Fire Safety Tips – Best Practices For Maintaining Fire Escape Ladders
All buildings must have safe and properly maintained fire escape ladders. People living in buildings should not have to think twice about using the fire escape provided to them. They should be a dependable means of escaping the building and under no circumstance put their lives at an even greater risk. A dangerous fire escape violates the law, and if someone gets injured while trying to escape because the ladders were poorly maintained, the building owners will be held accountable.
When the maintenance is done regularly, the fire escape ladders can last the same while as the building. It is necessary to do so because, just like other things in the building, they’re also made of metal and are exposed to all sorts of elements, so it’s easy to tarnish and deteriorate if not properly maintained. If, however, the entire fire escape ladder is loose and needs extensive repair, it’s best to get a first-hand one or refurbish the existing one. At 911 Restoration, we have professional staff available to cater to all your fire and smoke damages.
Three Tips to Ensure Your Building’s Fire Escape Ladders Are Safe to Use
Check For Unsteadiness
The first step is to get the engineer of the buildings to look at your fire escape.
They should assess the following: all the loose, unstable, bent, or parts that are missing, such as the lost steps of the ladder, bolts, slats, railings, the angles attached into the building wall, the supporting steel beams, broken or lost bricks, rust, shedding paint or any piercing ends of the metal that can injure someone while going down the stairs during a fire.
The engineer should make it a point to inspect the state of the drop ladder that pegs onto the landing of the second floor so that it is safe for occupants to use. For the most part, repairs are pretty straightforward: the engineer tightens the loose bolts, does the repairing needed along with the rubdown of paint to put new layers. However, the most dangerous components of the fire escape ladder are the steel shafts or angles entering the building walls to help provide physical support.
If the steel beams need maintenance, a supporting angle or reinforcing plate should be bonded with them for added support. If the steel has severely deteriorated, the beams have to be replaced with fresh ones, requiring the stonework around the joints where they enter the wall to be removed. Platform slate, handrails, loose steps, railings, and other pieces of metal should be bolted or welded as necessary.
It is important to caulk the joints so that the water stays out. The water will corrode the beans, slacken the fire escapes supporting members, destruct the fabric, and get into the building.
Scarping And Painting
The task that takes the most time in repairing a fire escape is eliminating all the tarnish and long-standing paint. The rust on these fire escapes must be scrapped off to apply fresh new paint and any loose, scorching, flaking, or scaly paint. If the paint has been applied previously, then there are chances for all of it to be worn off, which takes time. The iron is usually cleaned using a high-powered washer and then dried. After that, a rust-inhibitive primer and enamel-based paint are used. The entire fire ladder should be painted in one go to give it a more clean and uniform look.
According to the OSHA rules, the contractor should be using a wet-based scraping off method in its place. Dry scraping makes air-borne atoms. All windows should be sealed to prevent harmful dust or excess from entering the rooms. If no lead or asbestos is found in the paint, the contractor can use the normal wet-based paint stripping method while taking the standard protections.
Once you’re sure that your fire escape ladder is safe to use, you must ensure that it is inspected regularly. As a part of the building’s exterior, it is crucial to maintain the fire escapes and have them in sound conditions for all to use. A thorough check of the fire escapes should be done in five years to avoid any injuries and casualties during a fire. It is imperative to have all your fire escapes free of other substances or remains, such as bricks, blocks, flower pots, or personal items. It is unsafe to have them in the fire escape ladder area as they can prove dangerous.
Since it is not likely to notice less obvious risky items such as a wobbly railing or step, it is recommended that the building maintenance staff should walk down all the ladders to avoid any mishaps. Every step should be inspected. They should hold the railings, look for available links to the building, lack of steps, slats, railings or feel for sharp edges, and look for rust and corrosion.
The minor repairs should not be overlooked as they gather and deteriorate until the fire scape needs to be repaired completely. A building fire escape is extremely useful and a grave part of the building’s danger plans. Although we all hope that we never opt for it – but when we do, it needs to be prepared and steadfast, so make sure the fire escape in your building is well maintained and sturdy enough for all to use.
Get in touch with us at 911 Restoration today or call us at (918)-203-4819 for all your fire and smoke maintenance needs.