I’ve been working at a job site in an 11-story apartment building that is right down the street from, I’m not kidding, one of those muscle head workout areas on a beach. It’s like Jersey Shore and lots of money in and around this high-maintenance building.
In the city, all buildings are required to have 2 stairwells for fire escapes. In this specific building, one stairwell is in the middle and one is an outside fire escape.
The outside fire escape is actually of the kind that are no longer allowed to be built–the kind of fire escape that Brad Pitt chased the bad guy on in Seven … or when I showed my sister the photo, she says it’s the kind of fire escape that Julia Roberts stood on in Pretty Woman… whatever, the point is that they’re no longer allowed to be made. But if a building already has them, they can stay, but they have to be maintained. Well maintained.
And this fire escape is not well maintained at all. It’s rusted all over, giant rust holes and just major disrepair. If people tried to use this thing to save their lives in a fire, they’d fall to their death because of the giant rust holes!
So far we’ve only gotten the first 4 floors fixed. We have to cut out the rusted steel and weld the new stuff. And if you’ve been following, you’ll know how happy I am to have a welding job because I get paid more to weld!
Underneath this fire escape is an alley/parking lot area and so we can’t just cut the steel and let it fall, we have to tie ropes to the steel we’re cutting so that it won’t fall and kill people. We also affixed a tarp underneath part of the fire escape so that people could drive underneath a part of it, but underneath a different part we put cones to keep them away. Of course, people in cars sort of do what they want, and a lot of cars actually just drove right over the cones we put there.
So far we got the ladder and counterweights all fixed, and have been working on all the rust holes. It’s jobs like these where I just hope that there isn’t a fire before we get finished because this thing is in bad shape!
Do you pay attention to construction cones or drive over them if you need? Do you know where the fire escapes are in your building (if you live in my city, there should be two!)?