On stair wells, fires and mattresses

Now that it is seriously hot here and starting to get humid too, my regular regime of walking either round Muntazah Park or the length of the Corniche is becoming more of a chore than a pleasure. So I've substituted a daily stair climb instead. My apartment is 7th floor and exactly 135 steps up from the entry lobby. It's a good staircase too, wrapping round a square stair well, with no landings, so it's a continuous climb. The first few times, I found I had to slow down around the fifth floor, but now I'm able to keep my starting speed all the way to the top, so it must be doing me some good.
It did occur to me to wonder, though, how it is possible to get planning permission for a building with seven residential floors and only a single staircase. A half decent fire could easily take out the lifts and make the staircase inaccessible. I would have thought a second escape route would be mandatory in any modern building.
Especially a building with four mattresses strategically placed on the staircase between floors four and five, poised to catch fire on receipt of the first errant cigarette end dropped from the floors above. Only in Doha...
Note to self: ask landlord to have mattresses removed immediately.


  1. Just moved to Texas, as I think I mentioned a while back.
    The temperature has been over 100F for the past 16 straight days and shows no sign of relenting.
    There hasn't been a drop of rain in...? A damn long time.
    One spark in the wrong place and the whole damn state goes up in flames.

  2. It's about 115F here and hasn't rained since February. We get quite a lot of car fires and occasional buildings going up, but as we're desert with no undergrowth to dry in the sun, the fires don't spread, fortunately.

  3. My new Doha flat is in a four-storey block. I have nagged both the landlord and the watchman about the fire escapes. All the doors come with locks and keys.

    It would only take one prankster to turn a key in any one of the doors to the stair well to ruin someone's day.

    Unfortunately, I have apparently been wasting my breath. If the keys aren't removed, I shall be taking some affirmative action.

  4. Yes, sometimes you've got to do things yourself if you want them done. But I don't fancy manhandling five old mattresses, especially in July!

  5. Be not afeared: "[A]ll mattresses grown in the swamps of Squornshellous Zeta are very thoroughly killed and dried before being put to service. Very few have ever come to life again." - Douglas Adams


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