A couple of stories I found interesting (and hope you do too)…
First, after a 6-alarm fire in Brooklyn, the FDNY posted on social media and news reports stated that the damage could have been worse except that the residents of the burning apartment closed their door when they exited.
This is GREAT – they may have saved the lives of their neighbors, BUT…apartment entrance doors should be fire door assemblies, or at very least (if the building pre-dates this requirement) they are supposed to be self-closing. This was big news a year ago when a fire in the Bronx killed 13 apartment residents.
Why are we still relying on apartment residents to have the presence of mind to close their doors manually??
Yesterday’s 6-alarm fire at 702 44 St. in #Brooklyn remains under investigation by #FDNY Fire Marshals, however the fire has not been deemed suspicious. Smoke detectors were present and operational, and the apartment’s occupants closed the door upon exiting the building pic.twitter.com/NSiJh4fnCa
— FDNY (@FDNY) April 4, 2019
I also read that the FDNY is cracking down on escape rooms in the city to ensure that they comply with the fire code, including the requirements for code-compliant exits. This focus on escape rooms follows the death of 5 teenage girls in an escape room in Poland early this year.
A task force was formed in New York City, and 22 escape rooms were inspected. Four were shut down for unsafe conditions, and another 3 were “partially shuttered.” According to the New York Post, “Inspectors have issued nine summonses and 21 violation orders related to hazardous conditions, including blocked exits, a lack of sprinklers and inadequate exit signs.”
What’s ironic to me is that a task force is focusing on these businesses where small groups of people try to “escape” from rooms that may not have had code-compliant egress routes prior to the crackdown. Obviously, requiring all occupancies to meet the adopted codes is extremely important. That’s why it’s hard to believe that in some states, schools and other facilities are being allowed to use security devices that do not allow free egress and are not compliant with the model codes or accessibility standards.
Why are some locations required to provide free egress, and others are not?