Fire Escape Condition Analysis

Since the 1860s, fire escapes have been a feature of New York. Criss-crossing historic streetscapes, beloved by moviemakers, providing getaways for gangsters and rendezvous for ill-fated overs, they still provide emergency exits for many of the city’s older buildings. And even if they don’t, many are protected by the Landmark Preservation Commission, as significant architectural features. Often ornate, made of cast iron, steel and occasionally even wood, they have been painted and repainted for decades. However, if not properly inspected and maintained, they can also become potential dangers hidden in plain sight.


CANY offers a Fire Escape Condition Inspection Service. Although experienced and passionate about the preservation and restoration of New York’s historical architecture, CANY is more concerned about the safety of the city and its visitors, both within and below these buildings. And fire escapes, originally designed to protect life, can easily mask problems beneath the layers of paint only visible when the paint has been scraped away. Supports can be corroded and compromised. Bolts, supporting the entire cage or holding individual treads, can look perfect on the outside, but hide partially or totally disintegrated threads that give way under duress. This creates significant danger for the public below, and especially for occupants in the event the fire escape is used for its intended purpose.


CANY’s Fire Escape Condition Inspection is part of the service offered to help building owners comply with New York City’s mandated five-year Façade Inspection Program, the FISP. It can also be a stand-alone service to help building owners comply with the Department of Buildings five-year inspection program specifically for fire escapes. The survey, undertaken by our qualified engineers, is an intricate, rigorous but essential service as the consequence of failing beams, columns, railings or treads can be (and have been) catastrophic.


Contact our team at CANY who can work with you to prevent an issue become a problem and ensure your fire escape remains an asset and not a liability.

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