tv [untitled] February 1, 2012 10:18pm-10:48pm PST
to the bottom of the fire escape, there's a ladder sticking out horizontally. it will go down because there's a weight. >> it doesn't go all at once. >> so counter balance ladders are what the code currently require. but as we walk around, you will see many of them don't have counter balance ladders, they have drop ladders and accordians and all that. this is an excellent type of ladder. you can see from the end of counter balance ladder, there's a chain. if you follow the chain up. it goes up to a pulley and down the other side to a weight. can you see that? the big weight is the counter balance weight and the code prescribes how many force it will take to operate that
counter balance. >> is there a maximum height? >> yes. there's a maximum and minimum. >> it's in the handout >> ladder xdto the ground. on page 6, 2.7. a permanent, 50 pounds. 150 pounds 1 quarter of the way will start to swing slowly down. and no fire escapes will be less than 14 feet above the sidewalk. when any part falls away, it has to be 14 feet. >> the top ladder too, that's a
straight ladder. that's for fire department use. that's not for somebody fleeing a fire. you are supposed to come down. we use these things as a second way to get up. we like this, because we can run up those things. we don't have to go in the building. the stamp pipes are on there. or a wet stand pipe. actually for us, it's a convenience. it's a goose neck ladder over the top. but, once again, that's for fire department use. not for civilians. we can always get a ladder up and get them off. i have done that frequently. that's something that happens frequently in the city. >> you don't need a ladder from
the roof in it's less than 4 and 12. you need to have a ladder. >> once again, the fire department shouldn't be up there. we are going to walk through this and cross otis street. we will look at sand types and some of the other stuff. >> okay. this is, we are on otis and golf. >> this is serving 50 or more people. this is a really interesting fire escape with these curved balconies. and once again, we have the elements that we were discussing.
the balconies, access. this accordion ladder. what does the fire department think about the accordian ladders? >> they got dropped out. it's retroactive. they have to bring them up to today's code. i have a story to tell. when i was in the sunset district. you see a crank on the side, you undue a lever and they are supposed to fall down. we did it, 50 to 75 percent of the time it doesn't work. there's, it's on the owner, the owner is supposed to maintain these ladders and we have a person here who does the maintenance. do you have anything you want to say? >> an escape artist. >> i believe these are supposed
to be checked once a year. >> one of my competitors says they need to be checked twice a year. i have encountered those that don't go down because they haven't been checked >> well, after and brush cleaning, and lubrication, we jump up and down on them. i weigh 170 pounds. they don't go down, like we're stretching them. crank them back up. break them free. after we lubricated them. >> what kind of lubrication? if it's a frozen type. we use a penetrable type >> with escape artists, you regularly check them? >> it's all us calling them
each year requesting if they would like us to do maintenance service for their drop ladder. each year it's quite simple and easy procedure to do. and we appreciate that people take pride and understand their fire escapes and drop ladders are a part of their building's safety system. just like the sprinkler systems. they are usually located along a fire escape ladder way, platform system. the fire department does use them to approach emergency situations in buildings. >> this is interesting on who's checking them. in san francisco for residential units and motels and hotels, the housing
inspection division is required to check every 5 years to do an inspection of the buildings. and the procedures have changed to require they operate the fire escape when they do that inspection. have you gone to those where they require to operate the fire escape? >> absolutely. we got the call from a property owner saying they have been sited or requested by a housing inspector. we will inspect the fire escape before maintenance and do maintenance repairs. i feel confident that the fire escapes are safe. ask we will provide a certificate. that describes what we found and what we didn't. so far, that has been approved by the fire department
>> all exterior balconies of wood have to be certified by an architect or licensed pest control every how many years? 5 years and they are starting to get that under way and they requires certification by someone with those licenses as well. this is a different concept. this is not a residential building. they don't do these 5-year or yearly inspection on this. so, does the fire department come out and check these at all >> probably not. we are supposed to come out for assembly permits. we are supposed to come out. actually, you probably walk through and checks the exits .
whether they physically do the fire escape. i don't know. >> so assembly occupancies. the fire department has a state mandate to be an annual check. >> we had a question here >> does the fire department have a list of all the different assembly buildings with fire escapes that need to be looked at? >> no. we have a list of all the assembly, whether they know which one has a fire escape. we are obviously trying to discourage that. if you can imagine getting 50 people out would be tough. i said 10 or 15 years that was
residential. for assembly, that's 20 years >> you might want to look at the golden gate theater has these enormous counter balance fire escapes that can handle an occupant load of hundreds of people and really wide and actually very low slope. but we do, we have in san francisco, we have assembly occupants and they check those too. >> the american club up here that has the same. fire escape. >> up above cafe nour >> does anybody regulate to see if they are working? >> no. in fact, the housing code for
exterior buildings exempt one and 2 family buildings. the building department checks for alteration or repair. it's up to the homeowner to maintain the property. we don't go back and inspect it unless we have gotten a complaint or we see a problem. we will stop and tell them. >> how is the width of the stairs, the fire escape? >> okay. we've got a question. how do we determine the width with of the fire escape stairs >> i think it's 18 inches >> ladders shall not be let's than 18 inches >> if someone was applying for a permit. we would like at the occupant load and how many people are
going to have to use this, and the building code has a table for calculating. i think we would look at home people would using it. >> every fire escape balcony 18 inches. >> i wanted to talk to the about the stand pipe. >> tell us what we got here. >> this is a dry stamp pipe. typically, the fire engine would stop here and hook up here. so on any floor, whichever floor, we can have water. like i say, this is even better
than going to the building. our guy does a good job and makes sure the balcony is stable. it's so much nicer to be outside. you yell at the guy. we need more water and pressure. in my eyes, it's a better system. this one here is dry. some of them are wet. >> what's the difference between wet and dry? >> wet would be connected to the water system. typically on a smaller building, they would use this as their riser to be their sprinkler system inside. it's wet. it has 60, 65 pounds of pressure. it isn't really enough to fight the fire. but we already have water. we would still need the engine to hook up to get water
pressure we needed to that floor. >> how much pressure do they need? >> well we aim at 100 pounds at whatever floor you are at. you lose 5 pounds for floor. it's up 15, you would lose 15 pounds. >> do we usually have a stand fire escape? >> usually. it's probably because they have so many stand pipes. and may be it was one of far ones we didn't see. it's a great thing. on residential, you always see it. >> any questions on stand pipe and connections? >> we're going to walk right around the corner to grady
alley. >> we will take a little walk here. >> so somebody said that san francisco's fire department response time is really good. i understand that to be the case too. >> we pride ourselves on a 3-minute response. >> we have 42 stations. we do pride ourselves to get there in a hurry and getting to where we have to go. >> part of, there's a trade off. because we have such great response time, we are able to allow some types of construction and extremely high density that would not be allowed in building construction >> one of the things in the out lying areas, if you build a new
house, single family dwelling, you need a sprinkler, they feel it's going to take, 8, 12 minutes and it's only 2 guys. whereas in san francisco, you get at least 4 right away and probably within 6 minutes, you have 12 people. you have the advantage, we in san francisco have not asked for that amendment. we just go with what the california building code says. >> the new california building code into into affect january 1, 2009. and it relies on fire
sprinklers. can you think of any? >> existing building, if people try to implement it. they may have to sprinkler their buildings. you can built the building bigger or more area. or bring your separation a little closer together. there's a lot of advantages to the designer. and i think we may see some of these buildings putting them in they they don't have to get the advantages. particularly the ones downtown. you try to put the sprinklers in and they get to take advantage of the code. >> the new code doesn't consider the post earthquake.
we have an unfortunate loss of water pressure after an earthquake. the local jurisdiction are a little bit concerned about over reliance on sprinklers instead of fixed assets because of lost water. >> my main fire protection engineer, he's concerned and wants to implement if you have a tank in your building, you have the water supply, sprinkler system. they have to have some back up water already >> high rises need them.
>> except, it's supposed to be 30 minutes for your most demands >> that's a lot of water. >> the minimum is 15,000 gallons. i think 25,000 was the last one i saw they were proposing. it's a pretty good size. >> all around san francisco we see cisterns as well for water supply. there's no one within sight here. but you can tell because right in the middle of an intersection, you see that. that's a symbol for an under ground system. >> we have a lot of them. we can draft out of those. we can put our solid hoses in there and actually suck some water out and put some pressure
on it. and we have maps. the guys in the field know where they are. we had a while if you put a swimming pool in, you had to have a connection. that one is being deleted. it was putting too much on people for putting a swimming pool in. >> back to fire escapes, i thought it would be interesting to look down the street and see how many there are. you don't usually think about them when you look around the city unless you are looking at our fire escape repair people probably see. i hungry man sees nothing but restaurants. this particular building has residential uses and i think an
apolistry shop. they would require a 5-year certification and they also need their annual maintenance. their fire escapes use this accordion ladder. is that what you call it? occasionally, we see problems where it comes down and there's something obstructing it on the ground. sometimes you even see awnings. >> when they come in, that's something we always check if they have a fire escape. now adays they use velcro. >> one thing we have here, lawrence mentioned, you need a door. if you notice here, each residential unit. these are probably each side is
a different residential unit that's going out and it's a case where that code evidently allowed you to use a window. >> there's an exception and it's on page 5. opening for the fire escape. it can be a window and it's 29 by 59 and so on. there's an exception for residential building. and probably, i wouldn't be surprised this serves separate units. they both access the same fire escape out let, you can see the goose net. it's an exciting climb and there's a high rise. i think it's the hastings building and it's really top. it has a vertical ladder on top.
you are 200 feet up. >> occasionally they have cornices that stick out. they get quite creative how they build them. >> the old ship where you have to climb up to the top. >> the maintenance guy did a good job. people often wonder why fire escapes don't pose a risk of being loose. they are required to penetrate in their structural system and be attached through the building to the inside. in a wood frame building, they actually, bolts have to go through and they have to have a washer and nut on the inside. i would have to have the whole wall removed. they are quite strong. >> we do and someone asked, what is it that you do.
i start off by looking at it. is there rust where it meets the building. that's the first indicator. my primary trick is to pick the railing away from the building and see sturdy is it? does the shake the whole wall when i kick it out? otherwise it's rust or a trail of rust >> do you tighten it up? >> if it looks questionable if i go trying to tighten it, i could allow water and starts to rust out the bolt. that would be bad in the long run >> these are required to be rust resistant? >> yeah. i would hope they are
galvanized. there are some made of regular iron. they rust as a complete system. everybody we replace is galvanized makes sense. you get coastal fog. in the mission district. it's dryer. there's less on the eastern than the western. it's good to have it painted. or replace that part and paint it. >> so our handout, page 5, 2.3. it shall constructed of reenforced concrete or hot
galvanized steel. and i'm sure they need maintenance. they will rust. >> kind of a slow process. the galvanized coating turns white. so when we see that. we will wire brush it and cold galvanized it and do exterior point >> recently, i noticed the bolts and their diagonal bolts were looking very rusty, so we put our wrench on and it
snapped right how far. we went on the inside of the building, with the property owner's permission and opened up the hole and there was the head of the bolt, the washer and we pulled that out with effort and it became the size of 2 or 3 toothpicks. >> water has been coming in. >> any time we do work through the skin, whether brick, masonary we do that to keep out the pests >> any place there is a bolt, you really need to calk or seal that. water will find it's way and it
will corrode inside and you can't see it unless you do, as this gentlemen said, do thorough testing. because you can't see it. you can't see it. even small stuff like this will allow water to get in. this is not a structural hazard. >> any comments or questions? >> if you look at this fire escape, you notice the goose neck has been brought out. you have a bridge to cross. if you look at the bottom. it's going to be a real treat for firemen to go up is there. >> that's why i say, this is only for firefighters to use. >> give me a boost. >> you have to realize, the firefighter has an air pack and
may be some tools to be walking out there. >> this is an interesting building. i want to point something out. can anybody take a guess as to why we have these 4 beams sticking out of the top? it used to have another story on it. i think it had to do with the enforcement of the ordinance. it was easier to remove than to upgrade the building. those are the elements that used to support the fire escape balcony, you see the parapet support and they replaced the goose neck ladder that went to the top and it g