Almost two years ago to the day, we moved into Narcoleptic Dave’s place on a temporary basis, having instructed the Methodical Builder to construct an extension to the cottage.
The whole project went extremely smoothly (apart from the stairs collapsing under the LTLP, her getting electrocuted by the sink, the window being forgotten by the bricklayer, CORGI wishing to prosecute the gas installer etc.) and only took a little bit longer than promised, so I can have no complaints. And finally, it has arrived in the post: my building regulations certificate!!!
The two final things that I was ordered to do in order to comply were as follows:
- Change the hinges on the upstairs windows. The hinges did not open wide enough. It is important that your upstairs windows open very very wide, so that if there is a fire you can flee via the medium of leap;
- Put bars across the upstairs windows. Because the windows are very low due to short people in the eighteenth century, it is important that you put bars across your upstairs windows in order to prevent people from falling out.
Being quite safety-conscious I was happy to go along with this. I would hate to fall out of a window and/or be burnt to death (or even a bit). Obviously there are a couple of practicalities that I am mulling over, however. I cannot work out whether it would be better to leave the bars there but position a screwdriver on each windowsill, so that as the toxic smoke starts creeping under the door one can frantically start unscrewing the relevant bar, hopefully achieving this before death occurs.
Or would it be better to remove the bars, but keep them handy, so that if I trip up and find myself sailing towards an open window I am able to grab one with a spare hand and very very very quickly screw it into place to prevent defenestration?
It is an impossible dilemma. I might have to email RoSPA for some guidelines. Meanwhile the Toddler uses the bars to swing herself up onto the windowsill.