A symbol of the New York cityscape: the fire escape.
It was only in 1867 that the “fire escapes” became mandatory.
The “Tenement House Act” of May 14, 1867 and specifies that all buildings,
new and old, should be equipped with these issues.
But these escape routes are not safe. In 1975, the photographer
Stanley Forman received a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of a mother
and her son falling from an emergency exit. While they were trapped
in a fire in their building, they borrowed fire escapes …
But they collapsed. The child survived, but the mother died
a few days later in hospital.
In 2009, The Times described the same way: “Officially, of course,
emergency exits are used for emergencies. But in New York,
those old ornaments on many buildings with five or six floors have
other functions multitude of kinds of gardens, loopholes for criminals,
oasis for marginal smoking, makeshift rooms of the time
air conditioning did not exist … ”