Philadelphia City Council To Evaluate Fire Escape Safety

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This month’s tragic fire escape collapse in Center City that killed one and injured two others is prompting City Council to look at the larger issue of fire escape safety.

Fourth District Councilman Curtis Jones believes the collapse at 22nd and Locust on January 11th may have been prevented: “It was the kind of tragedy that we can avoid by proper inspections.”

Jones is now calling for hearings on how to improve the safety of fire escapes.

Currently, the onus to inspect falls to the property owner.

Jones says the issue goes beyond fire escapes: “It’s the back stairwell, it’s the back deck, it’s the roof that gets worn and torn and collapses on people and also first responders.”

In the wake of the tragedy, the Nutter Administration said it may consider changing the city code to require that landlords provide annual proof of inspection of fire escapes.

Currently, owners do not need to submit such proof when applying for their annual rental license.

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