Is your fire escape in a dingy and dilapidated state? If so, you have every reason to be concerned. Apart from being unsightly, most importantly, it might be a safety hazard, and potentially incriminating. An unsafe fire escape violates the Building Code, which could lead to violations and penalties, and also pose a liability to the owner if anyone succumbs to any injury because of it. It is therefore critical to have fire escape regular inspections as well as annual servicing in order to ensure that your fire escape is in good working condition- in case there’s ever a need for it. If your fire escape is not entirely loose and incurably deteriorated, you might have a good chance to save on the high costs of a complete installation by doing a proper repair and refurbishment. Here are a few simple steps to guide you through the process.
An engineer and a fire escape expert are the specialist in this case. They should perform a thorough examination to assess if the fire escape is structurally sound in order to ascertain all the necessary fire escape repairs. This involves scrutinizing the anchorages, the drop ladder, bent, loose, or missing parts, such as steps (also called treads), railings, slats, bolts, the supporting steel beams or angles that attach into the face of the building. They should also look out for cracked or missing caulking or bricks around the penetrations, rust, flaking paint, and any sharp edges or pieces of metal.
Scraping and Painting
There’s nothing as refreshing as a fresh coat of paint. But before splattering new paint all over your fire escape, all rust as well as any loose, blistering, peeling, or flaking paint must be scraped down. This is part and parcel of your sub-contactor’s job description. After scraping off the metal, it’ll be cleaned and then a rust-inhibitive primer and enamel-based paint will be applied.
Once your fire escape has been refurbished and has returned back to its original safe and attractive stature, it’s important to have it inspected on a regular basis, as mandated under the Building Code or your Local Law.
Every five years an engineer or architect should perform the Local Law 11/98 facade inspection of your building to look for any unsafe conditions on your fire escape.
Remember, the primary goal of fire safety efforts is to protect lives and prevent property damage. Make certain of this by undertaking proper fire escape inspections and maintenance regularly to ensure that your fire escape is ready and reliable, if ever needed.