Grenfell: RIBA demands sprinklers and fire escapes for new and refurbished homes

The RIBA has called for sprinklers to be fitted to all new and refurbished homes and has demanded extra fire escapes in its response to the Grenfell Tower fire

In its submission this week to the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety led by Judith Hackitt, the institute called for every new multiple-occupancy residential building of more than three storeys to have more than one vertical means of escape.

The RIBA also demanded sprinklers in all new and refurbished residential buildings – as is already the law in Wales – and called for the scrapping of the ‘desk-top’ study approach to demonstrating compliance with regulation B4 on external fire spread.

The RIBA has asked too for ‘clearer, prescriptive and design process-driven guidance’ in approved document B and that external walls of buildings more than 18m high should be constructed of non-combustible (European class A1) materials only.

Hackitt’s call for evidence was launched in July following the tragic fire in the west London high-rise block which claimed the lives of around 80 people.

Studio E Architects designed a £10 million refurbishment of the west London tower block, completed in 2016. The construction work included the installation of Reynobond PE cladding over PIR insulation boards – a system that has come under intense scrutiny for the way it appeared to speed up the spread of the fire up the outside of the building.

Documents seen by the BBC and The Times in the summer appear to show that the fireproof zinc cladding specified in Studio E Architects’ original 2012 planning application was effectively downgraded to a cheaper aluminium panelling system to save around £300,000.

The RIBA urged the review team to also ‘give significant consideration to the impact of procurement decisions and allocation of project responsibilities on project quality and safety, and the role of clients in ensuring independent scrutiny of construction work’.

Jane Duncan, former RIBA president and chair of the RIBA Expert Advisory Group on Fire Safety, said that while the group welcomed the chance to submit evidence to the review, it felt the remit could have been ‘more comprehensive, addressing the details of Building Regulations guidance as well as the broader regulatory system.’

She said: ‘The review should cover all building types and construction methods; not just those relating to high-rise, multiple occupancy residential buildings. In addition to submitting evidence, the RIBA has also proposed a number of significant recommendations to the review, to enhance the future fire safety of buildings for all residents and users.’

The RIBA’s initial detailed recommendations:

R1 Repeal of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, under which building owners undertake their own fire risk assessment, and the reintroduction of mandatory fire certificates for designated premises, based on independent inspections by the fire brigades, with statutory powers of entry to individual dwellings where necessary.

R2 An enhanced role for the fire brigades in assisting Building Control authorities in the fire risk assessment of Building Regulations Full Plans Applications for works involving higher risk buildings that will require mandatory fire certificates.

R3 Review of the ‘stay put’ policy in high-rise, multiple occupancy residential buildings, first introduced in British Standard Code of Practice CP3: Chapter IV (1962) Part 1: Fire Precautions in flats and maisonettes over 80ft (24m) in height. For new buildings, the RIBA has a preference for simultaneous evacuation, or phased/staged fire alarm systems, alternative means of escape options, and increased escape stair widths.

R4 Introduction of a Building Regulations requirement for central fire alarm systems, with phased /staged capabilities, in multiple occupancy residential buildings.

R5 Removal of the ‘desk-top’ study approach to demonstrating compliance with Regulation B4.

R6 Introduction of requirements for sprinklers/automatic fire suppression systems in all new and converted residential buildings, as currently required under Regulations 37A and 37B of the Building Regulations for Wales, or at least for residential buildings over three storeys in height.

R7 Introduction of a requirement for more than one means of vertical escape from new multiple-occupancy residential buildings of more than three storeys in height, and no use of compensatory features for the omission of a staircase or alternative means of escape.

R8 Review of the requirements for natural and mechanical smoke vent/exhaust provisions to corridors, lobbies and stairs to ensure current performance capacities are sufficient.

R9 Development of clearer, prescriptive and design process-driven guidance in Approved Document B, written in plain language with straightforward diagrams. Any test-based solutions to be based on full-scale fire testing and not use desktop studies.

R10 External walls of buildings over 18m in height to be constructed of non-combustible (European class A1) materials only. (The independent review should also give detailed consideration to much greater restriction on the use of combustible materials and materials of limited combustibility in external wall construction more generally.)
Extra recommendations

The RIBA added that the independent review should also make recommendations in regard to ensuring the fire safety of the UK’s existing stock of high-rise, multiple occupancy residential buildings, and recommends:

R11 Retrofitting central fire alarm systems in existing residential buildings over 18m in height.

R12 Retrofitting sprinklers/automatic fire suppression systems to existing residential buildings over 18m in height, and perhaps extended to all existing residential buildings above three storeys in height.

R13 Consideration of the construction of alternative vertical means of escape, or escape safe havens/refuges, for residential buildings over 18m in height when there is currently only one staircase.

R14 For new refurbishment projects involving ‘material alterations’ to high-rise, multiple-occupancy residential buildings, the retrofitting of central fire alarm systems and sprinklers/automatic fire suppression systems should be mandatory. This could be structured on a similar basis to the ‘consequential improvements’ required under Part L of the Building Regulations to the energy performance of existing buildings where they are subject to renovation and/or extension.
The development of new materials and methods of construction and constantly evolving knowledge about the fire performance of buildings means that fire regulation needs to be regularly updated. The lack of a periodic timetable for updating of the Building Regulations Approved Documents, which has allowed review of Approved Document B to be almost indefinitely delayed, is highly problematic.

R15 The RIBA proposes that a formal, predetermined programme for review of key Approved Documents should be adopted, as is the case with the Australian National Building Code. The CDM Regulations (Health and Safety) are reviewed every five years.

Principal designer recommendations

Consideration should be given to the adoption of the ‘principal designer’ and ‘principal contractor’ roles set out in the CDM Regulations 2015, with regard to ensuring so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare, including fire safety, of those constructing, maintaining and demolishing buildings, within new regulation to also encompass ensuring the fire safety of building users. The ‘principal designer’ should have powers during the design and any ‘contractor design’ periods of projects to enable safe design and construction. This will need greater level of approvals and inspection by building control officers and independent clerks of works/site architects. The ‘principal contractor’ role should have a greater responsibility to work collaboratively with the fire brigades, client and ‘principal designer’ to achieve these fire safety objectives. Such a regulatory framework could include:

During construction: Building Inspections conducted formally by the principal designer, principal contractor and the building control officer, and recorded in writing by the principal contractor that the building is constructed in accordance with the approved plans, relevant Building Regulations and codes of practice.

Before the issue of the Final Certificate: The Principal Contractor confirms, in writing to the principal designer, that the works to any building have been built in accordance with the approved plans, relevant Building Regulations, codes of practice, fire and HSE legislation.

The Final Certificate: Cannot be issued until this written confirmation has been received by the principal designer.
Regulation 38: The principal designer shall give all the fire safety information critical to life safety in and around the building.

H&S File: These statements are to be recorded in the H&S File for the life of the building until its demolition.

The full RIBA response to the call for evidence can be downloaded here.

Source: 19 OCTOBER, 2017 BY RICHARD WAITE THE ARCHITECT’S JOURNAL

Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out for this Fire Prevention Week 2017

“Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out,” is the theme for this year’s Fire Protection Week, which will be held October 8–14.

According to a recent NFPA survey, nearly half of all Americans have not developed a home fire escape plan, and do not practice one regularly. Evidence suggests, however, that planning and practice can mean the difference between life and death in a home fire. “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out” will not only seek to teach the public what a home escape plan entails, but also about how quickly home fires can spread and how little time residents have to escape safely. “People tend to think they have more time to escape a home fire than they actually do, and that over-confidence may play a role in why some people don’t develop a home escape plan or practice it regularly,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president for Outreach and Advocacy.

More information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign can be found online at the FirePreventionWeek.org website.

OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations of 2017

OSHA just named the Top 10 most cited violations of 2017 at the annual National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo held in Indianapolis, IN.

The National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo brings together the world’s largest gathering of safety professionals annually and this year was no exception. Hundreds of safety professionals attended yet again one of the largest forums for health and safety, products, education, and networking events where they revealed OSHA’s most cited violations for this current year.

As stated by NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P Hersman, “The OSHA Top 10 is more than just a list, it is a blueprint for keeping workers safe. When we all work together to address hazards, we can do the best job possible to ensure employees go home safely each day.”

For those involved in the fire escape industry, it comes as no surprise that Fall Protection (29 CFR 1926.501) continues to maintain the No. 1 spot on this list. While, scaffolding (29 CFR 1926.451) comes in at third and ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053) at sixth place in the list shedding light yet again to the most prominent violations handed out by OSHA thus far.

OSHA states that employers must train workers in hazard recognition and the care and safe use of equipment such as ladders and scaffolds, and fall protection systems.

Falls can be prevented when employees understand proper set up and safe use of equipment.

Ladder Safety: Employees must be trained to properly use a ladder- this includes safety measures like:
-Maintain three points of contact
-Place the ladder on level footing
-Always face the ladder
-Secure the ladder by locking the metal braces at the center of the ladder
-Don’t overreach
-Don’t walk the ladder

Scaffold Safety: Employees must be trained to safely set up and use scaffolds- this includes safety measures like:
-During setup: fully plank scaffolds, complete all guardrails, ensure stable footing and plumb and level
-Ensure proper access to scaffolds
-A competent person must inspect the scaffold before use
-Don’t climb over cross braces
-Don’t stand on guardrails
-Don’t use a ladder on a scaffold
-Roof Safety: Employees must be trained to avoid fall hazards on -a roof and properly use fall protection equipment-this includes safety measures like:
-Make sure your harness fits and is not defective when using PFAS
-Always stay connected/tie off
-Ensure that all anchor points are safe
-Protect all holes, openings and skylights
-Don’t sit or walk on skylights or other openings

Below is a full list of OSHA’s top 10 violations and some NFPA codes and standards in hopes of helping to resolve and mitigate future violations related to stairways and ladders, scaffolding, and fall protection training and requirements.

1. Fall Protection – General Requirements (29 CFR 1926.501): 6,072 violations

2. Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200): 4,176 violations

3. Scaffolding (29 CFR 1926.451): 3,288 violations – Scaffolding is addressed in Chapter 8 of NFPA 241, the Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations. The document provides measures for preventing or minimizing fire damage to structures, including those in underground locations, during construction, alteration, or demolition. More information about this standard and how it applies to all construction projects regardless of size can be found in a recent NFPA Bulletin titled, “Prevention Construction Site Fires”

4. Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134): 3,097 violations

5. Lockout/Tagout (29 CFR 1910.147): 2,877 violations

6. Ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053): 2,241 violations – Ladder accidents happen all the time it is crucial to perform safety checks before ladders are to be used in order to guarantee safe-working conditions. OSHA encourages you to review the Ladder Safety Checklist before each use.

7. Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178): 2,162 violations

8. Machine Guarding (29 CFR 1910.212): 1,933 violations

9. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503): 1,523 violations

10. Electrical – Wiring Methods (29 CFR 1910.305): 1,405 violations

Article Created by Gabriel Cabrera, Chief Technology Officer for the National Fire Escape Association on Oct 11, 2017.

6 Critical Home Fire Escape Planning Tips

Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, 2017: Information to share with your P&C insurance clients

Knowing that today’s homes burn faster than ever, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out” as the official theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 8-14, 2017.

2 minutes to escape
Experts say you may have as little as two minutes (or even less) to safely escape a typical home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds.

“Modern home furnishings, along with the fact that newer homes tend to be built with more open spaces and unprotected lightweight construction, all contribute to an increased rate at which home fires burn,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “These factors make home escape planning and practice critical.”

Common Misperceptions
Meanwhile, a national survey recently conducted by NFPA shows that Americans continue to have many misperceptions around home escape planning and practice:

-Less than half of Americans (48%) know that the correct components of a home fire escape plan include working smoke alarms, two ways out of each room and an outside meeting place.

-Nearly one quarter of Americans (23%) do not know that each room in the home should have at least two exits.

-Close to three in five Americans (57%) think that in a typical single-family home fire situation, once the smoke alarm sounds, the average person would have more than two minutes to escape safely.

“Home is the place people are at greatest risk of fire, but ironically it’s the place they feel safest from it,” said Carli. “That over-confidence may contribute to the public’s continued lack of awareness around home escape planning and practice.”

True speed at which home fires spread
“Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out” works to teach people about the true speed at which today’s home fires can spread, and the vital importance of home escape planning and practice in the event of one. A home escape plan includes:

-working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas;

-2 ways out of every room, usually a door and a window; and

-a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.

Practice twice a year
Home escape plans should be practiced by all members of the household twice a year.

“In a fire situation, a practiced home escape plan ensures that everyone knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds and how to use that time wisely,” Carli said.

Here are 6 key tips for having a home fire escape plan:

1. Map home & exits.
Draw a map of your home by using the NFPA grid in English (PDF)
or Spanish (PDF) with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.

2. Fire drills.
Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.

3. Teach children how to escape.
It’s important to teach children how to escape the home their own in case you can’t help them.

4. Help the fire department find you.
Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.

5. Close doors.
Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.

6. Stay outside.
Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Source: Propertycasualty360.com by Jayleen R. Heft on October 05, 2017 and NFPA.org

NFPA Announces Fire Prevention Week Theme: ‘Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out’

Nearly half of all Americans have not developed a home fire escape plan. Of those that have, one-quarter have never practiced it. These and other findings from a recent survey conducted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) prompted the official theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 8-14, 2017: “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out™”

“The results from our most recent survey show we still have a lot of work to do in educating the public about home fires, escape planning and practice. Among the findings, people tend to think they have more time to escape a home fire than they actually do,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president for Outreach and Advocacy. “That over-confidence may play a role in why some people don’t develop a home escape plan or practice it regularly.”

Home escape planning and practice can make a life-saving difference in a home fire. “In a fire situation, a regularly practiced home escape plan ensures that everyone in the home knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds and can escape quickly and safely,” said Carli.

“Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out” works to teach the public what a home escape plan entails, and the value of practicing it with all members of the household. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign also works to better educate the public about just how quickly home fires can spread, and how little time they may have to escape safely.

“Today’s home fires spread more rapidly than they used to,” said Carli. “The synthetic fibers used in modern home furnishings, along with the fact that newer homes tend to be built with more open spaces and unprotected lightweight construction, all contribute to an increased rate at which fire burns. These factors make home escape planning and practice all the more critical.” Experts say you could have less than two minutes to escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds.

A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home. Home escape plans should be practiced twice a year by all members of the household.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out,” visit firepreventionweek.org.

About Fire Prevention Week
NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation declaring a national observance during that week every year since 1925. Visit www.firepreventionweek.org for more safety information.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

Victim on Fire Escapes Burning Trinity Bar Building in New Haven: FD

Fire broke out in apartments above Trinity Bar in New Haven Friday and one person injured in the fire is in critical condition at the hospital, according to fire officials.

Officials received reports of people trapped inside the building just before 2 p.m. after seeing heavy smoke and fire coming from the building on Orange Street and found that the fire started in apartments above the restaurant.
One man who woke up and saw flames in his apartment went out a back window to the fire escape and onto the roof. He was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, then to the burn unit in Bridgeport to be treated for burns covering 70 percent of his body.

John Brehon, an employee at the nearby The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop, said he was one of the people who ran into the fire worried about the people who live in the second and third floors. Brehon said the owner of the bike shop also ran into the burning building and was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

It took officials around 45 minutes to get the fire under control.
An employee of Trinity Bar said all the employees and customers made it out safely.

Fire officials said a couple of dozen of bar employees are now out of a job.

Source: Victim on Fire Escapes Burning Trinity Bar Building in New Haven: FD – NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/New-Haven-Fire-Reporting-to-2-Alarm-Fire-on-Orange-Street–442486943.html##ixzz4rrTr0Xah
Follow us: @nbcconnecticut on Twitter | NBCConnecticut on Facebook

Bronx Teen Takes Fatal Plunge After Going Out On Fifth-Story Fire Escape To Smoke

A 15-year-old Bronx boy fell five stories to his death Thursday morning after sneaking from his bedroom onto a fire escape, while still in his pajamas, to smoke, police said.

Leonardo (Lenny) Marmolejos fell from the fire escape that runs down the back wall of his apartment building on Briggs Ave. near E. 199th St. in Fordham Manor at about 6:15 a.m., cops said.

He landed in an alley, where a neighbor found him face-down and in his pajamas and called 911. Medics rushed the teen, in traumatic arrest, to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he died.

Lenny’s heartbroken father raced to the building Thursday morning cradling a cell phone picture of his dead son.

“He just made 15,” Leonardo Marmolejos Sr. said between heart-rending sobs outside his ex-wife’s building. “I say to him, ‘Papi, you so handsome.’

“Lenny is a Xerox copy of me,” said the 62-year-old Army veteran, who served in the Vietnam War. “If you saw me when I was 15, you couldn’t tell us apart. (He) was a beautiful kid, obedient, respectful, never got no complaint from him in school. He was such a good kid”.

The International School for the Liberal Arts sophomore with dreams of playing in the NBA lived on the building’s fifth floor with his mother and grandmother, Lilian Ferrer-Casilla, police sources said.

When Ferrer-Casilla went to bed at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Lenny was in his room playing video games. His mother, whom the grandmother and neighbors declined to name, was on the sofa.

Everything appeared normal until Thursday morning, she said. “The police came and knocked on the door,” Ferrer-Casilla remembered.

When Lenny’s mom answered, they immediately asked about her son. “(She) was asking why,” she recalled. “She went and checked the room and he wasn’t there. She thought the whole night he was in the bed.”

Lenny’s mom immediately began suffering chest pains and was taken to the same hospital as her son.

“We are destroyed,” Ferrer-Casilla said.

The teen’s mom, who is recovering in the hospital, told police she last saw her child in his bedroom about 1:20 a.m., sources said.

Cops found a lighter and a pipe on the fire escape. It was not immediately disclosed if any drugs were found.

Investigators believe Lenny propped open the window and climbed outside to smoke — news that left his father with more questions.

“What happened?” Marmolejos asked. “I always told him, ‘Lenny, do something because you want to do it. Don’t do it because of peer pressure.’

“I told him it’s a tough environment, but you have to mind your business,” he said. “I said stay away from those bad kids and you’re going to make it.”

SOURCE: NEW YORK DAILY NEWS BY CHELSIA ROSE MARCIUS THOMAS TRACY UPDATED: THURSDAY, August 31, 2017, 8:57 PM

Fixing Philly: L&I looks to create database of safe fire escapes


In an effort to ensure safety in case of an emergency, the Dept. of L&I is looking to crowdsource info in order to create a database of fire escapes throughout the city.

During a birthday party at an apartment in a Rittenhouse Square building in January of 2014, 22-year-old Albert Suh, of Leonia, N.J., and two female friends, both in their twenties, stepped out onto a fire escape on the fourth floor of the 108-year-old building.

The rusty fire escape collapsed under the three, killing Suh and severely injuring the two women.

According to Karen Guss, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections, this tragedy was wholly preventable if only the building’s fire escape had been inspected and was up to code.

“That fire escape came right off the wall and then crashed down forty feet,” Guss said of the fatal incident. “That opened a lot of people’s eyes, especially here at L&I, that really, no one had been checking the safety of these things.”

And, now, L&I is asking local residents to help prevent future tragedies by working to create an online database of all fire escapes in the city, that would allow L&I to verify each fire escape as either being up to code or needing inspection.

“One thing we knew would be a challenge in this city is that we don’t have a database for fire escapes,” she said in an interview Thursday. “If we don’t know where fire escapes are, how are we going to make sure they are safe?”

In order to identify all fire escapes in the city, L&I has set up an online page, here, that allows residents to provide information about any fire escape in the city and even share photos of the fire escape. Guss said that with each submission, L&I will check to see if the fire escape is in the database already, if it has been inspected and is up to code or if they need to sent an inspector out to the fire escape to check it out.

The entire process is anonymous, and she said, if a renter has a concern about a fire escape on their building, they can simply provide information and an inspector will check it, they wouldn’t need to contact their landlord for approval and the landlord wouldn’t be told if their tenant alerted L&I.

“It’s super easy. If you see a fire escape, just click on where it is and take a picture,” she said.

Guss said that the fire escape initiative follows a 2016 City Council bill that was intended to make sure property owners are held accountable for the condition of the fire escapes connected to their buildings, to ensure they are safe in case of an emergency.

Already, L&I has had 132 properties reported through the website app, though they don’t know just how many fire escapes there are in total throughout the city.

Guss said she hopes this program helps to answer that question.

“Then, once it’s in our database, it will be mapped, matched with what we know about the property and we will have a report and enforcement can begin.”

Also, if a resident has concerns about a fire escape on their property, the can put its info in the L&I’s online app and they will be able to find out the status of the fire escape, if it has been inspected or not.

“Hopefully, your landlord already did everything great. But, if not, we will come check it out,” said Guss.

To input a fire escape into L&I’s online database, click here. You can also see a map of all the fire escapes throughout the city that L&I has already identified.

Source: Hayden Mitman Metro US http://www.metro.us/news/local-news/philadelphia/fixing-philly-li-looks-to-create-database-safe-fire-escapes
Published : August 28, 2017 | Updated : August 28, 2017

Police: Man broke into Schenectady ex’s apartment via fire escape

He faces felony, misdemeanor counts.


SCHENECTADY — A man broke into a city woman’s residence last weekend and violated an order of protection, authorities said.

Dennis Wohlleber, 27, of Harrison Avenue, Schenectady, faces one count of second-degree burglary, a felony, and second-degree criminal contempt, a misdemeanor.

Wohlleber is accused of breaking into a Monroe Street apartment Saturday morning by climbing up a fire escape and into a window, and broke an order of protection related to an ex-girlfriend, according to papers filed in court.

Source: Steven Cook Daily Gazzette August 17, 2017

Philadelphia’s L&I Needs Your Help Locating City Fire Escapes

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections is asking for your help in a public safety campaign. It’s trying to track down every fire escape in the city.

City Council passed a law, last year, requiring building owners to get every fire escape on their property inspected. L&I spokesperson Karen Guss says the department received 400 reports by the July 1st deadline.

But there’s a problem.

“Philadelphia, like almost every city, has no central data base of fire escape locations,” said Guss.

She says the city decided to crowd source the locations.

“We built an app that’s on our website and you can tell us, ‘I saw a fire escape and here’s where it is,’” Guss explained.

Guss says if they find one with no inspection report, the owner will be cited, though the main goal is to get them inspected.

“Folks have a grace period. We very much want them to file those reports now,” Guss said.

The law was inspired by the tragic 2014 death of 22-year-old Albert Suh, killed when the rusty fire escape he was sitting on crashed to the ground near Rittenhouse Square.

Source: CBS Local Philadelphia KYW1060 All News. All the time. @Pat Loeb

Pat Loeb’s radio experience has the makings of a country song: she lived a lot of places, went down a lot of roads, but they all led her home — to Philadelphia and to KYW Newsradio, where she started her career some 30 years ago. Born and rais…
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