(a) Fire escapes. When in addition to the required exits from any factory or factory building, there exist other means of egress which are not entirely in accordance with the requirements of the Labor Law and the rules of the Board of Standards and Appeals, such means of egress may be retained under the following conditions: All substandard fire escapes on factory buildings shall be maintained structurally safe, properly painted, and with the openings leading thereto, kept in good repair. In lieu of a counter-balanced stairway, a drop ladder in guides with a back-drop gravity hook may be provided. The drop ladder shall be of sufficient length to reach from the lowest balcony to the ground or safe landing place, with a passageway opening cut in the balcony rail, which rail shall be properly braced. When such substandard fire escapes are located in a court, side or rear of a building, proper egress to a point of safety shall be provided, either to open adjoining yards, or the lowest balcony may be connected to an adjoining fire escape, exterior stairway, to the roof of adjoining extensions, or other means of egress satisfactory to the authorities having jurisdiction. Substandard fire escapes shall be kept clear of all obstructions, shall not be used for fire drills, and shall not be considered as a basis for increase in occupancy.
(b) Stairways and bridges.
(1) Interior stairways. All interior stairways not conforming to the requirements of the Labor Law or rules of the Board of Standards and Appeals may be retained, provided that egress to same is maintained unobstructed, halls are properly lighted, and all landings, passageways, etc., are maintained free and unobstructed. An easily operated panic bolt or other similar device may be installed at street exit door.
(2) Exterior screened stairways. Exterior screened stairways not serving as a required means of egress shall be maintained structurally safe and properly painted, exits thereto and all platforms and passageways thereof shall be maintained unobstructed, and egress from termination shall be provided for substandard fire escapes in §7-02(a).
(3) Horizontal bridges. Horizontal bridges and party wall balconies between buildings shall be maintained structurally safe and properly painted, and access thereto and all passageways thereof shall be maintained unobstructed.
(4) No sign of any character shall be placed at openings leading to these sub-standard exits.