What is your opinion on self-closing doors. They seem to be in all newer apartments now and apparantly they're mandated by building regulations. I can't actually find the regulation that states this though other than a reference saying that "fire doors (ie: a door built for that specific purpose) must be self closing". That's it.
Problem is though, the doors are not only very very noisy but also highly dangerous. Maybe it's just the way they are implemented (which would be typical of this country) but the velocity on impact with the door frame is considerable. I believe that the door impact is easily high enough to sever the fingers of a child. My brief research indicates that in my local area, everyone who has a child has removed the springs, most other prop the doors open.
I believe Irish authorities are just slavishly reinventing the regulation wheel, so to speak. The "Let's not ask anyone else" problem - you just know that if Ireland ever went nuclear, they'd start by building a "three mile island" style reactor. Just because.
Oh, here's an extract from the journal of the NFPA (the fire safety authority in the US). They were talking specifically about health facilities, but much could be learned:
....the Life Safety Code has never required self-closing doors, either for new or existing health-care occupancies, and no model building code has required them since the mid-1980s.
"The reason," Jaeger says, "is that we were injuring and killing more people with self-closing doors than with fires, especially in nursing homes."
Doors closing and knocking people over have caused broken hips and crushed hands. In an elderly, already frail population, such injuries can lead to complications and, in some cases, death. Self-closing doors can also prevent health-care staff from monitoring patients by sound and by sight....
"The self-closing door issue has been kicked around for 30 years or better," says Solomon. "They sound good on the surface, but the issues they introduce create more harm than good, in most people's views."