Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fire Escapes as a Means of Egress?

Picture of a Fire Escape on an existing Multiple Dwelling

Q: Are FIRE ESCAPES permitted as a second Means of Egress on New or ALTERED Buildings?

A: As per Building Code Section 27-368, the use of Fire Escapes as a second Means of Egress is very limited:

-Fire Escapes are not permitted on New Buildings, with the exception of GROUP HOMES.

-Fire Escapes may be used as exits on buildings that existed on 12/6/1968, when such buildings are Altered, but only with the approval of the DOB Commissioner (sounds like the topic of a RECONSIDERATION)

When an existing building relies on a FIRE ESCAPE as a second Means of Egress, the Fire Escape needs to be retained, unless the building's egress is upgraded in such a way that the Fire Escape is no longer required (for instance, if an additional, compliant INTERIOR STAIR were installed to serve as a second Means of Egress).

Have a question about Fire Escapes? E-mail Permitadvisor