By now you know that most fire escape systems you see today are decades old. While many people may assume the owners of these systems followed a proper maintenance schedule, the facts is that most fire escapes are not properly maintained and many may be unsafe.
Although a certified firm must perform a proper inspection, there are ways you can inspect the fire escape you use or that’s on your building to see if safety is an issue. It is important to note that only a professional should perform a physical inspection. Please limit the evaluation of your fire escape system to a visual inspection.
When evaluating your fire escape system’s safety, there are a few things you should focus on. First, look closely at the fire escape steps and railings. These components should be rust-free and appear connected. Make note of any rusted parts or sections that look like they are structurally compromised. Next, look for any instances of missing or flaking paint.
While you may think a well painted fire escape system is for aesthetics, it is an important part of maintaining a safe fire escape system. Due to the nature of fire escape systems a fresh coat of paint helps to ensure water and air do not allow the steel of the fire escape to rust.
The other place that water can cause problems for a fire escape is where it attaches to the outer walls of a building. If water leaks into the walls of your building, not only is the safety of the fire escape compromised, but water can also cause structural damage to the building itself. This is why it is recommended to seal all building attachment points with hydraulic cement or silicone.
Most fire escapes are made from bolted or welded flat steel bars. These steel bars are then connected to a metal frame. When looking over your fire escape system, pay attention to any gaps in the flat bars or any issues with their paint. Also, look over the connection and bolts of you fire escape system. Do they have any rust? Any paint flaking off? Make a note of it and schedule a fire escape inspection today.