Washington, DC Fire Escape Inspections

Washington, DC Fire Escape Inspections


2014 District of Columbia Code
Division I. Government of District
Title 6. Housing and Building Restrictions and Regulations
Chapter 7. Fire Safety
Subchapter I. General
Part A. Fire Escapes, Elevators, Stairways, Etc
§ 6–701.03. Duty of owner to provide fire safety measures.

Universal Citation: DC Code § 6–701.03. (2014) 

It shall be the duty of the owner entitled to the beneficial use, rental, or control of any building used or intended to be used as set forth in § 6‑701.01 where fire escapes are required, or any building in which 10 or more persons are employed, as set forth in § 6‑701.02, where fire escapes are required, also to provide, install, and maintain therein proper and sufficient guide signs, guide lights, exit lights, hall and stairway lights, standpipes, fire extinguishers, and alarm gongs and striking stations in such locations and numbers and of such type and character as the Mayor of the District of Columbia may determine; except that in buildings less than 6 stories in height, standpipes will not be required when fire extinguishers are installed in such numbers and of such type and character as the Mayor of the District of Columbia may determine.

Send us photos of your fire escape by email: info@FireEscapeEngineers.com

or click here to submit via an online form


2012 IFC 1104.16.5.1 Fire escape stairs must be examined every 5 years ,by design professional or others acceptable and inspection report must be submitted to the fire code official.


IBC 1001.3.3 All fire escapes shall be examined and/or tested and certified every five years by a design professional or others acceptable who will then submit an affidavit city official.


NFPA LIFE SAFETY CODE 101 The Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) shall approve any fire escape by Load Test or other evidence of strength (Certification).


OSHA 1910.37 Exit routes must be maintained during construction, repairs, alterations or provide alternative egress with equivalent level of safety. (permit issued if egress is certified or with egress scaffolding) 

FIVE STEPS to Certify a Fire Escape:

  1. Schedule a pre load test evaluation by a design professional or others acceptable by City Official – AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction)
  2. Said professional will confirm with City Official if there are any other requirements other than load testing or other evidence of strength and if City Official wants to witness initial evaluation
  3. Submit evaluation report to owner/agent and a copy to the City Official as per code
  4. Issue certification, if passed, done by load test or other evidence of strength to City Official or, if failed, owner/agent and city official to confirm next steps (ex. engineer oversight, permits or other conditions)
  5. Please contact your local City Official (AHJ) with any questions about the above steps

Typical Certified

Residential Fire Escape

Sample Commercial Fire Escape 

Video/Photo Report

Sample Residential Fire Escape 

Video/Photo Report

Washington, DC Fire Escape Inspections


Industry Standards

Fire Escape Fatalities

Philadelphia Fire Escape Collapse injures 2, 1 fatality

Colorado Springs Collapse injures 3, 1 fatality

2 Boston Fire Fighters Perish Due to Welding on Fire Escape

Hank Phillipi Ryan Investigates Fire Escapes with no certification for 25 years!

Fire Escape Inspection