Fire Escapes for Multi-Family Townhouse?


    I’m house hunting, looking at a 3-family townhouse in which I would rent out the 2nd and 3rd floors. Will I need to put on fire escape? Would doing construction trigger something like that, or is there anything else I should be aware of eg roof access for firemen? (just read another post on this) — for example if I wanted to someday live on the 2nd/3rd floor and rent out the first floor, would I not be ably to fully enclose the stairwell to the top floor in order to leave public access to the roof?


    3 Replies

    1. To add to Jock’s statement, if you’re considering changing it to a 2-family, you would most likely be able to enclose those stairs and make them part of the upper duplex. A building 3 stories or less doesn’t need roof access for egress.

    2. You cannot add a fire escape, only maintain what you have. If you are buying a legal 3 than it must be laid out properly already. If you want to change things around then you will need an architect to advise you and create the permit drawings.