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L&I Needs Your Help Locating City Fire Escapes

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections is asking for your help in a public safety campaign. It’s trying to track down every fire escape in the city.

City Council passed a law, last year, requiring building owners to get every fire escape on their property inspected. L&I spokesperson Karen Guss says the department received 400 reports by the July 1st deadline.

But there’s a problem.

“Philadelphia, like almost every city, has no central data base of fire escape locations,” said Guss.

She says the city decided to crowd source the locations.

“We built an app that’s on our website and you can tell us, ‘I saw a fire escape and here’s where it is,'” Guss explained.

Guss says if they find one with no inspection report, the owner will be cited, though the main goal is to get them inspected.

“Folks have a grace period. We very much want them to file those reports now,” Guss said.

The law was inspired by the tragic 2014 death of 22-year-old Albert Suh, killed when the rusty fire escape he was sitting on crashed to the ground near Rittenhouse Square.

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