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There is an electrically operated gate across the entrance to the development which can be opened via a key pad on the outside or a button on the inside. There's also an emergency release lever for if (when) the gate fails.

 

The management company have put a padlock on the emergency release lever so it can't be used. Their argument is that it's use may cause damage to the gate, which supposedly will only fail in an open position unless there's a power cut. As a result, when the gate failed whilst closed on Saturday night one resident was trapped outside and had to book into an hotel and everyone else was trapped inside until someone cut the padlock off the next morning and opened the gate, without damaging it.

 

My engineer hubby thinks it's unlikely that operating an emergency release lever would ever cause damage, so are the management company talking c**p and just using this as an excuse to get us to pay extra for their emergency service, who would have the combination for the padlock? There's no manufacturer name or any other details on the gate or any of the controls, but there is a warning notice directing pedestrians to the (imaginary) pedestrian access!


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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It does sound odd,RMW. If there was a fire for instance, would people be in danger if they were locked inside the gate? I'm not clear how far the gate is from the houses or flats.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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It does depend upon how it is designed, for example if you manually open the pressure relief valve on a central heating boiler, it will have a tendency to drip from then on.

However I think that locking gates effectively closed must be a potential safety issue and I don't believe they could categorically state they only fail open, the last event proves that point.

Personally if they were locked closed and I wanted out the bolt cutters would be coming into action.

I would give the fire brigade a call (Not 999) and see what they say.

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I have to agree those gates are a safety issue compounded by the management agent padlocking the emergency release to open the gates.

 

I would as mention already contact your local fire station and have a chat with them and explain the issue.

 

I would also ask the management company to clarify if the padlock on the emergency release for the gate was the management companies decision or on instruction from the manufacturer (if instruction from manufacturer who is the manufacturer and contact details). You also require a copy of the management companies risk assessment for padlocking the gates emergency release.

 

I would also inform the local council private housing department


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If this is a closed area where the fire fighters may require access , the pad lock "should " be a FB type , as should certain locks in shared areas , electrical risers for instance , the fire fightere carry keys for all the FB type locks

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The emergency release system does not damage the gate, the MC are talking cr@p.

If that was the case, we would have broken gates all over the country.

When I lived in a gated community we suffered a broken gate for months and we used the emergency mechanism without damaging the gate further.

In our case the fob pad stopped working but the gate itself was fine and didn't suffer any damage by being opened via emergency button for two months.

I recently had a run with my brother's MC and they seem to be specialised in using h&s to do whatever they want nowadays.

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As I thought, the forum members have expertise in most things between them, thanks for the responses.

 

I've contacted the local fire brigade for general information and asked if they would be willing to do a site inspection. When I hear back from them I'll decide on the next step, which may well be asking for the risk assessment from the management company, though I would prefer to have all my ducks in a row before beating them over the head with a wet fish. In hubby's words, 'I particularly dislike his tone and think he should be reminded that it is the owners that decide if the contract should continue, which will not be the case if we continue to receive condescending responses to a genuine complaint'.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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if the FB required emergency access they will cut the gate off with their big angle grinder if necessary and let the MC know they can be prosecuted.

I have seen a fire engine ram a car parked outside the fire station causing an obstruction and when I was training as a paramedic my ambulance rammed a car out of the way that was being deliberately obstructive and when the lady driving the car reported it to the police station she was arrested and told to rethink her position or get charged with obstructing the highway, obstructing a police officer etc.

Words of advice from a uniformed person should have the desired effect so look forward to your FB visit..

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I'm totally impressed with our Fire Service. Got a call back this afternoon to discuss the situation, nice Fireman said he would contact the management company, nice fireman phoned back half an hour later to say they've been told to either remove the padlock or give everyone the combination code and stop being so bloody-minded. He's also doing a site visit soon to make sure they're not doing anything else daft.

 

It goes without saying that once again CAG has come up trumps with information and advice - issue resolved in barely more than 24 hours!


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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That's great news, RMW, well done to you for being proactive and to the people who have advised. :)

 

Please keep us posted.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Confirmation received today from the management company that the combination code for the padlock will in future be displayed on the communal notice board.

 

Thanks again for the help and support - just having someone else say we're not being unreasonable is a huge help.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Hi RMW.

 

I'm really pleased that this panned out for you. Are you able to tell us anything more about how things went please?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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May have more information after the fire brigade do a site inspection, but for now so far as I am aware they spoke to the management company on Friday and told them to either remove the padlock or give out the combination immediately. They did nothing until today when they confirmed that they're keeping the padlock but displaying the combination code inside the building, however they can't give the code for the existing padlock because 'it has been tampered with', which I presume means someone removed it again.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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If it's a yale combination lock there easy to find the code on...

 

The tumblers wobble side to side on the correct numbers but not on the wrong ones


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  • I am employed in the IT sector of a high street retail chain but am not posting in any official capacity,so therefore any comments,suggestions or opinions are expressly personal ones and should not be viewed as an endorsement or with agreement of any company.
  • i am not legal trained in any form.
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