Keeping your building’s fire escapes in good shape—and accessible—isn’t just a matter of protecting tenants and employees. It’s also important to ensure that you don’t run afoul of city regulations or expose yourself to legal liability. Setting a schedule for regular fire escape maintenance in San Francisco, CA is a key part of building ownership.
Even if your fire escape is corroding thanks to the fog, humidity and rain, you probably won’t have to replace the entire thing. Here’s how to inspect and refurbish your fire escapes without springing for brand new ones. As always, working with a reputable company like Great Escape Fire Escape Service is the first step toward ensuring compliant fire escapes.
Look for structural problems
When you work with a fire escape professional, the first step is to make sure that it’s structurally sound. Are there bent, missing or loose parts? Is the fire escape properly anchored to the exterior wall? Your inspector will check the steps or railings, hand rails, bolts, supporting steel beams and how secure the fire escape’s anchoring is. In some cases, it might be prudent to use steel plates to reinforce the steel beams and angles.
If they find that the supports are badly deteriorated, those will need to be replaced. This usually involves removing the brickwork and masonry where the fire escapes are attached to the wall. They’ll also need to caulk all the joints so water can’t intrude into the walls or corrode the metal.
The next part of fire escape maintenance in San Francisco, CA involves checking to see if any paint is flaking or peeling. If so, it needs to be tested for lead and asbestos. As long as the paint doesn’t contain either of those substances, the contractors can strip the paint and repaint it with an environmentally-friendly all-weather paint.
However, if your paint does contain lead or asbestos, you’ll need to follow city, state and federal abatement procedures. They will likely require you to seal windows and exterior doors so asbestos and lead particles can’t get in during the paint stripping process. This usually involves a wet scraping process to cut down on airborne pollutants, but they can inform you about the most current regulations and recommendations.
After the paint is scraped, make sure you paint the entire fire escape all at once. This keeps everything in uniform condition.
Regular inspections and maintenance
After you’ve refurbished your fire escape, it’s important to make sure it remains in top condition. Working with a company like Great Escape Fire Escape Service will ensure you stay on top of your regular maintenance and repairs. They’ll check for problems with the fire escape itself, as well as unsafe conditions like improperly installed window units, flowerpots on the fire escapes and other issues.
For more information about regular fire escape maintenance in San Francisco, CA, or to schedule service, call Great Escape Fire Escape Service today. We can help you keep your fire escapes safe and compliant with all applicable codes.