(a)   Fire escapes.
      (1)   In any building erected prior to October 1, 1913, now occupied or to be occupied as a factory, more than five stories in height and not exceeding nine stories in height, nor in any case more than 90 ft. from curb level to top floor level, one of the required means of exit or escape under §271-1 of the Labor Law may consist of an outside fire escape, provided that:
         (i)   Any such fire escape hereafter erected shall comply with all the provisions of § 273, Labor Law, and in addition thereto:
            (A)   The balconies and stairs shall be protected on the outside by substantial railings to a height of at least 4 ft. 6 in., measured from floor of balcony or center of stair tread, constructed of bars at least one-half (1/2) inch in diameter, spaced not more than six (6) inches on centers, or of substantial grille work, or of screening not less than No. 10 U.S. gauge wire with not more than one and one-half (1 1/2) inch mesh, all rigidly braced;
            (B)   When there is safe egress from the roof of the building to any adjoining structure, the fire escape stairway shall continue to the roof, and if there be no safe means of egress, a gooseneck ladder shall be provided from the top story balcony to the roof.
         (ii)   Any such fire escape erected prior to October 1, 1913, shall conform in every respect with the requirements of subparagraph (i) of this paragraph (1), except that balconies may be not less than 3 feet in width; the connecting stairs not less than 20 inches in width, and placed at an angle not exceeding 60 degrees if the building is not over six stories in height, otherwise at an angle of 45 degrees.
      (2)   In any building erected prior to October 1, 1913, now occupied or to be occupied as a factory, five stories or less in height, one of the required means of exit under § 271 of the Labor Law may consist of an outside iron fire escape, provided that:
         (i)   Any such fire escape hereafter erected shall comply with all the provisions of § 273, Labor Law.
         (ii)   Existing fire escapes shall comply with all provisions of § 274, Labor Law and in addition thereto
            (A)   The balconies shall be not less than 3 feet in width.
            (B)   The rails around balconies and well holes and on stairways shall be not less than 3 feet in height.
            (C)   Passageways on the balconies shall be not less than 14 inches in the clear.
            (D)   At least one opening to each balcony shall be a single fireproof casement door at least 2 feet wide and at least 6 feet in height, except that where the distance between the sill and lintel will not permit of an opening 6 feet in height, a casement door not less than 4 ft. 6 in. in height will be permitted.
      (3)   The single fireproof casement doors leading to all fire escape balconies shall open out and shall be self-closing. An easily operated door lock with knobs on both sides of the door shall be provided.  Such fire doors may be at window sill level if fixed iron step at least two feet wide, with risers not exceeding eight (8) inches, and treads not less than eight (8) inches are provided on the inside from floor level to sills properly secured.
      (4)   (i) Any such fire escape erected subsequent to October 1, 1913, and prior to these rules taking effect, unless previously accepted as one of the required means of exit or escape by the administrative official having jurisdiction, shall conform in every respect to the provisions of these rules.
         (ii)   A fire escape shall not hereafter be accepted as constituting one of the required means of exit or escape under §271-1 of the Labor Law, in any building erected prior to October 1, 1913, now occupied or to be occupied as a factory, exceeding nine stories in height, or more than 90 feet from curb level to top floor level.
      (5)   All fire escapes shall be maintained structurally safe, properly painted, and kept clear of all obstructions.
   (b)   Enclosure of factory stairways.
      (1)   Except as herein provided, in all factory buildings five stories or less in height, erected prior to October 1, 1913, in which there are more than twenty-five persons employed above the second story, all interior stairways, serving as required means of exit, and the landings, platforms and passageways connected therewith, shall be enclosed on all sides by partitions of fire-resisting material extending continuously from the lowest point of the stairway in accordance with the following schedule:
 
Number of stories
Contents combustible, no sprinkler
Contents noncombustible, no sprinkler
Contents combustible, and sprinkler
Contents noncombustible and sprinkler
Three
Stairways Enclosed
Four
Stairways Enclosed
Stairways Enclosed
Five
Stairways Enclosed
Stairways Enclosed
Stairways Enclosed
 
The term "contents" as used above means articles, goods, wares and merchandise, packed, stored, manufactured or in the process of manufacture.  The term "combustible" as used above means articles, goods, wares or merchandise which will burn or support combustion.  The term "sprinkler" as used above means an adequate automatic sprinkler equipment installed and maintained in good working order on each floor.  The term "story" as used above means that part of a building between any floor and the floor or roof next above; – the first story is that part of a building which is more than 50 percent above the floor below and the floor next above the curb or average grade level.  Where the stairway extends to the top floor of the building, such partitions shall extend to the under side of the roof boarding. That portion of the under side of the roof beams within the stair enclosure shall be covered with fire resisting material, except in buildings with roofs of non-combustible material, in which case the partitions may stop at the under side of the roof.  Where the stairway is required to extend to the roof, the enclosure shall be so built as to form a bulkhead. The enclosure shall be ventilated by a skylight in the roof with louvres or ventilators, or exterior windows with ventilating sections at the top floor.  All openings in such partitions shall be provided with approved self-closing fire doors, except where such openings are in the exterior wall of the building.  The bottom of the enclosure shall be of fireproof material at least four inches thick unless the partition extends to the cellar bottom.  A horizontal exit, as defined in § 267 of the Labor Law, will be accepted as a compliance with this rule when both sides of the fire wall or walls are occupied on any factory floor by the same occupant.
      (2)   Where there are occupancies on any story or part of a story involving the storage or use below the top story of the following materials and exceeding the amount specified, and there are more than 5 persons employed at manufacturing above such occupancy, the interior stairway serving as required means of egress shall be enclosed on that story with fire resisting material from floor to under side of floor above, including any exposed stair soffits, landings and passageways; openings shall be provided with approved self-closing fire doors.  Nitrocellulose in any shape or form, 10 lbs.  Volatile flammable oils, 1 gal.  Volatile flammable mixtures, 5 gals.  Combustible mixtures, 10 gals.  Paints, varnishes and lacquers, 10 gals.  Upholstering or mattresses, manufacturing or repairing.  Cotton, rag and paper sorting, 1 ton.  Paper box manufacturing.  Restaurants and lunch rooms with cooking (not including tea, coffee or similar beverages).  The Board shall rule upon new occupancies as they arise and pass upon points under dispute.  When more than two stories are to be segregated, as above, the entire stairway shall be enclosed in fire-resisting material where there are more than 5 persons employed at manufacturing above the first story.
      (3)   Required exits and enclosures of stairways in two-story factory buildings. Required Exits – in every two-story factory building erected prior to October 1, 1913, in which more than five persons are employed at manufacturing, there shall be provided from each story at least two means of exit or escape from fire remote from each other, one of which from every floor above or below grade shall lead to or open on an interior stairway which shall be enclosed, as hereinafter provided, or on an exterior enclosed stairway. The other may lead to such a stairway, or to a horizontal or grade exit, or to an exterior screened stairway, or to a fire escape conforming to § 273, Labor Law, or §7-01(a)(2) of these rules. Except that exit door shall be a fire door, with substantial steps to the sills properly secured when sill is more than 8 inches above the floor level; and where there is no safe egress from the roof, a gooseneck ladder shall be provided from top balcony to the roof, except on the front of buildings.  Unobstructed egress from the foot of the fire escape or exterior screened stairway shall be as required by § 273, Labor Law, or to open adjoining yard with egress to the street. No point on any floor of such building shall be more than one hundred and fifty (150) feet distant from such an exit.
      (4)   Enclosure of stairways. In two-story buildings where there are occupancies on any story or part of a story involving the storage or use below the top story of any of the materials exceeding the amounts specified in §7-01(a)(2) and there are more than 5 persons employed at manufacturing above such occupancy, all interior stairways serving as required means of exit shall be enclosed from the lowest point of such stairway to the ceiling of the first floor by partitions of fire-resisting material, unless the building is provided with a wet sprinkler system, in which case such enclosure of stairways shall not be required. Such enclosures shall lead directly to a door opening outwardly to a street or road, or an open area affording unobstructed passage to a street or road. All openings in such enclosure shall be provided with fire doors equipped with self-closing devices.  All reference herein to "Enclosure of Stairways" shall be considered as applying only to required stairways.
      (5)   Storage of combustible material within factory stairway enclosures. In all factory buildings no articles or wares of any nature shall be kept or stored inside the limits of any stairway enclosure or unenclosed stairway, or on the landings, platforms or passageways connected therewith.
   (c)   Safe egress from roofs of factory buildings.
      (1)   Interior stairways serving as required means of exit in factory buildings erected after October 1, 1913, and not exceeding five stories in height, and in buildings erected before October 1, 1913, now occupied or to be occupied as a factory, shall not be required to extend to the roof where there is no safe egress from the roof, under §§ 270, 271 and 272, Labor Law.
         (i)   When the roofs, or the top of the parapet wall of an adjoining building are more than eight feet below or more than five feet above the top of the parapet wall of the building in question, and there is no outside party wall fire escape, party wall exterior screen stairway, party wall balconies or bridges, or where any outside exits do not connect to adjoining buildings at roof level, or where there are no unbarred window openings five feet above the roof or parapet wall of the building in question.
         (ii)   When the roof of the building in question has a pitch exceeding one foot in six feet of horizontal run.
      (2)   (i) When there is no safe egress from the roof, as above described, there shall be in all cases at least a double-rung ladder at the top of the interior stairway, and within the interior stairway enclosure when stairway is enclosed. Such ladder shall be at least 18 inches in width and shall be properly secured at top and bottom. The ladder shall lead to a scuttle opening not less than 2 feet by 3 feet or be of such additional area as may be required to provide ample head room. The scuttle cover shall be hinged and of light weight construction, or be counter-balanced. An easily operated hook may be provided on scuttle cover.
         (ii)   Where the stair bulkhead door opens within 10 feet from the open edge of the roof, an iron railing properly braced at least 3 feet high and at least 10 feet long shall be provided at the edge of roof.
   (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.
Resources