Tall buildings throughout the Bay Area require fire escapes by law. In the event of an emergency, sturdy fire escapes may mean the difference between life and death. Property managers call us for information about fire safety compliance with local and federal mandates, and many of them wonder what fire escapes in San Francisco, CA are made of. Read on to find out!
What does the law say?
Many of our clients believe that local, state or federal law dictates what metal is used to make fire escapes in San Francisco, CA. However, there’s actually no legal precedent requiring a specific material in the construction of these mandatory safety structures.
While laws don’t determine the material used to make fire escapes, there are rules about inspection and testing. National fire codes say that any fire escape must be tested and examined by a professional every five years. Locally, the San Francisco Fire Code not only states that all fire escapes should be kept clear of any obstructions, but that they must be operational and fully maintained at all times.
Choosing a fire escape for your building
When shopping for a new or replacement fire escape, there are four attributes to consider: the size, the configuration, additional features and the material. These days, most manufacturers use steel grating for the steps of a fire escape, and construct the rest of it using stainless steel.
There are many reasons to rely on steel for this purpose. Steel doesn’t rust and collect debris, ice, pooling water or snow, making the surface anti-slip. It also takes the weight of numerous people at a time without buckling or shifting. This maintains a safe method for people to utilize when they must evacuate a premise. Additionally, most steel fire escapes remain standing if an explosion takes place.
While some fire escape producers may use other metals, such as powder-coated or anodized aluminum, galvanized steel is the top choice. From the low manufacturing cost to ease of maintenance, steel fire escapes allow people a reliable method for safely evacuating a building in the case of a fire or other emergency. Don’t let a pushy salesman convince you that fire escapes made from other materials provide the same level of safety or quality as those constructed from steel.
Fire escape maintenance and inspections
Regardless of what fire escapes are made of in San Francisco, CA, the onus is on building owners and managers to maintain these legally-mandated safety structures. Failing to do so may lead to significant fines and other legal action. In worst-case scenarios, overlooking regular maintenance and inspections could cause serious injury or loss of life.
You want a professional to handle any inspections and maintenance of the fire escapes attached to your residential or commercial buildings. If you have questions about these services or what fire escapes are made of in San Francisco, CA, get in touch with Great Escape Fire Escape Service. Our top-rated fire escape inspection and maintenance services ensure compliance with local and federal laws while protecting the people who occupy the buildings you own or manage.