Vice Mayor: City fire escapes unsafe - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Vice Mayor: City fire escapes unsafe

(Credit: Vice Mayor David Mann) (Credit: Vice Mayor David Mann)

Cincinnati has a number of old buildings and firefighters are concerned about the fire escapes.

This prompted a unanimous vote by Cincinnati City Council to require fire escape inspections every five years starting with the oldest buildings next year according to Vice Mayor David Mann.

"You're never sure of their stability," Matt Alter, president of the Cincinnati Firefighter's Union said about the escapes. "It's about firefighter and public safety." 

Mann said in some cases, fire escapes are pulled away from the buildings due to years of corrosion. The city found that it is not even clear how much weight escapes can support. Which makes firefighters use them as a last resort.

“We have an old city and we need to keep buildings safe,” Mann said. “Out firefighters find them unsafe and there were a lot of concerns brought up recently.”

On Wednesday, City Council voted that fire escapes on buildings built before 1920 must be inspected by summer of 2017, fire escapes on buildings built between 1920 and 1950 must be inspected by summer 2018 and the rest of the city’s fire escapes inspected no later than summer 2019.

The city’s municipal code currently does not issue regulations or guidance on acceptable conditions for fire escapes. The code only says entrances and exits cannot be blocked and objects cannot be stored on fire escapes.

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