Hoboken Legal Beagle – 9/9/2008
Back from hiatus, the Hoboken411 Legal Beagle answers a simple question about what to do about exterior condo modifications and fire escapes:
What to do about fire escapes?
“I’m not sure who to reach out to on this but I have a question regarding the codes for fire escapes in Hoboken. We recently bought a first floor condo in Hoboken and have a private yard deeded to our unit only. The building consists of four floors and each floor has their own fire escape landing leading from a back door with stairs to the floor below them.
Most of the units use this as a balcony area as the landings are fairly large. We were looking into reconstructing the last landing on the building by replacing the stairs which come into our yard area with a drop down ladder instead. In looking at other building in the area, it doesn’t seem to be a code to have a full flight of stairs leading down to the least few feet of the building. We obviously do not want to make the building any less safe. I’ve tried contacting the city, looking up the fire codes and I’ve looked thru NJ’s Rehabilitation subcode’s but I am having a hard time finding information pertaining to this particular situation.
Do you know who I can speak to or if this information is printed anywhere online?”
Hoboken411 Legal Beagle says:
I doubt if you will find anything directly on point.
This is the sort of thing that you really need to have an architect review and draw up plans and have them submitted to the Building Department.
Even though an architect should know how the various code and regulations would apply the final authority would be the building department.
[411 Note: Thanks for the three-sentence reply, Dog! Anyway, I bet all you were wondering “what happened to the Legal Beagle lately?” Well the pooch was quite busy with legal issues involving dog houses, stolen bones and illegitimate puppies, but is back in full effect now.
So if you want your questions answered, send email to Hoboken411@gmail.com (you MUST put this in the subject, or it’ll be ignored: “Hoboken411 Legal Question“), and each week I’ll pick one (or maybe two – depending on the simplicity) question(s) that will be responded to by Hoboken411’s legal mastermind.]