What is a Fire Escape Load Test?
Often our clients come to us because a town or state official has requested that a load test be performed on their fire escape system. But what does a load test for a fire escape entail? If you have been asked to get a load test done on your fire escape, you probably have questions as to what that involves.
A load test is a performance test that will help determine the integrity of your fire escape. During a load test, your fire escape will be tested with the legally required load, or amount of weight. In New Jersey it’s the weight of the fire escape itself plus 100lbs per square foot. In New York it is the weight of the fire escape itself, but only 80lbs per square foot.
To properly perform the load test, the fire escape is first fully encapsulated in scaffolding. Additionally, portions of it are secured to the scaffolding to make sure that if the fire escape fails the load test it won’t pull the entire side of your structure down. However, if you fail the load test some serious repairs will need to be done to your facade/siding and the fire escape itself.
Performing a load test is a lengthy and expensive process, and if you succeed the load test you will still need to do any repairs that the fire escape system incurred during the load test. Not only will you need to perform unforeseen repairs, but you will also need a full scrape and paint on your fire escape to satisfy any engineer that would be willing to certify your fire escape.
What are Your Other Options?
In lieu of undergoing to lengthy and often expensive load test process, you can alternatively have your fire escape inspected, spot tested, and corrected of any defects. Once completed satisfactorily an engineer can certify your fire escape. This documentation will certify that after the inspection and correction of defects, your fire escape will pass any load test required.
Regardless of which option you choose, we can help. At Maximum Fire Escapes, our highly qualified and specialized team can perform a load test or an inspection and correction on your fire escape system to ensure the safety and legality of your fire escape system, always while keeping the costs to you in mind.