Signs of an Unsafe Fire Escape

Fire escapes can save lives in an emergency. They are a common addition on high rises and apartment buildings in big cities like Boston and Cambridge, MA, and offer an alternative exit for your tenants, employees, and customers. However, over time, metal fire escapes can get corroded and damaged due to weather, which could ironically render them unsafe in a fire or other emergency.

Here are some indicators that your Massachusetts building’s fire escapes need to be replaced or repaired.  

Loose Anchorages

In order to guarantee a safe exit, fire escapes must be anchored firmly to your building’s exterior. Metal tends to shrink and swell over the years, which can cause stair bolts to come loose. When those connections have been heavily corroded, replacement of the whole assembly may be necessary. Sometimes, tightening or installing new bolts can be the solution.

Missing Components

From the handrails to the treads, every component on your fire escape should be present and accounted for, and should be tight enough for full connection and movement resistance.  Regularly check for corrosion at connection points, or any loose steps that start to shift. Be on the lookout for missing supports and treads, and replace them as needed.

You may need a welder to repair the damage. A contractor can replace anything from loose or damaged stairs to bent handrails and broken metal pieces. It’s possible to fully restore your fire escape without the headache and costly bill that comes with demolishing and replacing the structure.

Widespread Rust

Fire escapes are exposed to the weather at all times, no naturally they will develop rust over time, particularly in areas where the paint has chipped. Surface isn’t such a big problem — it’s when it eats through the connections between stair treads that it becomes an issue, thus putting the supportive components in jeopardy.

It’s certainly possible to preserve rusty metal but paint and surface rust should first be scraped off to see the extent of the damage. Your trusted Boston contractor can then evaluate the structural integrity, suggest the necessary repair or replacement, then add another coat of weatherproof paint.

Turn to Your MA Fire Escape Inspection and Certification Specialists

If your building has a fire escape, it must be inspected regularly by a qualified professional. We can help with that. Keep in mind that building owners in Boston must have their fire escapes certified every five years by law. That certificate must then be filed with the city. Our trained contractors conduct multi-point fire escape inspections that involve:

  1. Site visit to inspect fire escape
  2. Estimate
  3. Permit to make all repairs
  4. Job completion
  5. Sign-off from building department inspector
  6. Application for certification (needs an engineer’s report/affidavit)
  7. File paperwork and pay fees
  8. Get certification 
  9. File with city

We can inspect your fire escape for any areas of rust, damage, or wear and tear, making sure the system is safe at all points, including pulleys, ladder support brackets, and cables. Certification will be issued if you pass the inspection. If the fire escape fails inspection, a report will be submitted that outlines all code violations.

Contact AD Construction For Fire Escape Inspections in Massachusetts

Call AD Construction, your certified fire escape inspector in Boston and beyond, today at 877-345-BUILD.

Inspecting fire escapes and buildings in the South End, Cambridge, Brookline and the Boston Metro area since 1980.

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