Normally when building code laws come across there is a large collective sigh from owners. This time however, aside from what was expected there was also an understanding. An understanding that to comply with NYC local law 26 was to not only do what was right but was to do what was needed from everyone. What was needed from everyone was to do things together for everyone.
Just like any other law that is put on the books there is a certain language that is used and that spells out exactly what must be done. However, for the rest of us who need to understand how these types of things help us, we need them written in plain English. The most simple description of this law is that it helps people to remove themselves from a building.
The law requires that owners install certain types of lighting and markings on the walls and floors of the exits. It also makes sure that these same types of marking are installed in such a way that people can find the exits no matter what the situation might be. For example, certain types of paint, tape, and other materials are produced so they can be seen in almost no light.
These things allow for people to still see the markings if there is no lights on or if the power has been knocked out. These markings also can still be seen if there is smoke or other things in the air preventing proper visibility. These and other measures have been taken to make sure that no matter what is happening people can find their way out of a building.
People were required to not only come up with new exit plans in case of a disaster but they also had to make these markings on the floors, walls, and exits doors and corridors everywhere. For those who owned multiple buildings it was difficult but not impossible. Everyone knew that in order to keep people safe these changes needed to be made.
Building have been given every chance to comply with this law and there is to be no negotiation made for getting only halfway there. This must be a 100% compliance situation by all building owners within the city. We have learned some very hard lessons about how we design and build structures during that fateful day and the same mistakes will not be made twice.
They needed to show the way to the exit in such a way that people would not have to think in order to follow them. They would need lines and arrows and signs that pointed the way to the ground floor and the exit. Taking people on the shortest possible path out of the building was suggested but not always possible.
In order to comply with NYC local law 26 building owners are being given every opportunity to make the necessary improvements and changes before fines are levied. No one will be treated unfairly but at the same time the people who take the chance to enter a building must be given a fair chance to get out as well.
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