September 5, 2016

San Francisco Fire Escape Inspections

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San Francisco Fire Escape Inspections


The regulations in San Francisco state that fire escapes must be examined (tested) every 5 years 

and fire escape ladders every year.

Posted by National Fire Escape Association on Monday, March 30, 2015

Section 604

Requires apartment house (including residential condominium of 3 dwellings or more) and hotel (6 guest rooms or more) owners to have

all building appendages to be inspected by a licensed general contractor, or structural pest control licensee, or licensed professional architect or engineer,

verifying that the exit system, corridor, balcony, deck or any thereof is in general safe condition, in adequate working order, and free from hazardous dry rot, fungus, deterioration, decay, or improper alteration.


Property owners shall provide proof of compliance with this section by submitting an affidavit form (provided by the Department) signed by the responsible inspector to the Housing Inspection Services Division every five years.


[Added by Ord. 399-89, App. 1 1/6/89; amended by Ord. 161-92, App. 6/4/92; Ord. 192-02, App. 9/17/02; Ord. 256-07, App. 11/6/07] 

All safety devices or equipment provided for in this chapter shall be maintained in good repair at all times. Fire escapes shall be kept clear and unobstructed and be readily accessible at all times. Upon inspection, the property owner, or authorized agent, shall demonstrate to the Director or designated personnel, that all existing fire escapes are fully operational and properly maintained. Upon completion of the inspection, all existing fire escapes shall be secured pursuant to Section 1110.3.1. of the San Francisco Fire Code.

Send us photos of your fire escape by email:

or click here to submit via an online form


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

San Francisco Fire Escape Inspections