Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Shut the Front Door!

Czechs seem to be very security conscious. Which is not a bad thing. It's the implementation that seems to be a bit odd. At least to me that is. Like most apartment buildings, the front door to my building has a lock and a dead bolt lock. If you put the key in and turn the lock, the door opens. If you put your key in the lock and turn it twice then you lock/unlock the dead bolt.

To enter my building you must have a key to open the front door. Or, press the intercom and I can buzz the door which lets you in. But that only works from between 7 AM to 7 PM.

The sign on the front door has been there since before I moved in to my building in August 2009. It says...

Dear tenants,
For the security of us all, we ask you to check whether you have really closed the front door behind you. Recently, several times, it happened that the door remains wide open (even at night). During night hours (19-7 pm), lock your front door!
Committee Authority

The building rules say that the dead bolt must be used from 7 PM until 7 AM. So if you come visit me at 7:15 PM I can't just buzz you in. I have to go down 5 floors to physically let you in. If you leave before 7 AM then I have to go down to let you out. There is no way to leave the building after 7 PM if you don't have a key to the front door. Can you say fire hazard? If the building catches fire and you forget the key as you flee the building then you had better hope that one of the neighbors brings a key. And that they don't lock the front door behind them. I understand the whole wanting to feel secure thing. I just don't get why you need a key to leave.

My Czech teacher shows up at 6:30 PM so I just buzz her in. But the lesson ends at 8 PM so I always have to walk her out. It was a pain when the elevator was being replaced. Going down 5 floors was fine...but going back up 5 floors sucked.

It seems that the mail ladies, (I have never seen a mailman), have keys to all of the buildings so that they can deliver letters. But what happens when you need to call the police? I don't know if the police have keys to all of the buildings as well. Does someone have to let the police in? Do they break the front door down?

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