With summer slowly coming to a close, many people are choosing to have their end-of-summer gatherings and cookouts before teachers and students return to school in a few short weeks for another year. Many choose to hold get-togethers both indoors and outdoors to enjoy the warm breeze of a summer evening. While the idea of spending summer nights out on the balcony comes off as one of relaxation and putting aside the cares of the world, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that not only your balcony is safe and secured, but also that any fire escape ladders or other routes are maintained properly and are free of clutter in the case of an emergency. So how to prevent your fire escape balcony from collapse?
Whether you are hosting a get together, or just enjoy spending time on the balcony outside your family home, it is important to remember your fire escape ladders and any other external escape routes connected to your home have the ability to wear down and become unsafe to use. While their intended use is solely for safety, many people find themselves using fire escapes as storage space or space for people to sit on and spend time outdoors. Another issue that arises with outdoor fire escape systems is the issue of most of them being constructed out of steel or other elements that erode over time due to the weather. When external fire safety units are scraped, repainted, and kept up to maintenance codes, they remain able to be reliable safety outlets in the instance of a fire or other situation that requires evacuation.
When it comes to external fire escape stairs, the fact that they could be faulty and cause more injury than safety in the case of an emergency is one that does not cross the mind of many people whose properties have them installed. Stories pop up on newscasts across America about individuals who fell to their death or endured extreme injury due to faulty fire escape ladders. The individuals who owned the properties that were connected to these faulty fire escape units often said that the reason they became faulty and rickety was that they were unaware of the importance of maintaining and inspecting their fire escape ladders and balconies.
So, how can you be sure that your fire escapes are up-to-par and can keep you and your guests safe in the case of an emergency? A simple call to your local fire department! Your city fire department can easily advise you of any dates to keep in mind for maintenance (such as six months after moving in and so forth) or can even send a representative to your home to conduct a fire escape inspection. Having the contact information of someone who is certified in fire escape safety is important to all homeowners, whether it be a first-time homeowner, or someone who has lived in the same home for years.
Just remember, fire escape safety and maintenance is not a one-time thing, and should be done on a regular basis to avoid injury due to a rickety, run down fire escape!