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Fire code changes affect residence life, parties

You shall not pass the threshold of a room in a King’s residence without first knocking. That’s because every residence room door locks automatically when it closes and because propping them open is prohibited by law. The deadbolts once used to wedge the doors open were removed in summer 2012.

You shall not pass the threshold of a room in a King’s residence without first knocking. That’s because every residence room door locks automatically when it closes and because propping them open is prohibited by law.
According to the Nova Scotia Fire Safety Act, doors have to be closed because clauses say doors must have a “minimum 20-minute fire-resistance rating”. For buildings exceeding three stories, that jumps to a minimum 30 minutes of fire-resistance.
In the past, extra deadbolts built into the doors kept them subtly wedged ajar. The deadbolts were removed in summer 2012 by King’s facility workers for two reasons: the impact of deadbolt on doorframe dislodged the locking mechanism within the door and the deadbolts encouraged breaking the law.
Dean Nicholas Hatt says the stricter closed-door policy in residence affects the community dynamic.
“It makes it harder for students to visit each other, and for dons and patrol to have those impromptu chats in passing,” said Hatt.
Another drawback for residence life, besides casual socializing, is the effect that closed doors have on partying.
Everyone who enters and exits a party will open and close the door, people will be marooned outside of doors not sure where to go, and the Kramer-esque entrances of yesteryear are impossible given that a certain spectacle is made of everyone who knocked to be let into the party space.
Besides that challenge, Patrol staff members also have a new obstacle in keeping evening events safe.
“It’s a lot more concerning knowing that all parties are happening behind closed doors,” said Hatt, noting that students have been accommodating to the challenge Patrol faces in keeping things safe.
Hatt says he’s working on long-term goals to mitigate any drawbacks of following firecodes, by possibly installing magnetic mechanisms on the door to hold it open but shut it if an alarm sounds, such as those doors on either end of the Link.

By David J. Shuman

David is a second-year journalism student at King's, is engagement/news editor of The Watch, and a copy editor of The Pigeon. He writes on student politics, campus happenings, and school news. 

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