Fire Escape Escapes

They're first and foremost for safety, and there are codes prohibiting - for this very important reason - keeping anything out on the fire escape. However, we've all encountered their use as a small outdoor escape, be it for catching a cool evening breeze or as ledge for placing flowers and plants:

These fire escapes are just a few that show folks putting them to use in such ways. Inhabiting fire escapes as a balcony or placing any object on them is illegal, though we still see this frequently and - while we don't advocate it - we always take notice when we spot a little sign of life on a fire escape. We're reminded of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and the story's young Mary reading books out on the fire escape of her parents' apartment.

Have you ever had an apartment with a fire escape?

(Images: Leanne Eisen/BArPh, 66 Square Feet, One Green Generation, Urban Organic Gardener)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.