Health and Safety

Building and Plumbing

CHAPTER 75. Fire Escapes and Exits

§ 7501. Buildings requiring fire escapes; exceptions.

(a) The owner of any building which is more than 2 stories in height and which is used in the third or any higher story in whole or in part as a college, seminary, schoolhouse, hotel, hospital, asylum, almshouse, a factory or workshop, or as a tenement-house, or when rooms are let to families or lodgers or for the accommodation of organized associations of any description shall be required to furnish such building with sufficient permanent fire escapes from the third and all higher stories, which escapes shall be kept and maintained in good order.

(b) The fire escapes may be by means of stairways or ladders outside the building or by stairways in a separate tower or structure furnished with safe and easy communication with such building.

(c) This chapter shall not apply to any building whatever that is already supplied with 2 or more independent stairways leading from the highest story to the ground floor if the stairways shall not be nearer to each other at any point than a distance of 60 feet.

16 Del. Laws, c. 546, §  1;  Code 1915, §  3460;  Code 1935, §  3930;  16 Del. C. 1953, §  7501; 

§ 7502. Inspections and certificates of compliance; fee.

(a) The chief fire officer of the fire department in any city, town or borough where there may be such officers or, if there be no such officer therein, then the mayor or chief officer thereof, and in all other places the clerk of the school district wherein any such building is located, shall examine fire escapes as to their suitableness and sufficiency, whether as to quality, location or number.

(b) If upon the examination the fire escapes are found to be sufficient and suitable, the person examining shall give the owner of such building or some one of them, if more than 1, a certificate stating such examination and the person’s approval, which certificate shall be good for 2 years, at the expiration of which time another examination shall be had and a like certification given. In New Castle County an inspection may be made by the County Building Inspector.

(c) The certificate of approval shall be evidence of sufficient compliance with the requirements of this chapter and shall protect such owner from any penalty therein prescribed during the time for which it may have been given.

(d) The fee for the examination shall be $1.00.

16 Del. Laws, c. 546, §  2;  Code 1915, §  3461;  Code 1935, §  3931;  46 Del. Laws, c. 304, §  1;  16 Del. C. 1953, §  7502;  57 Del. Laws, c. 42470 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  1

§ 7503. Regulation of doors in public places.

All public schoolhouses, theatres, lecture rooms, churches and public halls where large numbers of persons assemble, if more than 1 story in height, shall be furnished with doors opening outwardly and hung in such manner as to afford the most convenient and ready means of safe and speedy egress. Any building having doors of egress that open outwardly as provided in this section may also have outer doors on the front that do not so open, if the outer doors are habitually kept open during the services or performances.

16 Del. Laws, c. 546, §  3;  Code 1915, §  3462;  Code 1935, §  3932;  16 Del. C. 1953, §  7503; 

§ 7504. Penalties.

Every owner of any such building as is specified in this chapter, whether an individual or a body corporate, who fails to comply with this chapter shall be fined not more than $200.

16 Del. Laws, c. 546, §  4;  Code 1915, §  3463;  Code 1935, §  3933;  16 Del. C. 1953, §  7504;