The New York City law about fire escapes, windows and gates are simple. All of the city housing developments are high rise buildings. Entire communities are self-contained with 1000 residents or more depending on the number of stories of each structure. Usually, the buildings are in clusters and some built closely touch but do not provide access between them. Most fires occur during the winter months as families use alternative methods for heating their home. The challenge is to keep everyone safe and fire retardant walls are not enough. The New York City law about fires escapes, windows and gates is there to protect tenants. Specifics are listed by category here:
In case of fire, there has to be an alternative way to exit safely. Fire escapes are required by law. They provide an alternative to an indoor staircase clouded with smoke in the event of a fire on a floor above or below your unit. In the case of a fire burning below, you can head towards the roof and come down another set of fire escapes on the opposite side of the building away from the flames.
Anyone one who lives in an apartment building with children under the age of ten is required by law to have window guards. Statistically, small children have the propensity to fall out of an open window. Window guards are installed to prevent such an occurrence. It consists of metal bars, 15 inches in height and the crossbar openings are smaller than the width of a baby’s head. The window guard is welded into the opening as not to obstruct the open and closure of the window.
Gates on your fire escape windows should not require a key to access. In case of an emergency, locating a key to open the gate to your fire escape can be the difference between getting out safely and being overcome by smoke inhalation before the window is ever accessed. Gates with latches are approved by the state. Gates that require a key are considered illegal in New York City.
If you live in an apartment in New York City these regulations must be adhered to. If you do not have an operational fire escape, window guards or gates without latch locks, contact your housing officials immediate because your landlord is out of compliance for tenant occupancy.