I realize that I’m probably pickier than most when it comes to doors. I notice things that almost nobody else does (except some of you!). Well, I recently attended a preschool function at a local indoor playground, and I was shocked by what I saw. The facility is relatively new and must have been inspected when it was renovated. The place is huge, and meant for zillions of kids and their parents to play indoors – therefore, it’s an Assembly occupancy.
There were 3 marked exits from the space, 2 are pictured below (one with a knob, one blocked by a fence and miscellaneous stuff). The 3rd was outswinging but had a lockset on it instead of panic hardware. Adjacent to the main playroom there was a party room, and between the two rooms was a vestibule with 2 pairs of doors. After investigating I realized that this space had been some sort of lab previously, and the vestibule led to what used to be a clean room. The pairs of doors were equipped with Bommer 3029 double-acting spring hinges, AKA “Cat Killers.” Although those hinges have their place, I can’t imagine a worse application to have in a kids play space / party room. Every time a kid went near the doors my pulse rate increased. I predict that somebody will lose a finger, or worse. 🙁
UPDATE: In talking about this situation with some of my code official pals, they urged me to contact the local fire marshal. I had already contacted the business owners but did not hear back, so I sent an email to the fire chief. I don’t like to get anyone in trouble (and risk their wrath!) but what if something happened that I could have prevented? The chief told me that an inspection had been done before the business opened, and the exit path and hardware issues had been addressed with the business owner. Apparently, the business owner did not make the necessary changes before opening the facility. The fire inspector is going to follow up with a visit.