Downtown Dubuque fire escapes not up to code, many in need of re - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Downtown Dubuque fire escapes not up to code, many in need of repair

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Some downtown Dubuque property owners will soon have to repair their fire escapes because they're not up to code. 

That's because of a requirement by the International Fire Code which states fire escapes and exterior stairways have to be inspected every five years. The problem is many buildings in the downtown area are old. 

The Dubuque Fire Department already has a list of fire escapes in need of repairs immediately. Many of them rotted and rusted.

Longtime Dubuquers say the upgrades are needed. "They should probably have the hardware checked, cause a lot of these bolts are starting to rust, or like on these brick buildings, the brick does get soft so they should be checked periodically," said Ron Belanger of Dubuque.

Pretty soon, fire officials will send letters for inspection. However, the city recognizes the  repairs might cost too much for some, but others say it doesn't matter.

"It's a matter of safety. I mean safety comes first, especially when you have children, adults...older adults, disabled people," said Ron Arthofer.

City leaders are looking to offer financial assistance to property owners, up to $5,000 per building. It'll be discussed at Monday night's city council meeting. 

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