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West Coast Fire Escapes
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Reg-4 Certify Tester and Fire Escape Maintenance Expert
Reg-4 Certify Tester and Fire Escape Maintenance Expert

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Are Fire Escapes really safe nowadays?

The question that is bugging in every New Yorkers’ mind after the tragic death of Broadway star Kyle Jean-Baptiste is how safe the fire escapes of New York are nowadays? Kyle Jean-Baptiste, the 21 years old first African-American Broadway star, who played Jean Valjean in “Les Miserable”, had met with sudden death falling from the fourth floor fire escape of an apartment situated in Bedford-Stuyvesant last August. His death once again brings the attention back in the iconic fire escapes of New-York city and their safety.  
The iconic fire-escapes have introduced in the mid-1800s and since then it has become quite synonymous with the New–York city. The fire escapes are not only serving the purpose of an emergency exit but are used as extra space for the tenement apartments. Even they are used for spending leisure time or sleeping during summer. It is not uncommon to sit in a Fire-escape drinking and chatting with a friend. Earlier this year, a death of a 26-year-old young woman was reported when she had a fall from the fire escape while drinking with her friends. For this reason, Fire escape maintenance is a necessity for all the remaining fire escapes of NYC. In the year 1914, it was notified by the National Fire Protection Association that these Fire Escapes are poorly designed; sometimes impossible to repair the ladder of these Fire Escapes. Repairing the balconies connected to these Fire escapes are also a challenge as they are often crammed with the mattresses and clothes of the people living in these tenement apartments, which are often causing these accidents.  According to the Fire Escape regulations of late 1920s, the Fire Escape scrap and paint must be done with two or more good color contrasts, also the reuse of old material and cast iron in any new construction are prohibited.    
According to the 1968 building code of New York City encourages the new buildings having sprinkler systems and interior stairwells instead of the iconic fire escapes. Despite that, the romance for this unique feature of New York City still remains. The fire escape inspection and refurbishment in a couple of years’ interval is necessary to maintain the safety of the fire escapes those are still remaining, especially servicing the ladder of Fire Escapes in a regular basis.  The citizens are also needed to keep their bikes, plants and other belonging away from these fire escapes to avoid the accidents. Only by following the fire escapes Certification Rules, New York City can only keep the iconic Fire Escapes alive, which bear the stories of millions of New Yorkers for years.   
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High-rise apartment building fire in Korea town

Los Angeles fire fighters responded to a report of a high-rise apartment building fire in the 11740 Wilshire Boulevard in Korea town. According to LAFD spokesperson Katherine Main, flames and smoke were seen coming out of the windows on the west side of the building. 
Fire fighters also responded to reports of persons trapped in a stairwell on the 10th floor. At least one person was treated for smoke inhalation and three others were transported to hospital for minor injuries. LAFD reported it took 71 minutes to fully extinguish the fire
Recent US statistics (Hall 2011) show that an average of 15,700 fires was reported in high-rise buildings per year in the USA, causing a total of 53 deaths, 546 injured, and $235 million in direct property damage per year. The multiple floors of a high-rise building create the cumulative effect of requiring great numbers of persons to travel great vertical distances on stairs in order to evacuate the building. 
In this panic-charged environment where everyone is literally running for their lives, all building exits are critical, and fire escapes facilitate safe and reliable evacuation for occupants as well as fire fighting and rescue operations.
According to Section 1104.16.5 of the Fire Inspection Code, Fire escape stairs and balconies should be examined for structural adequacy and safety by a registered professionals every five years. 
If you’re a building owner, it’s important to adhere to this code to ensure that your fire escape is always in perfect condition in case of an Emergency. Apart from the periodic inspections obliged by the law, you should also have regular testing and maintenance checks to ensure that no rust has riddled the ladder and any necessary repairs to hand rails steps, and other parts are done as well.
We provide one of the most top notch fire escape installation, maintenance, testing, evaluation and repair service in the country. We will give you with the best advice when it comes to any necessary work and explain the current state of your fire escape in detail. Where possible, we’ll strive to carry out repairs instead of replacing the fire escape altogether. 
Contact us today and we’ll work with you to ensure that your building meets the highest fire escape safety standards possible. 
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A reason why is very important to have a good working fire –alarm as well a fire escape assembly 

100 Years Ago in the Record: Collar manufacturers to fight new state building standards

The Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire that took place in New York City on March 25, 1911, remains a landmark event in the history of U.S. industrial disasters. The fire that claimed the lives of 146 people, most of them immigrant women and girls, caused an outcry against unsafe working conditions in factories located in New York and in other industrial areas throughout the United States. Many of the deaths were blamed on inadequate fire-alarm and fire-escape provisions in the building. This then became the genesis for numerous workplace safety regulations on both the state and federal level which required factories to provide adequate fire escapes and other safety measures. 
In 1914, Troy’s collar manufacturers rallied against the new state building standards which they claimed were far more astringent and would force many factories to close.
Some factory owners felt that factories had been unfairly singled out for strict regulation when other buildings posed even more danger. 
“I fail to see why it is that the state authorities are so strict in the matter of the construction and alteration of factory buildings and at the same time are so lax regarding safety requirements in public halls, in spite of the fact that some of the most terrible catastrophes in the history of this country have happened in crowded halls,” a committeeman says.

It’s indeed appalling that over 100 years ago, manufacturers failed to grasp the gravity of factory safety regulations that were put in place, even after the death of 146 people. Whether in a public or a factory, safety measures should never be compromised. 
Disasters can occur anywhere, and they often occur when we least expect them. NFPA codes and standards are there to provide us with ways to prevent their occurrence, manage their impact, and protect us.
 As a building owner you are obligated by law to undertake fire inspections at least every five years and fire escape maintenance checks regularly to ensure that the safety apparatus remains fully-functional. Minor Fire Escape Repairs to steps, handrails, cleaning, and painting should also be to affirm its reliability.
Keep safety first. If your fire escape is not at par with NFPA regulations, contact us today and let the experts handle it. We provide the highest quality fire escape services which include fire escape inspection, fire escape repair, fire escape replacement and fire escape certification. 
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WHY it is important to inspect and maintain a fire escape on a regular basis or when needed.

Last year, residents in a 10-story condominium building at the corner of Beacon Street, adjacent to the Massachusetts avenue witnessed the largest fire-fighting operation the city has seen in recent years. The fire claimed the lives of Boston Fire Lt. Ed Walsh and Fire-fighter Michael Kennedy.
Upon investigation, it was revealed that welders doing repair work on a hand rail on the fire escape ladder had accidentally sparked the blaze next door at 298 Beacon St. 
City Inspection records revealed that the last time a fire escape inspection was done at the building was in 2004 despite requirements that the safety apparatus should have been inspected in 2009 and 2014. Due to this, inadequate fire escape inspection seemed to be the likely cause and raised the question of whether the repair work being done in 2014 could have been avoided altogether.
Indeed, this tragic episode highlights the importance of regular fire escape inspections.

WHY is it important to have regular the fire escape inspections?

Compliance with the law
State laws specify that your fire escape needs to be inspected at least after every 5 years, and an affidavit must be filed with the building department. Failure to this may result in penalties and liabilities in case of any fire escape-related accident.

Safety purposes
If the law is not convincing, remember that the sole purpose of Inspection, Evaluation and Maintenance of a Fire Escape System is to ensure it will perform as needed during an evacuation of the building i.e. during an emergency. This is to save lives and prevent further damage of property.  Having regular fire escape inspections is therefore a precautionary measure and an ethical responsibility.

Who is responsible?
Building owners are solely responsible, but the fire escape evaluations and inspections must be done by Individuals with knowledge and understanding of the operating components of the fire escape subject to testing. The inspector will record and report the condition of the fire escape and the owner will have to decide if, corrective actions will be taken.
Don’t wait until a tragedy happens; call us today for a thorough fire escape inspection. 
We specialize in fire escape repair, fire escape replacement, fire escape maintenance and fire escape certification. With decades of experience, we are guaranteed to provide the best service possible.
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How to inspect and Refurbish your fire escape without breaking the bank

Is your fire escape in a dingy and dilapidated state? If so, you have every reason to be concerned. Apart from being unsightly, most importantly, it might be a safety hazard, and potentially incriminating. An unsafe fire escape violates the Building Code, which could lead to violations and penalties, and also pose a liability to the owner if anyone succumbs to any injury because of it. 
It is therefore critical to have fire escape regular inspections as well as annual servicing in order to ensure that your fire escape is in good working condition- in case there’s ever a need for it. 
If your fire escape is not entirely loose and incurably deteriorated, you might have a good chance to save on the high costs of a complete installation by doing a proper repair and refurbishment.
Here are a few simple steps to guide you through the process.
Professional inspection
An engineer and a fire escape expert are the specialist in this case. They should perform a thorough examination to assess if the fire escape is structurally sound in order to ascertain all the necessary fire escape repairs. This involves scrutinizing the anchorages, the drop ladder, bent, loose, or missing parts, such as steps (also called treads), railings, slats, bolts, the supporting steel beams or angles that attach into the face of the building. They should also look out for cracked or missing caulking or bricks around the penetrations, rust, flaking paint, and any sharp edges or pieces of metal. 
Scraping and Painting
There’s nothing as refreshing as a fresh coat of paint. But before splattering new paint all over your fire escape, all rust as well as any loose, blistering, peeling, or flaking paint must be scraped down. This is part and parcel of your sub-contactor’s job description.
 After scraping off the metal, it’ll be cleaned and then a rust-inhibitive primer and enamel-based paint will be applied. 
Maintenance
Once your fire escape has been refurbished and has returned back to its original safe and attractive stature, it's important to have it inspected on a regular basis, as mandated under the Building Code or your Local Law.
Every five years an engineer or architect should perform the Local Law 11/98 facade inspection of your building to look for any unsafe conditions on your fire escape. 

Remember, the primary goal of fire safety efforts is to protect lives and prevent property damage. Make certain of this by undertaking proper fire escape inspections and maintenance regularly to ensure that your fire escape is ready and reliable, if ever needed.
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An Overview of Repairing Your Fire Escape

Is your fire escape in bad shape? Have you received a violation from a city inspector? Are you concerned about fire safety for your family or your tenants? If so, there’s good news!
The majority of fire escapes, even those that seem in very bad shape, can often be repaired instead of replaced. Replacing a fire escape can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but refurbishing an existing structure can be much more cost effective and just as safe.
The first step is to have the fire escape inspected to be sure it is structurally sound. The inspector will assess all structural components as well as the integrity of the steel and/or wood. They will inspect the platforms, railings, struts, and support beams and make note of any loose or missing parts. The inspector will verify all internal and external connections to the wall of the building. He or she will also ensure that all ladders or cantilevers are in working order and can take the weight load as required by city code.  
The majority of needed repairs are straightforward; these include reinforcing connections, tightening bolts, and performing necessary welds. Wall connections or penetrations may need to be reinforced with metal plates or reinforcing angles. Sometimes, the brickwork surrounding these connections may need to be repaired or supported.  All wall connections should be caulked to keep all moisture which can corrode the steel. 
After the inspection and repairs, the fire escape will need to be scraped and painted.  This involves removing all rust and old paint chips before completely repainting the structure. The fire escape should then be painted with enamel-based paint to keep it in pristine condition.
If your situation requires you to take action on meeting local or state fire codes, or you simply want to explore your options, East/West Coast Fire Escapes provides all of these services for maintaining or repairing your fire escape. They make a complicated process easy and affordable, whatever the size or condition of your fire escape. 
- Jane Tennant
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Tragedy in Philadelphia

Just after midnight on January 12th, three young people attending a birthday party in a historic
apartment building stepped outside to smoke on the fire escape. Moments later, they had fallen 35 feet
after the grating collapsed underneath them. Albert Suh, a 22 year old financial analyst was taken to the
hospital with severe head trauma where he later died of his injuries. His 2 companions, 22 year old
Nancy Chen and 24 year old Laura O’Brien also sustained injuries in the fall.
ragedies like these underscore just how important fire escapes and proper fire escape maintenance
can be. he building owner is now facing 2 separate civil suits that are seeking damages for wrongful
death and negligence. One of the attorneys involved in the case, Robert Mongeluzzi, is quoted as saying
“Properly maintained and adequately inspected fire escapes simply do not collapse and kill people. A fire
escape, a critical life safety building feature, must be able to safely hold the weight of all foreseeable
occupants. his fire escape failed miserably.”
Philadelphia city officials have stated that the building’s fire escape had not been inspected in over 50
years. Unfortunately, these city officials are understaffed and are often unable to inspect all of the
buildings and fire escapes under their jurisdiction. As a home or building owner, it is up to you to ensure
your fire escape and all its components, such as ladders, stairs, and cantilevers, are in safe and working
order.
To make sure your fire escape is safe for your tenants and your family call West Coast Fire Escapes today.
Why use Us?
Certifying fire escapes with a focus on your safety in the event of an emergency.
West Coast Fire Escapes is the leading fire escape company to handle all your fire escape needs. Whether you have received a violation from the city or just want to make sure your fire escape is safe, West Coast Fire Escapes is ready to help make a complicated process easy and affordable. Our team is knowledgeable and has over ten years’ experience working in the industry. Our goal is to keep every fire escape in safe working order and to assist building and homeowners through the process of repairing and maintaining their fire escapes.
Contact us today or call us (888) 552-9582 to schedule a repair or scrape and paint quote. Estimates are always FREE.
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