REFORM: Must include enclosed staircases.
New York Law: New York law left the matter of fire escapes to the discretion of building inspectors. The building inspector for the Asch building insisted that the fire escape proposed for the building "must lead down to something more substantial than a skylight." (The architect's plans showed a rear fire escape leading to a skylight.)
The Asch building architect promised "the fire escape will lead to the yard and an additional balcony will be put in." In the final construction, however, the fire escape still ended at a second floor skylight. During the fire, the fire escape collapsed under the weight of the fleeing workers.