Here Are NYC Fire Escape Apartments And Some Facts You Must Know

By: Abdullah Haroon

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A fire escape is an essential part of NYC buildings. It does more than an escape route: a place to sit outside, hang clothes to dry, and even grow some plants. In the wake of covid-19, fire played more than its traditional role. It provided a window for people to breathe in fresh air without compromising on the social distancing protocols.

Fire escape became an important protocol in the construction of buildings when several fatal incidents occurred in 1860. After those accidents, authorities developed strict development codes and made it mandatory to have fire escapes made up of wrought iron. The Department of buildings oversees this protocol and makes sure that it satisfies the law such as material, strength, and strong connections.

Note: lease agreement contains a clause about what you can do on the fire escape and what you cannot.

Get To Know Some Facts About Your NYC Fire Escape:

The Fire Escape Is No Balcony:

Private space is pure luxury in NYC and people compensate for the lack of space through a fire escape. Though there is no restriction on sitting and chatting here you cannot establish an office in a fire escape. As the guidelines suggest, keeping fire escape free of obstructions is mandatory and there is no compromise over it.

old buildings with fire escapes in new york city

You Cannot Block It:

Sometimes, you observe a window ac unit installed in the window which leads to the fire escape. It is in no way acceptable as the department of buildings has given clear instructions about this. Even if you do not have an extra window, you have to resort to another alternative such as a portable air conditioner.

You Cannot Use It for Additional Storage:

If we keep an eye on the trends, micro apartments are creating popular waves among buyers. It means that additional storage always remains an issue. So people think of fire escape as an additional space. According to the DOB, blocking a fire escape is illegal. You can complain against a neighbor who is using a fire escape as additional storage.

Check Up a Fire Escape:

It falls under the responsibilities of the landlord to make sure the fire escape is safe and intact. As per the Facade Inspection and Safety Program, the landlord is supposed to conduct an inspection every five years to examine the condition of the fire escape. As a tenant, if you feel like it is not worth using, let your landlord know about the required maintenance.

Instructions for New Developments:

You won’t see fire escapes in new buildings because the 1968 building code has changed the instruction regarding fire escapes. Now it is recommended to have internal stairs and an alarm system. If fire escape is removed in buildings before 1968, the landlord has to provide an alternative.

red fire escape at black and white filtered reside

Here are Some of the Finest Fire Escape Apartments in NYC:

  • 29 Howard Street:

It is a condo of 2 bedrooms and two bathrooms built in the 19th century. It has pre-war apartment detailing such as high ceilings, brick walls in every room, and a fire escape. One may reach the loft through a private keyed elevator to witness Crosby Street views.

  • 350 Bleecker Street:

It is a spacious suite that offers a fireplace, massive walk-in closet, and spa-like bath. It is also a prewar house situated on the top floor of the building which is recently renovated. You may witness unobstructed western exposures from the comfort of your living room through ceiling-high windows.

  • 119 Chamber Street, Tribeca:

It is also a prewar apartment that has minor historic details in it such as 14′ ceilings, original ceiling rafters, and floor-to-ceiling arched windows. You may observe the exposed bricks as it used to be the trend at the time.

Now, the apartment is recently renovated and fully furnished. It has marble countertops and high-end appliances. A spacious master room has walk-in closets and an attached bath.

  • 179 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side:

You may reach through a private elevator to this open-concept apartment. It has floor-to-ceiling windows along with a fire escape. The apartment is furnished with modern appliances and a smart tech video intercom system. It has a spacious bedroom and enough space in the kitchen with bar-style seating.

  • 314 West 19th Street, Chelsea:

It is a one-bedroom apartment that has high windows to let sunlight warm the apartment. Other features are 9′ ceilings and a fireplace. The kitchen is recently renovated with granite countertops, oak cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances. Bathroom tiles are also replaced with white marble floors.

  • 307 72nd Street, Bay Ridge:

It is a two bedrooms condo that is designed in a way to let maximum natural light enter the apartment through massive windows. Additional features of this apartment are vaulted ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, and a home office area. You may request a virtual tour of this elegant apartment.

  • 100 Overlook Terrace, Washington Heights:

A spacious open bedroom apartment is offered in a building with all essential and extra amenities. The building is located at the southernmost corner surrounded by natural beauty from all sides. Fire escape leads to a lush green view in the back. One extra feature is that the apartment has extra storage space in it.

  • 186 East 2nd Street, East Village:

Looking for a studio at reasonable prices? Well, here is an alcove studio that is a beautiful blend of pre-war features and modern detailing. The studio has exposed bricks and a high ceiling while furnished with high-end appliances.

It has built-in shelving, a closet, and a pull-out bed beneath the bedroom platform.

Final Words:

If you happen to live in an apartment that has a fire escape, do follow the instructions mentioned above. It would make sure of your safety.

Have a safe stay.