Why Two Means of Egresses is the Safest Way to Go
Our founder, Jarrett Lau, walks through dozens of properties every month for his prospective clients to make sure each property is safe, secure, and most importantly legal in the city. We’ve seen a property that had both a basement and an attic built on it. The first thing we noticed was the means of…
Our founder, Jarrett Lau, walks through dozens of properties every month for his prospective clients to make sure each property is safe, secure, and most importantly legal in the city.
We’ve seen a property that had both a basement and an attic built on it. The first thing we noticed was the means of egresses. There’s current code and existing code when it comes to egresses but we will always play on the safer side to make sure that again, you, the landlord, and the tenants are protected.
Means of Egresses Explained
We like to see that every floor of an apartment has two means of egresses. Why? Because if there’s a fire and they’re not able to get out through that first means of egress, they’ll have to have a second way.
We’ve seen some very interesting things in the past where a landlord has a rope ladder that they put through the window or they’re going to have a set of stair in the back, that maybe built at one time to be able to go through an attic. What ends up happening is that they’re now considering it a means of egress. These are not in the code.
In Massachusetts, you need to have a certain width, height, and pitch of stairs to make sure that they’re safe. With that, you and your tenants can safely get out of it. Remember when there’s smoke and fire people are freaking out not being able to know where they’re at and the disoriented. They want to be able to have a very safe way to be able to get out of that property if necessary.
We are going to start from the top with the attics. Many times landlords end up having additional space or additional bedrooms or bathrooms. You have to be very careful about that. The city of Boston checks it to see if the work that was done is permitted.
In addition, we want to see what that permit says, was it just open space and then they later added walls and closets to make bedrooms? You shouldn’t do that because that might affect the value of the actual property itself and you might not be able to use that as bedrooms. If the city inspector comes, the city inspector might say, “Hey, this was never permitted!”. You’re going to find yourself in some serious problems especially if you have tenants living in the units then will now say, “Where would we live?”
We want to make sure that if it is permitted, they have these bedrooms, they have a second mean to be egress. Now, how do you get second means of egress if there’s no second back set of stairs? Many times what would be doing is either build a porch or even a fire escape. We work with Metal Fire Escape Companies and what they’ll do is that they’re going to create these fire escapes and many time you have to have plans with architects and things of this nature, that you submit into the city to get approved, to have these fire escapes and any time you have fire escapes you need to have it inspected every 5 years. We help do that as a property management company.
Basements are even more common than actual attics when it comes to landlords creating additional space and bedrooms. What we see way too often is that these landlords put illegal bedrooms or illegal spaces in the basement.
We want to make sure that all our clients are protected and say, “Now, I want to have two means of egresses.”, and when they say, “Oh there’s a bulkhead.” That’s very difficult to open if there’s a case of fire. They might also say, “Oh, there are windows and they can escape to,”
Again, these are all safety precautionary measures you want to see if it’s done right, and again take a look at those permits to make sure that when the work was completed or done originally, they were meant to be better rather than just basement space.
So these are some of the things that as property managers we’re going to do to make sure that your tenants and yourself are protected.
If you’re looking for a property manager that understands safety and appreciates everything being done right, please think of Green Ocean Property Management, where you get more than a property manager, you get peace of mind.
One of the most common questions that we get asked as a landlord is, “I don’t have laundry in my building or I have normal laundry that isn’t coin-op, should I switch or install coin-op laundry?” In every single building that we manage, we always switch to coin-op laundry and we’ll tell you why….
Majority of our clients live either out of state or out of the country. If they don’t and they live locally, they have other things to do with their time other than walking through the property. We have spoken to many of our landlords in the past. They haven’t been in their properties in…
Are you planning to rent your place to international students and workers? Below are some tips and forms needed to be able to do so. Forms needed during the application process A person who wants to study or work in the United States would need to apply to either their school…