Day 63 of 98 – It all hinges on…

21 Nov

The Finns apparent dislike for user-friendly building access/egress is not restricted to the disabled. Check out this fire “escape”.

Yup, that's five stories.

Can you imagine actually trying to use this thing with an injured arm? Or in the winter? Or during a fire? Or while carrying a baby? Well I can and let me tell you: it does not end well

What’s the point of escaping from a fire only to die from a fall? It’s not visible in the photo but *again* the last section of this egress device is missing. It actually ends about eight feet (two and a half metres) off the ground. I’m told this is to stop people from climbing *up* the ladder. What does it not do? How about prevent people from using a bicycle leaned up against the wall to cover the missing three feet (ninety centimetres).

I’m not really sure what I’m complaining about here, my apartment in Berlin has no fire escape at all. I think my fear is that maybe the builders were given a choice: install a fire suppression system (i.e. sprinklers) or a fire escape (i.e. that shitty ladder) and they decided to go with the suicide device.

But I did fall in love with one aspect of Finland – the hinges! Yes hinges. You have got to see these things. They are amazing. You know what a pain in the ass it is to remove a door in Canada? You have to pop the pin in the hinges (good luck with that if they’ve been painted over) or you have to unscrew them from the wall. Well check this out:

One.

Two.

Disco!

Pretty awesome eh? And this is not even the best part. What makes these hinges kick ass is the fact that you can install them on a security door and the door can swing out. You know how the exterior doors (non-patio) to every house in Canada swing in? I think one of the reasons for this is that the hinges have to be on the same side as the direction door opens. If the door using the shitty Canadian hinges were to swing out, the pin would be on the outside. A home invader would simply have to pop the pins to remove the door. Not very secure.

Hinge on an exterior door (from the outside)

And from the inside. Note the security pin - I've never see those in Canada.

But with the Finnish hinges the door just needs to be open and lifted for it to be removed. Just awesome.

I bought a bunch of these hinges to bring back to Canada. A few of my friends live in multi-unit town homes and the upstairs units all have doors that open into a tiny landing and the stairs start right there. There is no place to put your shoes and when you want to leave you have to squeeze your way around the door. I’m going to see if any of them want to go Finnish style.

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