Is Your Fire Escape in Good Condition?

Apartment buildings and their components require a considerable amount of maintenance and upkeep. This isn’t limited to the units themselves but includes the hallways and outdoor areas as well. One component that sometimes gets neglected is the fire escape.

It’s easy to forget about fire escape maintenance, as it’s not something that should get a lot of or any use. But your building’s fire escape condition must meet certain standards according to the city that you reside in. One way to stay compliant is through an inspection.

Here are some FAQs to consider to tell if your fire escape is in good condition.

What external factors can cause your fire escape’s condition to deteriorate?

Many things but mainly the weather. Your fire escape is typically located on the outside of your building; as such, it is subject to all the wind, sun, rain and snow that that entails. It’s also vulnerable to frequent temperature change cycles which can wear on its wrought iron or steel frame and its accompanying bolts that fasten it to the building.

Are there other factors that can lead to fire escapes not being up to snuff?

Yes, neglect and lack of maintenance. Some people who own or manage buildings might not give a second thought to their fire escape’s condition and/or might be indifferent to fire escape maintenance. This can happen for any number of reasons: The fire escape is out of sight and out of mind; the building’s owner doesn’t want to pay for inspection, maintenance and repairs; or the building manager figures no one’s probably going to use it anyway, so it doesn’t make that much of a difference.

Why is it important for your fire escape to be in good condition?

There are numerous reasons that your fire escape must be safe and functional. The first one is: It’s the law. Many local ordinances and building codes require structures to have safe and unobstructed routes down and out of buildings, such as fire escapes. Those same ordinances usually also require inspections of fire escapes every few years. Keeping your building compliant is critical to keeping it in operation.

The second reason is tenant and pedestrian safety. It would be a tragedy if someone was forced to use a fire escape during a fire and it gave way, causing them to plunge to their death. It would also be terrible for a pedestrian walking on the street to be struck by a piece of iron that came loose from a fire escape due to insufficient maintenance.

What should I look for when performing a fire escape inspection?

You can and should have professionals perform an inspection, but you can do some preliminary observation yourself. You don’t need to walk out on the fire escape to test it, but if you’re the landlord, you should go through each tenant’s room and look closely at the fire escape outside each unit. Look for visual signs of wear like peeling paint or rusted metal. You should also check the connection points where the fire escape is mounted to the building’s exterior. When in doubt, call a professional for an inspection.

Call for your fire escape inspection today

Knowing more about fire escape conditions and fire escape maintenance can keep your tenants safe and your building in compliance. For an inspection, call us at Great Escape Fire Escape Service, where we offer fire escape inspections, maintenance and safety training.

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