 🙂

One Reply to “Always check the fire exit”

  1. OOOOHHHHH! That kind of stuff makes my blood boil!!!!!! Just think worse case scenario & say no more! Glad they saw sense in the end.
    You could always give them the option of them keeping the door locked in exchange for a boot print through the middle of the door, or perhaps a visit from the local fire safety inspection team! Often does the trick I find.
    All in good Christian love, Brother!
    See you for Liquid Lasagna in a couple of weeks!!

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