sign on empty apartment building - what is it?
July 22, 2020 3:32 PM   Subscribe

I saw this sign on an apartment building that has been empty for about ten years, following a fire. What is it?
posted by roosterboy to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Unsafe abandoned building signage. Useful for firefighters if there is another fire.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:50 PM on July 22, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: S/M - Stairs, steps and landing missing
R/O - Roof open
F/E - Avoid fire escapes
H/F - Holes in floor
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 4:29 PM on July 22, 2020 [33 favorites]

Those are codes for inspectors and emergency personnel. Basically, it translates to “don’t go inside; make a new parking lot.” USAR uses them often.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 4:46 PM on July 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As codified by the International Fire Code:
311.5 Placards. Any vacant or abandoned buildings or structures determined to be unsafe pursuant to Section 110 of this code relating to structural or interior hazards shall be marked as required by Sections 311.5.1 through 311.5.5.
311.5.1 Placard location. Placards shall be applied on the front of the structure and be visible from the street. Additional placards shall be applied to the side of each entrance to the structure and on penthouses.
311.5.2 Placard size and color. Placards shall be 24 inches by 24 inches (610 mm by 610 mm) minimum in
size with a red background, white reflective stripes and a white reflective border. The stripes and border shall have a 2-inch (51 mm) minimum stroke.
311.5.3 Placard date. Placards shall bear the date of their application to the building and the date of the most recent inspection.
311.5.4 Placard symbols. The design of the placards shall use the following symbols:
1. ☐ This symbol shall mean that the structure had normal structural conditions at the time of marking.
2. ⧅ This symbol shall mean that structural or interior hazards exist and interior fire-fighting or rescue operations should be conducted with extreme caution.
3. ⛝ This symbol shall mean that structural or interior hazards exist to a degree that consideration should be given to limit fire fighting to exterior operations only, with entry only occurring for known life hazards.
4. Vacant marker hazard identification symbols: The following symbols shall be used to designate known
hazards on the vacant building marker. They shall be placed directly above the symbol.
4.1. R/O—Roof open
4.2. S/M—Stairs, steps and landing missing
4.3. F/E—Avoid fire escapes
4.4. H/F—Holes in floor
311.5.5 Informational use. The use of these symbols shall be informational only and shall not in any way limit the discretion of the on-scene incident commander.
(note: Symbol 1 should actually be an empty box. Symbol 2 is a box with a diagonal line. Symbol 3, the one we're discussing here, ⛝ SQUARED SALTIRE {closed entry} doesn't appear to be implemented on MacOS/iOS, so it may appear as an empty box.)
posted by zamboni at 5:36 PM on July 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks! I suspected something like that but was unable to figure out what exactly to google to find out.
posted by roosterboy at 10:56 PM on July 22, 2020

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