Why Do We Need 604 Inspections?

If you own an apartment, condominium or hotel, the section 604 rules of the San Francisco Building Inspection Code require all building attachments, including fire escapes, be assessed for full compliance. Inspections should occur once every five years. As a property owner, you need to abide by these codes. Here’s why 604 inspections are important.

Inspections ensure you comply with the law

The most important reason to abide by section 604 rules is that regular inspections are required by law. San Francisco law specifies that all building attachments, including your fire escape, need inspection every five years. These inspections verify that attachments are in safe condition, in adequate working order and are free from harmful dry rot, deterioration or repairs or alterations that aren’t up to code.

If you pass inspection, a legally binding affidavit must be filed with the building department. If you do not pass, you’ll be required to make necessary improvements and repairs to ensure compliance with safety standards. You’re exposed to major liability if there’s any fire escape-, porch- or stair-related accident that occurs if you haven’t kept up with the required inspections. The following attachments must be checked during a 604 inspection:

  • Decks
  • Guardrails
  • Landings
  • Handrails
  • Stairway systems
  • Porches
  • Exit systems
  • Fire escapes
  • Any other building features in weather-exposed areas

Inspections save lives

You can never be too prepared when it comes to fire safety. Routine 604 inspections ensure that your residents have a clear, safe means of escape should an emergency situation occur at your building. Fire escapes exist to save lives and prevent further damage of property—in other words, regular inspections are both an ethical responsibility and a smart precautionary measure. As the building owner, you’re liable if the unthinkable happens in an emergency situation. Don’t leave it to chance, and make sure you stick to your regular timeline for 604 inspections.

In addition, 604 inspections include a thorough look at other exterior features of your apartment building, hotel or condo complex. Many of these buildings have other architectural exterior attachments, including decks, porches, balconies and stairs. Residents often use these features every day, so it’s important to keep them in perfect shape, ensuring their stability and safety. Collapses of exterior decks, balconies and even failed railings have resulted in loss of life if not severe injuries. Look out for the safety of tenants and schedule your 604 inspection right away.

Inspections give residents peace of mind

Residents look at regular inspections as a gesture of goodwill. After all, you want tenants in your building to feel comfortable and safe while they’re living there. Inspecting fire escapes, decks, exterior stairs and other building attachments shows you care about each resident’s safety and wellbeing.

When you need 604 inspections for your property, rely on a team that’s at the forefront of San Francisco compliance standards for fire escapes. Working with a professional inspection team ensures you’re in full compliance with all codes, and they can refer you to a qualified contractor or architect if any changes are needed. Contact Great Escape Fire Escape Service to learn more about 604 inspections.

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