Let’s Talk About Fire Doors

(when I inevitably burn to death in a building in the next few weeks, you’ll be able to tell the exact moment at which I tempted fate!)

Fire doors are bastards, there are no two ways about it. First of all their purpose, to remain closed in the event of a fire to protect people, makes no sense: they are designed to prevent smoke spreading from room to room, not fire – they’re made of wood, which would make sense if they were installed in buildings where their inhabitants are unable or unwilling to communicate with each other to the extent of saying ‘run, there’s a fire!’ I’m not particularly close with my flatmates, but I think their earnings would protect me much faster and more effectively than a lump of wood stuck at the end of a hallway. This, combined with the annoying but actually useful fire alarms, means that humans in a building can form a meerkat-like system of mutual warning, which gets the word out that there’s a fire, and gets people away from it, much faster than a mere door.

My gripe with fire doors also stems from them being really bloody annoying beyond their ineffectiveness; they close all the time, which means walking from room to room requires and infinite percentage more limb-on-door handle flailing energy, and makes it nigh-on impossible to get from my room, with its fridge full of my food, to the kitchen to cook it, without using a pot of rice or some shit as a doorstop. Honestly, if the fire door can be thwarted by some cold rice in this way, I don’t know if I trust it to protect my life.

Also fire doors make a corridor completely unsociable; me and my flatmates have passed into the awkward-small-talk-based-tolerance-of-each-others’-existence-without-really-being-friends stage of our relationship, which is fine, but that first week might have been come felt different if we could have had our doors open to the world, linking our individual down time to some kind of communal down time, where anyone can walk into each other’s room and hang out, rather than forcing us into more artificial and downright awkward attempts to be friendly and hangout, which consists largely of eating or going out with people we don’t really know well enough to do those things effectively.

But the worst thing of these stupid doors is that weird metal closing mechanism on the top, that ensure the doors always close slowly and gently, but are truthfully the most deceitful thing than the Serpent in the frakking Garden of Eden; first of all they move, making it impossible to hang things upon them, which is a big loss for someone like myself who’s trousers can’t be tumble-dried, and so need to be hung in various places around the room to dry off. Also, these peg things face inwards, jutting into the room behind the door; not only does this tempt you into thinking things can be hung upon them, and serve as a constant reminder that you’re an idiot and you can’t, but means that you can’t, as a friend of mine experienced, be egged from them: if the bar were to hang out into the corridor to be accessed by any passer-by, I’d totally balance eggs on all the ones I found, so they fell on the unfortunate heads of the people within their rooms innocently stepping out into the corridor to begin their day.

And that is why fire doors are intolerable bastards, they’re stopping me from being a bastard myself.


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