Apartment doors and hallway doors are required by law to swing closed and latch by themselves after being opened (self-closing) so that in the case of a fire no one needs to remember to close the door to trap the fire and smoke and stop it from spreading. Doors that stay open allow fire and smoke to spread to hallways and other apartments! Self-closing doors should never be blocked from closing all the way.
Property owners and tenants can prevent a fire from spreading by making sure apartment and public hallway doors are operating properly.
Test it! Unless a door is visibly damaged, you will not know if it is operating properly until you test it.
When testing a door with an overhead closer, open the door as far as possible to check for any hold-open mechanism.
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Tenants should not tamper with self-closing doors by propping doors open with objects, taping the latch, using wood wedges or kick-down door stops, or overriding the closing device.
As a tenant you should:
Learn more about self-closing doors and fire safety:
Property owners should check self-closing doors periodically and must make prompt repairs to door closing mechanisms or defective doors and door frames.
Learn more about your self-closing door responsibiltiies as a property owner: