Are additional child safety measures required?

Are additional child safety measures required?

0:03 AM, 25th September 2023, About 2 months ago 12

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Hello, I have a flat where access to the private front door is off the street. Once inside, there is a small shoe storage area then a flight of stairs to all the flat-level living accommodations above.

The tenant has two small children (aged 5 and 6) . At the top of the stairs, she has fitted a stairgate.

The tenant now states the eldest child is going downstairs and opening the front door himself. The main door lock is of course a thumb-turn lock and at least over halfway up the door itself. (I suspect the child is unlocking it as they are coming down the stairs and reaching across to the door as the lock is not possible to reach from standing on the hallway floor alone)

The tenant has now asked I fit another lock. I’m not sure this is my full responsibility and I don’t think this is the solution as if they can open one, they can open another and of course, there has to be a quick release mechanism without the use of a key.

Any ideas anyone?

Reluctant landlord

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9:15 AM, 25th September 2023, About 2 months ago

You should do a risk assessment that considers all occupants of the property.

I would definitely want to make sure children were safe. If the door is only used by the tenant, they could fit a lock that requires a key in place of the thumb turn. This would impact the fire safety risk assessment of course. I’d point out why the thumb turn was fitted and perhaps put a key on a hook high up near the door.


10:27 AM, 25th September 2023, About 2 months ago

It's not lawful to fit an exit door lock that requires a key. You would need to relocate the thumb turn lock higher up.

Reluctant Landlord

10:37 AM, 25th September 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Teessider at 25/09/2023 - 09:15
Thanks, but thumb turn is in place and will remain so - there is no way people want to be hunting for keys in an emergecny situation to be abl to get out.
I shall have to think of another option. Maybe a flip over door resticter than can be easily flipped off by an adult?


10:52 AM, 25th September 2023, About 2 months ago

Simple solution: The tenant takes responsibility as a parent and teaches the child not to open the front door and explains why doing so is not a good idea.

Or how about Portable Door Locks for Travellers which people use when staying hotels? They cost about a tenner.

A quick search using Google will provide many answers.

Reluctant Landlord

11:35 AM, 25th September 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by SimonP at 25/09/2023 - 10:52
lol! That was my first thought beleive me! Especailly when there are stairgates installed at the top of the stairs to prevent access down to the front door.....

I have emailed her back with links for portable types she may want to purchase. Thanks

Freda Blogs

12:32 PM, 25th September 2023, About 2 months ago

The thumb turn is a must.

What about an extra bolt at high level (assuming its inaccessible to the child) which can readily be opened in an emergency?

Judith Wordsworth

14:41 PM, 25th September 2023, About 2 months ago

Fit a safety chain to the door and frame? Less than £6 at screwfix


20:15 PM, 25th September 2023, About 2 months ago

I refrained from replying to this earlier today as I wanted to say what the hell is going with children of that age that a stairgate still necessary and they attempting to leave the house unaccompanied!! Now others have said similar...not just me then haha. Joking've been given some good affordable solutions that might work if the said Houdini child doesn't find a way out. On a recent trip to Italy I stayed in a place that was accessed thru a phone app to get in and out. Flexipass. No idea of cost but that might be worth a look.

Old Mrs Landlord

11:04 AM, 26th September 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by RoseD at 25/09/2023 - 20:15Don't underestimate the ingenuity of an intelligent and adventurous toddler, They observe ,remember and copy your every move. On rising and looking out of our bedroom one sunny June morning a month before our son's third birthday I was shocked to see him still in pyjamas on the bank of the small river which ran next to our house with his little fishing net and jam jar. He had gone downstairs, dragged a dining chair to the door and undone the catch on the head-height Yale lock which was all that we used at that time and carried on with the pastime which had kept him enthralled the previous day. Needless to say we locked the door with the key from then on. This same child had woken us one morning the previous winter with the command "Wake up Mummy and Daddy, the porridge is ready!" He had made us rather thin but perfectly edible porridge by climbing on the kitchen step stool and copying what he watched me do each day. Such children need constant supervision which is not always possible when there are younger siblings.
Several good suggestions have been made here which I hope will enable you to thwart this lad's escape into danger.


12:11 PM, 26th September 2023, About 2 months ago

would she like you to go and cook their dinner as well?

were does parenting become the responsibility of the landlord.

I'd just say,"if you decide to fit an additional bolt or chain, I can't stop you".

The responsibility of suitability is then on them.

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