September 2, 2016

New York City Fire Escape Inspections

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New York Fire Escape Inspections


N.Y. Labor Law 273 – excerpt:

7. Every fire-escape if constructed of material subject to rusting shall be painted with two or more coats of good paint in contrasting colors; in the case of a new fire-escape the first coat before erection, and the second coat after erection. Whenever a fire-escape becomes rusty, the owner shall repaint it with two additional coats of good paint. 8. a. Whenever a non-fireproof multiple dwelling is not provided with sufficient means of egress in case of fire, the department may order such additional fire-escapes or balconies as in its judgment may be deemed necessary. b. The owner of a multiple dwelling shall keep and maintain every fire-escape thereon in good order and repair. c. No person shall at any time place any encumbrance of any kind before or upon any fire-escape, or place or keep a cover of any kind over the stairway opening in a balcony of such fire-escape. An occupant or tenant of a multiple dwelling who shall violate or assist in the violation of the provisions of this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as provided in section three hundred four. 9. No fire-escape shall be removed from or constructed on any existing multiple dwelling without permission from the department. No fire-escape shall be removed from any apartment without due precaution against leaving occupants of such apartment without adequate means of egress in case of fire. A wire, chain cable, vertical ladder or rope fire-escape is an unlawful means of egress. Every such fire-escape, if required as a means of egress, shall be removed and replaced by a system of fire-escapes constructed and arranged as provided in this section. 10. The department shall have the power to make supplementary regulations relating to fire-escapes.

For entire code click here…

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2012 IFC 1104.16.5.1 Fire escape stairs must be examined every 5 years ,by design professional or others acceptable and inspection report must be submitted to the fire code official.


IBC 1001.3.3 All fire escapes shall be examined and/or tested and certified every five years by a design professional or others acceptable who will then submit an affidavit city official.


NFPA LIFE SAFETY CODE 101 The Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) shall approve any fire escape by Load Test or other evidence of strength (Certification).


OSHA 1910.37 Exit routes must be maintained during construction, repairs, alterations or provide alternative egress with equivalent level of safety. (permit issued if egress is certified or with egress scaffolding) 

FIVE STEPS to Certify a Fire Escape:

  1. Schedule a pre load test evaluation by a design professional or others acceptable by City Official – AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction)
  2. Said professional will confirm with City Official if there are any other requirements other than load testing or other evidence of strength and if City Official wants to witness initial evaluation
  3. Submit evaluation report to owner/agent and a copy to the City Official as per code
  4. Issue certification, if passed, done by load test or other evidence of strength to City Official or, if failed, owner/agent and city official to confirm next steps (ex. engineer oversight, permits or other conditions)
  5. Please contact your local City Official (AHJ) with any questions about the above steps