So far, we’ve covered a lot about fire escape safety and fire escape maintenance. There has been a lot of information to take in and a lot of things to worry about when you need to have your fire escape serviced or inspected. So now, we’ll look at several types of firms that you can hire to service your fire escape.
One of the first type of contractor you may think of to use is an ironworker. Ironworking is one of the oldest professions in America. In the late 1800s iron and steel emerged as the preferred building material. Seemingly overnight, countless young men entered the ironworking profession. In addition to a required apprenticeship, an ironworker must also take over 200 hours of classroom training. The apprenticeship that they must undergo typically lasts 3 to 4 years.
What does all this mean for you and your fire escape? Primarily, you can be confident that any structural work done on your fire escape system will be done up to the standards of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers of America. Any repairs or fabrications that your fire escape needs will be performed by an extremely capable tradesman. Unfortunately, there are several downsides to hiring an ironworker.
One of the biggest downsides to hiring an ironworker is that an ironworker lacks the ability to provide any of the required engineer drawings for structural repairs or fabrications your fire escape may need. It is important to realize that if you decide to hire an iron worker you will likely incur an additional fee when getting the required engineer’s drawings.
Since we’re on the subject already, let’s discuss another option you have for servicing your fire escape system, the engineer.
Obviously, an engineer will be able to provide the required technical drawings. If you decide to hire an engineer for your fire escape, you can expect a very detailed and through examination of your fire escape system. An engineer will be able to identify to every issue and will likely provide you with a detailed report of their findings. However, an engineer gets a lot less helpful once any actual work on your fire escape needs to be performed.
While a licensed engineer will provide you all the information on what your fire escape needs fixed, they lack the ability to, well, fix it. The engineer’s report will list every issue that must be fixed in order to get the legal certification. It is then up to you to contract another firm to perform the repairs or pay an additional fee to have to engineer orchestrate the repairs. Finally, once all the repairs are completed, you must schedule the engineer to perform a final inspection before they provide your fire escape certification. Too often the engineer will charge you again for this final inspection.
By now, you may just be thinking you need to get this all done as cheaply as possible. You may even be tempted to contact a regular painting company to come and give your fire escape system a simple scrape and paint. While this may save you money today, it may end up costing you tremendously.
Although a painter may tell you differently, there is a lot more involved in fire escape maintenance than a simple scrape and paint. At the very least your fire escape needs to be inspected regularly by an individual who is qualified to identify any issues. In addition, any repairs that are needed must be performed. A painter is unable to perform these repairs.
Too often when owners decide to go this route, either they’ll have a painter who covers up issues that need to be repaired, or best-case scenario is that you have a painter that handles the repair. Problem is, since they are only skilled in painting, they will have to hire a contractor to perform the repairs, which will end up costing you more money.
Finally, let’s look at a more specialized firm which will allow you to meet all your fire escape needs.
To put it simply, a fire escape contractor will be able to perform the essential functions of an ironworker, engineer, and a painter. A full-service contractor, much like us here at Maximum Fire Escapes, will be able to perform the necessary inspection, as well as provide the required engineering drawings and certificate. Additionally, we can expertly perform any repairs or fabrication that is necessary to fix your fire escape.
One of the best aspects of hiring a fire escape contractor is that we will handle the entire process for you, from beginning to end. Not only will we handle all the work needed, we’ll also handle any official communications regarding your fire escape. So rather than call an ironworker, an engineer, a painter, and then on top of all that having to deal with your town’s officials, why not just call us here at Maximum Fire Escapes, and we’ll take care of it for you.