How to Repair Your Fire Escape

Is your fire escape in bad shape? Have you received a violation from a city inspector? Are you concerned about fire safety for your family or your tenants? If so, there’s good news!

The majority of fire escapes, even those that seem in very bad shape, can often be repaired instead of replaced. Replacing a fire escape can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but refurbishing an existing structure can be much more cost effective and just as safe.

The first step is to have the fire escape inspected to be sure it is structurally sound. The inspector will assess all structural components as well as the integrity of the steel and/or wood. They will inspect the platforms, railings, struts, and support beams and make note of any loose or missing parts. The inspector will verify all internal and external connections to the wall of the building. He or she will also ensure that all ladders or cantilevers are in working order and can take the weight load as required by city code.

The majority of needed repairs are straightforward; these include reinforcing connections, tightening bolts, and performing necessary welds. Wall connections or penetrations may need to be reinforced with metal plates or reinforcing angles. Sometimes, the brickwork surrounding these connections may need to be repaired or supported.  All wall connections should be caulked to keep all moisture which can corrode the steel.

After the inspection and repairs, the fire escape will need to be scraped and painted.  This involves removing all rust and old paint chips before completely repainting the structure. The fire escape should then be painted with enamel-based paint to keep it in pristine condition.

If your situation requires you to take action on meeting local or state fire codes, or you simply want to explore your options, West Coast Fire Escapes provides all of these services for maintaining or repairing your fire escape. They make a complicated process easy and affordable, whatever the size or condition of your fire escape.