J.P. from Aurora County, Colorado writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
You need a key to get into the pool but when you’re in, the gate locks you in so you have to unlock it to get out. Is that ok for them to have a lock on the inside? What if there is an emergency?
Mister Condo replies:
J.P., many condo associations struggle with the very real problem of protecting their amenities from use by unauthorized individuals. A keyed gate system is tried and tested method of preventing unauthorized access. However, as you have pointed out, it may create a hazard in the event of an emergency when users are simply focused on leaving the area and not necessarily that a key is required to do so. I am not an expert on public safety but my guess is that the association is well within its right to protect its private property as they see fit as long as they are not violating any local, state, or federal safety ordinances. You might want to start by asking the Board if some different type of enforcement measure could be used. State your safety concern as they may have overlooked it. You can also contact your local Fire Marshall or other municipal safety person and ask if the locked gate is a safety violation. My guess is that it is not but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Thanks for keeping an eye out for safety. All the best!