FAQ

Q. I have been told my fire escape needs an inspection or certification. What does this mean?

 

A. International Fire Code 1104.16.5.1 states that fire escape must be examined for structural adequacy by a registered design professional every 5 years. An inspection report needs to be submitted to the fire code official every 5 years as well.

 

Q. This is the first time my town has required me to get my fire escape inspected, why now?

 

A. Local municipalities can take time to adopt the latest codes and enforcement policies. The rules on inspections came about in 2012. Many municipalities are now becoming compliant with the IFC codes.

 

Q. My Fire Inspector said my fire escape needs a load test. What does this mean?

 

A. International Fire Code 1104.16.5 states that fire escapes shall support the dead load of the fire escape plus a live load of 100lbs per square foot. A load test is performed by securing the fire escape, and adding weight to the fire escape until it has 100lbs of weight per square foot on it.

 

Q. Does Maximum Fire Escapes perform load tests?

 

A. Load tests are extremely dangerous to perform. In severe cases we are able to perform a load test, however we recommend a safer route. We will inspect your fire escape, and offer repair and structural upgrade criteria to satisfy an engineer’s requirements to certify in lieu of load testing. Because of our warranty we guarantee that an engineer will sign off on your fire escape structural adequacy certificate every 5 years, for 25 years.

 

Q. I need a fire escape built. What is the process?

 

A. Maximum Fire Escapes will design your fire escape for you according the laws and codes of your local municipality. We will produce shop drawings with an engineer’s seal of approval for submittal to your local city as part of a permit application. In smaller municipalities we will submit the permit application ourselves. In larger cities we can recommend knowledgeable permit expediters to navigate the often hectic permitting process of larger cities. Once the permit is approved we fabricate all the components in our shop and install the fire escape on your structure. All fire escapes made by Maximum Fire Escapes come with a 25 year warranty.

 

 

Q. I have a Department of Buildings (DOB) violation stating that my fire escape needs to be inspected. What does this mean?

A. In 2013 the Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) began requiring supplemental inspections of fire escapes. It means that you must have your fire escape inspected and certified by an acceptable design professional like an Engineer. Maximum Fire Escapes can help.

 

Q. Does Maximum Fire Escapes operate in the 5 boroughs?

A. Yes we do!

Q. My building needs to have the fire escape inspected and load tested for me to get my Certificate of Inspection (“Green Card”). What does this mean?

A. New Jersey Fire Code 1031.6 requires any fire escape found to be in a state of deterioration or determined to be unsafe by the fire official shall be repaired immediately. A load test of any fire escape shall be conducted before the fire escape is returned to service.

 

Q. Does Maximum Fire Escapes perform load tests?

A. Load tests are extremely dangerous to perform. In severe cases we are able to perform a load test, however we recommend a safer route. We will inspect your fire escape, and offer repair and structural upgrade criteria to satisfy an engineer’s requirements to certify in lieu of load testing. Because of our warranty we guarantee that an engineer will sign off on your fire escape structural adequacy certificate every 5 years, for 25 years.

 

Q. My building in Philadelphia has a violation because I do not have an inspection report for my fire escape. What does this mean?

A. According to Philadelphia Fire Code F-1011.1.5 the owner of a building with a fire escape shall be responsible for retaining a professional to conduct periodic inspections of the fire escape for structural adequacy.

 

Q. I had my fire escape inspected by an Engineer and they determined my fire escape was UNSAFE. What happens now?

A.  Any fire escape declared UNSAFE in Philadelphia needs to have immediate repairs done. The city is allowed to require you to vacate the building, or hire a 24 hour fire watch until the UNSAFE condition of the fire escape is corrected. A permit must be filed with drawings and engineer reports, and once the permit is approved work must begin on the corrective actions within 30 days. Maximum Fire Escapes has helped numerous building owners through this process quickly to resolve the issue.

 

Still have questions? Get in touch.