California Fire Escape Testing, Inspection & Certification
Our West Coast California branch specializes in fire escape testing in all counties and cities in California, Washington and Oregon. Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego are examples of cities with specific building code sections pertaining to fire escapes and fire escape ladders - both of which are secondary means of egress from private and public buildings. For city-specific information on regulations, fire escape building code and fire escape testing and inspections, please see sections below.
Los Angeles Fire Escape Testing - Regulation 4
Chief's Regulation 4 is enforced by the Los Angeles Fire Department. To be sure that your property is in compliance with Reg 4 code, its important that you first identify the following:
1. Which Fire Protection Systems are in your building.
2. The date that each system was last tested.
3. The testing frequency required for such systems, as outlined below:
- Basic Fire Warning Systems - 1 year
- Complex Fire Warning Systems - 1 year
- Central Station Signaling Systems - 1 year
- Smoke Management Systems - 1 year
- Elevators, Automatic - 1 year
- Emergency Generator and Lighting Systems
- All Occupancies - 1 year
- Fire Doors:
- All Types/All Occupancies - 1 year
- Fire Escapes - 1 year
- Class I Standpipe Systems - 5 years
- Class II Standpipe Systems - 5 years
- Class III Standpipe Systems - 5 years
- Combined Standpipe Systems - 5 years
- Class H Standpipe Systems:
- For Systems with a Booster Pump - 2 years
- For all other Systems - 5 years
- Fire Pumps - 1 year
- Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems - 5 years
- Note: Pre-action, Deluge and Dry Pipe Systems are tested annually.
- Pressure Reducing Valves (PRV's)
- Partial Flow - 1 year
- Full Flow - 5 years
- Automatic Fire Extinguishing Systems - Every 6 months
What Is The Process?
- If a Chief's Regulation No. 4 test is required, please contact a certified tester to schedule and perform your test.
- A list of currently certified testers is available from the Chief's Regulation No. 4 Unit.
- An LAFD Fire Inspector (or your Neighborhood Fire Station) must be given 2 working days notice prior to conducting the test. (Monday through Friday, not including Holidays).
- The certified tester must provide two copies of the test results on Fire Department approved forms, with all defects clearly noted. Within 7 days, copies of the report must be forwarded through the Chief's Regulation No. 4 Unit.
- Repair and Retest: If defects are found in equipment that is being tested, correction on such defects shall commence forthwith and shall be completed as soon as possible, but in every case within 30 days of the initial test. At the completion of such repair, the system or device shall be retested as necessary to determine that it is fully operable.
- Defects in a building's fire life safety systems may be found during the routine annual fire inspection. At such annual inspection, a notice to conduct a Regulation No. 4 test will be given to building management.
[Added by Ord. 192-02, App. 9/17/02; Ord. 256-07, App. 11/6/07]
(a) Affidavit Required. All wood and metal decks, balconies, landings, exit corridors, stairway systems, guardrails, handrails, fire escapes, or any parts thereof in weather-exposed areas of apartment buildings and hotels shall be inspected by a licensed general contractor, or a structural pest control licensee, or a licensed professional architect or engineer, verifying that the exit system, corridor, balcony, deck or any part thereof is in general safe condition, in adequate working order, and free from hazardous dry rot, fungus, deterioration, decay, or improper alteration. Property owners shall provide proof of compliance with this section by submitting an affidavit form (provided by the Department) signed by the responsible inspector to the Housing Inspection Services Division every five years. For purposes of this section, "weather-exposed areas" mean those areas which are not interior building areas. The affidavit process shall commence on January 1, 2004.
SEC. 908. MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR.
[Added by Ord. 399-89, App. 1 1/6/89; amended by Ord. 161-92, App. 6/4/92; Ord. 192-02, App. 9/17/02; Ord. 256-07, App. 11/6/07]
All safety devices or equipment provided for in this chapter shall be maintained in good repair at all times. Fire escapes shall be kept clear and unobstructed and be readily accessible at all times. Upon inspection, the property owner, or authorized agent, shall demonstrate to the Director or designated personnel, that all existing fire escapes are fully operational and properly maintained. Upon completion of the inspection, all existing fire escapes shall be secured pursuant to Section 1110.3.1. of the San Francisco Fire Code.