Fire escapes are a very important building component for life safety. As you walk through some of Boston and Greater Boston’s oldest neighborhoods you will see a variety or different fire escapes on many different types of buildings. They can range from fire escapes with sliding ladders, counter balance weights, and horizontal fire escapes, just to name a few. They are there in the event of a fire or emergency and are to only be used as one of your last alternatives to get out of a building as safe as possible.
Installation & Maintenance
These fire escapes need to be installed and secured to the buildings structure, and have to be kept in working order at all times. They must be free of storage and debris, and kept clear of snow and ice in the winter months. Unfortunately, many of these things don’t happen. Fire escape maintenance gets overlooked, the fire scapes hardware and fasteners are not inspected and repaired as needed. Fire escape treads deteriorate and corrode. Storage accumulates in these areas from building owners and tenants. And people that occupy the building are left with a second means of egress to get out of a building safely that is not safe, accessible, or usable.
Massachusetts Building Codes
Massachusetts State Building Code states the fire escapes need to be constructed in a manner that they will hold up to the weathers elements and be secured with proper hardware to the building structure.
Massachusetts State Building Code states that fire escapes need to be examined and/or tested, and certified for structural adequacy and safety every five years, by a registered design professional, or other qualified and acceptable to the building official. Once this have been completed by this individual, this person needs to submit an affidavit to the building official.
It is tremendously important for the responsible parties living in buildings with fire escapes, to ensure that these things are being done. Fire escapes are a life safety building component, that, at any time may need to be used, and you want to have the confidence, and peace of mind, that you can rely on a safe and proper functioning fire escape if ever needed. A persons life may depend on it.
Contact Us Today
For a more questions or information about fire escapes or anything about your home, please reach out to BeaconLight Home Inspection. We would love to hear from you! We can be contaced via phone at (617) 681-HOME or by filling out our team's online contact form!
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