Landlord Must Maintain Fire Escapes at Vacant Building
LVT Number: #25078
The Fire Department issued a violation notice to landlord for failure to maintain fire escapes on all sides of his building. Landlord claimed that he was waiting for a permit to demolish the building, which had been sealed in 2008. Therefore, landlord argued, it was unnecessary to maintain the fire escapes. The ALJ ruled against landlord and fined him $750. Landlord appealed and lost. Landlord claimed that it would be unduly burdensome for him to scrape, paint, repair, and/or or replace the fire escapes and that DOB's delay in issuing the demolition permit resulted in the violation. The building was vacant, locked, and protected by a security company. But Fire Code Section 1027.1 and Building Code Section 28-301.1 require maintenance of the fire escapes. There was no exception for vacant buildings. In the event of a fire emergency, firefighters could need to use the fire escapes.
Owner of 301 West 46 St: ECB App. No. 1300373 (8/29/13) [3-pg. doc.]