SAQ: Are Window Screens Permitted Next to Fire Escapes in New York City?
It feels like it has been longer, but at just over a month our apartment building has installed the window screens. Boy is it nice to have window screens! Of course, it would have been nicer if we had had the window screens during the really hot days of August, but I try not to gripe too much.
Of course, when the guy came by to install the window screens, he had to explain that management had instructed that screens not be installed on windows opening on to fire escapes. Since this is an idiotic request, and since I had explicitly requested window screens on those very same windows, he installed screens anyway, explaining that if the management company later insisted, he would have to remove them. I was happy to take the chance.
Later I mentioned the issue to our superintendent, who agreed that window screens do not belong next to fire escapes, and that is just one of the tragic outcomes of a city with so many complex rules governing it. I found that a bit unsettling.
Sometimes I find it hard to sleep at night, and my mind will churn with the great questions of our day, like “is there really a restriction against installing window screens on windows that open on to fire escapes in New York City?” Well, the wisdom of the Internet led me to the Rules of the City of New York, which explains in Chapter 15-10(k)(2):
Wire screens and storm windows. Wire screens are permitted on a door or window giving access to a fire-escape. Such screens may be of the rolling type, casement or of a type that slides vertically or horizontally in sections, providing that there shall be a clear unobstructed space two feet (2′) in width and two feet six inches (2′-6″) in height when the screens are opened and further provided that no such screen shall be subdivided with muntins or other dividing or separating bars into spaces less than two feet (2′) in width by two feet six inches (2′-6″) in height.
So yeah, window screens are completely legitimate. I don’t know if this contrary idea is actually with the management or some fanciful notion that has somehow been implanted into our superintendent, but should the issue need revisiting I can leverage my powers as Internet Man to defend the placement of these window screens for which I have long waited.