Some years ago we had a 'loft conversion' to add extra bedrooms in the roof of the house.
It emerged that these bedrooms were each required, by building regulations, to have access windows, like so:
That is, windows hinged at the top, so that IF there was a fire, and IF you were trapped in that particular room, and IF there was a fire engine with the right kind of ladder, THEN you could escape through this top-hinged window MORE EASILY than through the normal mid-hinged window.
This escape window was therefore a SAFETY feature.
Supposedly intended to SAVE LIVES (ta daa!)
So far so hugely-implausible but acceptable-ish.
THEN it emerged that in order for the escape window to be near to the eaves/ edge of the roof, and accessible to the hypothetical fire engine with a ladder of hypothetical length - the windows would need to be at FLOOR LEVEL.
THEN it emerged that the windows must (presumably because of the constant need for escaping blazes) be ALWAYS KEPT UNLOCKED.
Pause a moment and reflect.
1. Easy opening windows that give easy access to the sloping house roof, about 25-30 ft above the hard ground.
2. At floor level.
What we are talking about is, in effect, a human sized hole in the wall of the top story of the house.
Add in young children...
Low glass door over hole in sloping roof, easy to open, left unlocked, small child in room...
(do the math)
Recall that these windows are compulsory.
And that these are SAFETY windows...
What are the differential odds of a combination of fire related events in which this type of low access window in this particular place make the difference between life and death compared with a higher window in a normal place?
Compare the odds that if you have an easy-opening and never-locked window at floor-level designed for people to get-out from, pretty soon (like, err, the next couple of hours) a little kid will open it and get out from it onto the sloping roof and - duh - fall off the roof?
Now, of course these windows are kept locked (we are not insane - we don't want our children to die) but the locks could not be added until after the building was inspected and we are stuck with these crumby almost useless floor level windows that can't be left open.
But this single minor incident is enough to tell you what you need to know about the modern world, its psychotic irrationality, our captivity to regulations and interest groups propounding'good causes' ("What? You wanna see people burned to death?"), its un-reform-ability; its exclusion of personal responsibility, individual judgment and common sense - pretty much the whole thing is in there.