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Fire Department
Codified Title: 
Title 3: Fire Department

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Final Rule

 

Background

 

Since 2000, New York City has required apartment building owners to print and distribute residential fire safety guides to apartment building residents and building staff, and to post fire safety notices on the inside of dwelling unit entrance doors and in building lobbies.  The purpose of these fire safety guides and notices is to:

 

·      promote fire safety and fire prevention in apartment buildings;

·      educate residents and building staff about the design and construction of their building, including construction type, fire protection systems and means of egress; and

·      outline emergency procedures to assist them in the event that they are confronted by a fire and need to determine what action to take to protect themselves and their families.

 

The format, content, distribution and posting requirements for the fire safety guide and notices were incorporated into the 2008 Fire Code (in FC408.9) and in Fire Department rule 3 RCNY §408‑02, which the rule now amends.

 

New Fire and Emergency Preparedness Guide

 

The 2014 Fire Code comprehensively revised Chapter 4, which governs emergency planning and preparedness, and moved the fire safety guide and notice requirements to FC401.6.  The 2014 Fire Code expanded the scope of the guide to encompass non-fire emergencies, such as medical emergencies, severe weather emergencies, power outages, hazardous materials releases, and terrorism-related incidents.

 

This rule would implement the 2014 Fire Code by replacing the existing Fire Safety Guide with a new Fire and Emergency Preparedness Guide (“FEP Guide”) entitled “New York City Apartment Building Emergency Preparedness Guide” (Appendix 1 to the renumbered §401‑06). Like its predecessor, the FEP Guide consists of two parts. Part I is the Building Information Section, a form completed by the owner for each building indicating the building’s construction, fire protection systems, means of egress and other information specific to the building for which it is prepared.  The rule would not substantially change the existing content requirements for this obligation, except to require the owner to indicate whether there is an emergency voice communication system in the building.

 

Part II of the FEP Guide is designed to educate all building occupants about ways to prepare for emergencies, prevent fires, and protect themselves from various fire and non-fire emergencies.  In addition, the FEP Guide emphasizes emergency preparedness planning for persons with functional or access needs who will need assistance if they must evacuate the building in an emergency.  During most non-fire emergencies, the elevator is available to evacuate persons unable to walk down stairs without assistance, and in modern buildings of non‑combustible construction, all residents are generally advised to shelter in place during the fire.  The Guide explains the importance of developing an individualized evacuation plan and a network of supports who can assist persons with functional or access needs in the event of an emergency in which they need to evacuate and they cannot use the elevator, such as in the case of a fire in their apartment.

 

Revised FEP Guide Distribution Requirements

 

Currently, the Fire Safety Guide must be provided to apartment building residents at time of occupancy (when they first move into the building) and must be distributed again every year.  The Fire Department proposes to require distribution of the new FEP Guide at time of occupancy and again as part of a building-wide distribution every three years.  During the off-years, the rule would require building owners to distribute a short informational bulletin (4 pages or less), which would be used to highlight and reinforce an important, timely fire safety or other emergency preparedness message.  This would take advantage of an opportunity to communicate lessons learned or other message when the issue is fresh in the public’s mind because of a recent fire or other incident. The informational bulletin will remind apartment building residents to familiarize themselves with the contents of the FEP Guide and advise them on how to obtain a copy if they have not received one.

 

Additionally, the Fire Department proposes to authorize electronic distribution of the FEP Guide (by email or other form of electronic transmission) to apartment residents and building staff.  This would encourage development of electronic communications between owners and residents that can be used for other emergency preparedness communications and in actual emergencies.

 

 

Other Considerations

 

The rule would not change the fire safety notices (Appendix 2 to the renumbered §401‑06) that building owners are required to post.

 

Response to Public Comments

 

Public comment was received suggesting that the public will not read a lengthy booklet and the Fire Department should only require that it be made available upon request.  The Fire Department declines to adopt this suggestion.  The information presented in the Guide directly relates to individual safety and is something every New Yorker should know.  The Fire Department has endeavored to make the Guide more reader-friendly and, using modern electronic communications, more accessible and easier to distribute.  Placing the Guide in the hands of the millions of New Yorkers who live in apartment buildings ensures the widest access to this information and the greatest likelihood that that the information will be disseminated.  The fact that not every person will read it does not argue for limiting its distribution.

 

Public comment was received inquiring as to the timeframe for compliance with the rule, given that the rule requires distribution of the Fire and Emergency Preparedness Guide in October or January.  The Fire Department has adopted this rule effective October 1, 2018, but in response to this concern, states in the Notice of Adoption that the time for compliance with the distribution requirement for the 2018-2019 cycle (only) is extended to April 30, 2019.

Public comment was received indicating that owners should be able to distribute the guide to building residents with whom they have email communications, without having to formally elect to receive the guide in that manner.  The rule has been revised to allow email transmission to any building resident who has provided an email address for the purpose of receiving building-related email communications.

 

In response to a request to specify a date by which the Fire Department will post the annual fire safety bulletins, the rule has been revised to specify August 15th of every year.

 

With respect to retention and recordkeeping, the Fire Department notes that it is only requiring retention of recordkeeping for the Guide to two distribution cycles, not three, as previously, although the retention period is longer.  The term “approved” enables the Department to enforce clear and reliable recordkeeping and typically does not require any formal submission to the Department.

 

Various comments were received from an organization that advocates for the disabled.  These include the following assertions:

 

  • The Guide and fire safety notices are not available in large print.

 

A large print Guide will be posted on the Fire Department’s website, and reference to posting a large print notice has been included in the rule. The Fire Department will also post an accessible PDF version of the Guide.

 

The rule does not limit the size of fire safety notices.  The owner can prepare a large-type fire safety notice to accommodate the needs of a person with limited vision.  In addition, by allowing the Guide to be emailed to apartment residents, the Guide can be read using screen viewer technology by persons who are blind or have low vision.

 

  • The Guide relies on the kindness of neighbors and family members.

 

Response: The Guide relies on establishing a network of supports to facilitate timely evacuation by building residents.  The comment fails to recognize that in apartment buildings other resources frequently are not available.  Many apartment buildings do not have staff or have a limited staff presence.

 

In a fire (the most likely circumstance in which immediate evacuation may be required), building staff may not be in close proximity or able to provide assistance to all building residents and/or may themselves need to evacuate.  Promoting false reliance is the least desirable course of action.  Even in office buildings, reliance is generally placed primarily on work colleagues to assist persons with limited mobility or other physical limitations.  As this Guide encourages residents to communicate their needs to building management, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will be amending its ABCs of Housing Guide to encourage owners and building residents to discuss emergency preparedness and building evacuation issues, as outlined in the Guide.

 

  • The Guide fails to address provision of evacuation devices or training individuals to use them.

 

Response:  The Guide makes mention of the availability of evacuation devices and notes that one may wish to consider keeping a lightweight travel wheelchair or evacuation chair in one’s apartment as part of an individual’s emergency preparedness plan.  The Emergency Preparedness Resources Section of the Guide references informational materials regarding the use of such devices.

 

  • The Guide fails to mandate certain design requirements for building egress, fire alarm and communication systems.

 

Response: The Guide addresses building construction, means of egress and fire protection systems in order to inform apartment residents’ response to emergencies.  The Building Code governs building design and systems and its accessibility provisions are generally beyond the scope of the Guide.

 

  • The Guide does not address use of elevators or notice to building residents of elevator shutdowns.

 

Response: The Guide does address the use (and non-use) of elevators.  In most emergencies, building residents are advised to remain in the building, and in most non‑fire emergencies, elevators are available for use.

 

Notice requirements relating to elevator shutdowns are established by HPD.  The Guide references the fact that owners are required to post notices, but more importantly encourages building residents to establish communications with the owner to ensure that they are made aware whenever elevators may be taken out of service.

 

  • The active shooter advice is inapplicable to persons in wheelchairs.  Building owners should develop other procedures to address such scenarios.

 

Response:  The comment is incorrect.  The actions recommended by the Guide with respect to active shooter emergencies (“Avoid, Barricade, Confront”) is applicable to all persons, including persons in wheelchairs.  The guidance addresses situations that both able-bodied and persons with disabilities may encounter, including the inability to safely leave an area.

 

  • City shelters should be open in any emergency, not just coastal storms.

 

Response: The City’s provision of shelters is generally too incident-specific to include in the Guide.  The Guide references the availability of City shelters during a coastal storm because such shelters are operated whenever area evacuations are ordered.  Public announcements and/or individual notification will be made when shelter is available during other emergencies.  The Guide has been revised to make reference to such announcements and notifications.

 

  • Persons may not have the financial resources to maintain readiness supplies. 

                             

Response: The Guide is an informational document designed to inform individual emergency preparedness planning and responses.  Individual financial resources or other means to obtain these items is beyond the scope of the Guide.

 

  • Persons should not be separated from their service animals and it is “unrealistic” to expect people to carry photos of their service animals in case of separation.

 

Response: The Guide references both pets and service animals.  Whether persons would be separated from service animals is beyond the scope of the Guide, but it is a reasonable precaution to keep a photograph of a service animal in a phone or wallet (as pet owners commonly do with their pets) if that circumstance arises.  The Fire Department disagrees with the comment that this is an unrealistic requirement.

 

  • The Guide should clarify that registering with a utility company as a person on life-sustaining equipment is for notification purposes only and does not mean they will receive assistance with building evacuation.

 

Response: The Guide states that a person listed as a life-sustainingequipment (LSE) customer will be contacted in the event of a power emergency.  This is the wording from a utility website and does not imply any further assistance.

 

 

Effective Date: 
Mon, 10/01/2018

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:3)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, September 17, 2018
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

The Fire Department proposes to adopt a new rule, 3 RCNY §401-07, to establish standards, requirements and procedures for the conduct of fire drills and non-fire emergency drills.

 

The proposed rule applies to office buildings, hotels and all other Group B and Group R-1 occupancies required by the 2014 Fire Code to have an emergency preparedness plan and a Fire and Life Safety (FLS) director (or a Fire Safety Director transitioning to an FLS director), and in all homeless shelters similarly required to have an FLS director or a Fire and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.  The Fire Department encourages voluntary compliance with this rule in other occupancies conducting fire and/or other emergency preparedness drills.

 

The proposed rule outlines the critical information that needs to be communicated during these drills. The Department’s goal is to ensure that these drills effectively communicate important public safety information about fire and non-fire emergencies in a manner meaningful to building occupants.

 

The proposed rule also requires that persons conducting fire drills or non-fire emergency drills possess a Fire Department Certificate of Fitness.

 

The proposed rule details the location of the presentation and effective presentation techniques, including use of visual enhancements, and lessons learned from actual emergency incidents.  The proposed rule also provides drill presentation requirements including:

 

·        the importance of calling 911 and notifying building emergency preparedness staff;

·        a description of the building and building systems;

·        a description of the fire alarm system, methods of notification and announcements, operation of manual pull stations, and use of warden phones;

·        the location and use of means of egress;

·        fire emergency procedures in buildings of combustible construction and noncombustible construction; and

·        non-fire emergency procedures.

 

The proposed rule is intended to promote the participation in drills of persons with disabilities or other functional needs, who will need assistance in evacuation or in-building relocation, and to require that the information be communicated to them in some other manner if they cannot participate.  It requires that the drills address issues relating to people who will need assistance, including encouraging such persons to establish a network of supports, by identifying themselves in accordance with building emergency preparedness procedures to make building emergency preparedness staff aware of their needs, and by introducing themselves to co‑workers willing and able to provide assistance in a fire or non-fire emergency.

 

Appendix A to the proposed rule provides medical emergency procedures designed to help expedite the aid provided by emergency responders on scene.  An owner must implement the medical emergency procedures set forth in this proposed rule.  Appendix B to the proposed rule provides active shooter emergency procedures recommended by the Fire Department, which it developed with the New York City Police Department. While an owner may develop and implement its own active shooter procedures to reflect the specific conditions in its building or occupancy, the Fire Department recommends the procedures set forth in Appendix B as the appropriate training to provide building occupants in the typical building or occupancy.

 

The entire proposed rule is underlined, indicating that it is a new rule.

 

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Subject: 

.

Location: 
Fire Department Auditorium
9 Metro Tech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Contact: 

No contact

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:3)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

Background

 

Since 2000, New York City has required apartment building owners to print and distribute residential fire safety guides to apartment building residents and building staff, and to post fire safety notices on the inside of dwelling unit entrance doors and in building lobbies.  The purpose of these fire safety guides and notices is to:

 

·      promote fire safety and fire prevention in apartment buildings;

·      educate residents and building staff about the design and construction of their building, including construction type, fire protection systems and means of egress; and

·      outline emergency procedures to assist them in the event that they are confronted by a fire and need to determine what action to take to protect themselves and their families.

 

The format, content, distribution and posting requirements for the fire safety guide and notices were incorporated into the 2008 Fire Code (in FC408.9) and in Fire Department rule 3 RCNY §408‑02, which the proposed rule would amend.

 

New Fire and Emergency Preparedness Guide

 

The 2014 Fire Code comprehensively revised Chapter 4, which governs emergency planning and preparedness, and moved the fire safety guide and notice requirements to FC401.6.  The 2014 Fire Code expanded the scope of the guide to encompass non-fire emergencies, such as medical emergencies, severe weather emergencies, power outages, hazardous materials releases, and terrorism-related incidents.

 

This proposed rule would implement the 2014 Fire Code by replacing the existing Fire Safety Guide with a new Fire and Emergency Preparedness Guide (“FEP Guide”) entitled “New York City Apartment Building Emergency Preparedness Guide” (Appendix 1 to the renumbered §401‑06). Like its predecessor, the proposed FEP Guide consists of two parts. Part I is the Building Information Section, a form completed by the owner for each building indicating the building’s construction, fire protection systems, means of egress and other information specific to the building for which it is prepared.  The proposed rule would not substantially change the existing content requirements for this obligation, except to require the owner to indicate whether there is an emergency voice communication system in the building.

 

Part II of the FEP Guide is designed to educate all building occupants about ways to prepare for emergencies, prevent fires, and protect themselves from various fire and non-fire emergencies.  In addition, the FEP Guide emphasizes emergency preparedness planning for persons with functional or access needs who will need assistance if they must evacuate the building in an emergency.  During most non-fire emergencies, the elevator is available to evacuate persons unable to walk down stairs without assistance, and in modern buildings of non‑combustible construction, all residents are generally advised to shelter in place during the fire.  The Guide explains the importance of developing an individualized evacuation plan and a network of supports who can assist persons with functional or access needs in the event of an emergency in which they need to evacuate and they cannot use the elevator, such as in the case of a fire in their apartment.

 

Revised FEP Guide Distribution Requirements

 

Currently, the Fire Safety Guide must be provided to apartment building residents at time of occupancy (when they first move into the building) and must be distributed again every year.  The Fire Department proposes to require distribution of the new FEP Guide at time of occupancy and again as part of a building-wide distribution every three years.  During the off-years, the proposed rule would require building owners to distribute a short informational bulletin (4 pages or less), which would be used to highlight and reinforce an important, timely fire safety or other emergency preparedness message.  This would take advantage of an opportunity to communicate lessons learned or other message when the issue is fresh in the public’s mind because of a recent fire or other incident. The informational bulletin will remind apartment building residents to familiarize themselves with the contents of the FEP Guide and advise them on how to obtain a copy if they have not received one.

 

Additionally, the Fire Department proposes to authorize electronic distribution of the FEP Guide (by email or other form of electronic transmission) to apartment residents and building staff.  This would encourage development of electronic communications between owners and residents that can be used for other emergency preparedness communications and in actual emergencies.

 

Other Considerations

 

The proposed rule would not change the fire safety notices (Appendix 2 to the renumbered §401‑06) that building owners are required to post.

 

Text proposed to be deleted is [bracketed].  New text is underlined.

 

The underlining of words highlighted in green does not indicate a text change, but rather that the text of the existing rule is underlined.  The green highlighting indicates that the underlining should be retained in the publication of the final rule.

 

The underlining of words highlighted in blue indicates new text is being added to the rule.  The blue highlighting indicates that the underlining should be retained in the publication of the final rule.

 

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Subject: 

FDNY Proposed Promulgation of Fire and Emergency Preparedness Guides and Notices

Location: 
Fire Department Auditorium
9 MetroTech Ctr
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Contact: 

No contact

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Final Rule

 

Existing Regulation of Commercial Cooking Exhaust Systems

 

The New York City Fire Code requires the periodic inspection and cleaning of exhaust systems for restaurant and other commercial cooking equipment that generate grease-laden vapors.  Grease accumulations in exhaust systems are the source of numerous fires, which the exhaust ducts can spread throughout the building. The residue generated by wood-burning cooking equipment compounds the risk of a fire.

Restaurant owners and others have been targeted over the years by unscrupulous businesses that charge for cleaning the commercial cooking exhaust system but fail to perform a proper cleaning.  To help prevent this, companies that clean commercial cooking exhaust systems must be licensed by the Fire Department, which requires businesses performing the cleaning to obtain a company certificate and their cleaning technicians a certificate of fitness.

The cleaning companies are required to attach a decal to the commercial cooking equipment to document that the exhaust system has been cleaned, as well as by what company and technician, and when the cleaning was performed.  Currently, cleaning companies print their own decals as proof of compliance with Fire Code requirements. Recent investigations by the New York City Department of Investigation revealed that unlicensed businesses unlawfully conducting such cleanings fraudulently placed decals identifying other, licensed companies as having done the work.

Existing Regulation of Portable Fire Extinguishers

The New York City Fire Code requires the periodic inspection and servicing of portable fire extinguishers where such extinguishers are required.  An annual inspection must be conducted by a licensed portable fire extinguisher servicing company to ensure that the portable fire extinguishers are functional and to repair or recharge them if necessary.  A tag must be attached to the portable fire extinguisher to document the inspection and/or servicing.

It is difficult for business owners to assess whether the companies they have hired to service portable fire extinguishers are properly servicing them. The Fire Department itself may not be able to evaluate the adequacy of the services provided when it inspects the premises weeks or months later. There is a history of unscrupulous companies charging businesses inflated fees for these services, and then failing to perform necessary servicing. Most recently, the New York City Department of Investigation discovered several such companies attaching an inspection tag bearing the name of another company, jeopardizing the other company’s business reputation.

As a result, companies that sell or service portable fire extinguishers are required to be licensed by the Fire Department. The companies must obtain a company certificate and their technicians must obtain a Fire Department certificate of fitness.

New Regulation of Proof of Compliance

The Fire Department adopts this rule to regulate the decals and tags that serve as proof of compliance with Fire Code requirements.

Section 115-02 requires commercial cooking exhaust system cleaning companies to use Fire Department-issued, numbered decals as proof of compliance with Fire Code inspection and cleaning requirements. It also requires portable fire extinguisher sales and servicing companies to use Fire Department-issued, numbered tags as proof of compliance with Fire Code inspection, testing and servicing requirements. Only licensed companies are eligible to purchase the Fire Department-issued decals and tags, and only the Fire Department-issued decals and tags will be acceptable proof of the inspection, cleaning and/or servicing. The decals and tags will be designed with various security measures to prevent counterfeiting.

This will help ensure that only licensed businesses perform the required fire safety inspections, cleaning and servicing; promote proper performance by preventing misidentification of the company that performed the work; and make it more difficult for unqualified and unlicensed businesses to engage in fraudulent practices.

Unauthorized use of Fire Department-issued proof of compliance by an unlicensed company or individual, or misuse by a licensed company or one of its technicians, constitutes a violation of the applicable Fire Code requirements for commercial cooking exhaust systems or portable fire extinguishers and will subject the violator to a civil or criminal penalty. It can also result in denial, suspension, revocation or non-renewal of a Fire Department certificate.

In accordance with existing Fire Code requirements (as set forth in Section FC107.7), records of all inspections, cleaning and/or servicing of equipment, and the names and Certificate of Fitness numbers of all company personnel who performed the work, must be maintained for a period not less than three (3) years.

Proof of Compliance Issuance Process

The Fire Department will coordinate the purchase of the proof of compliance from an approved City vendor. The Fire Department will retain the services of a vendor and order blank proof of compliance, which will be completed with the name of the company certificate holder at time of purchase.  The price of the proof of compliance for company certificate holders will reflect the cost of its preparation and printing, as well as administrative processing costs. Minimum order sizes may apply. Price, order and payment arrangements will be published on the Fire Department’s website and are subject to change. When possible, the Fire Department will offer company certificate holders the benefit of bulk discounts that are available for large print orders. The Fire Department anticipates publishing a bulk reorder schedule.

Related Amendments

The Fire Department also amends 3 RCNY §115-01, the rule addressing company certificates, to reference company certificates for commercial cooking system cleaning (currently set forth in Fire Code Section FC901.6.3.3), and incorporate the existing qualifications for the certificate (currently set forth on the Fire Department application form), including five years’ experience. Section 115-01(d) also incorporates existing minimum company staffing requirements and indicates the types of tools, materials and equipment required to conduct commercial cooking exhaust system cleaning.

Public Comment and Fire Department Response

Public comment received at the public hearing, including the statement of an industry association, the New York Association of Fire Equipment Distributors, was generally favorable to the proposed rule.  Various speakers acknowledged that there are unlicensed persons or companies that engage in deceptive practices, including use of misleading or stolen decals and tags.

Various speakers expressed concern about the cost of the decals and tags, but also urged that they be able to incorporate company logos, license numbers from other jurisdictions, and other identifying information.  The Fire Department will endeavor to design decals and tags that can accommodate as many of the requested features as possible, consistent with the goal of keeping the cost low.

Public comment urged the use of multi-year decals and tags.  The proof of compliance will address this concern.

Public comment was received expressing skepticism about the ability to prevent counterfeiting.  The Fire Department is incorporating various security measures into the decals and tags.

Several comments were received expressing concern about additional recordkeeping requirements.  Use of Fire Department-issued proof of compliance will require somewhat more careful recordkeeping, but this will be facilitated with the use of bar codes.

One printing company expressed opposition to the rule on the impact it would have on competing printing companies, claiming that it restrains competition.  Requiring government-issued decals or tags as proof of compliance with public safety regulations (like the registration and inspection decals affixed to motor vehicles) is not a restraint of trade.  The City vendor that will be used to print the required decals and tags was retained by the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services in accordance with City procurement processes.

A public comment was received suggesting that the term “precipitator” be clarified to include any pollution control device.  This suggested change has been accepted and incorporated.

 

Effective Date: 
Fri, 06/01/2018

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:11)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

Existing Regulation of Commercial Cooking Exhaust Systems

The New York City Fire Code requires the periodic inspection and cleaning of exhaust systems for restaurant and other commercial cooking equipment that generate grease-laden vapors. Grease accumulations in exhaust systems are the source of numerous fires, which the exhaust ducts can spread throughout the building. The residue generated by wood-burning cooking equipment compounds the risk of a fire.
Restaurant owners and others have been targeted over the years by unscrupulous businesses that charge for cleaning the commercial cooking exhaust system but fail to perform a proper cleaning. To help prevent this, companies that clean commercial cooking exhaust systems must be licensed by the Fire Department, which requires businesses performing the cleaning to obtain a company certificate and their cleaning technicians a certificate of fitness.
The cleaning companies are required to attach a decal to the commercial cooking equipment to document that the exhaust system has been cleaned, as well as by what company and technician, and when the cleaning was performed. Currently, cleaning companies print their own decals as proof of compliance with Fire Code requirements. Recent investigations by the New York City Department of Investigation revealed that unlicensed businesses unlawfully conducting such cleanings fraudulently placed decals identifying other, licensed companies as having done the work.
Existing Regulation of Portable Fire Extinguishers
The New York City Fire Code requires the periodic inspection and servicing of portable fire extinguishers where such extinguishers are required. An annual inspection must be conducted by a licensed portable fire extinguisher servicing company to ensure that the portable fire extinguishers are functional and to repair or recharge them if necessary. A tag must be attached to the portable fire extinguisher to document the inspection and/or servicing.
It is difficult for business owners to assess whether the companies they have hired to service portable fire extinguishers are properly servicing them. The Fire Department itself may not be able to evaluate the adequacy of the services provided when it inspects the premises weeks or months later. There is a history of unscrupulous companies charging businesses inflated fees for these services, and then failing to perform necessary servicing. Most recently, the New York City Department of Investigation discovered several such companies attaching an inspection tag bearing the name of another company, jeopardizing the other company’s business reputation.
As a result, companies that sell or service portable fire extinguishers are required to be licensed by the Fire Department. The companies must obtain a company certificate and their technicians must obtain a Fire Department certificate of fitness.
Proposed Regulation of Proof of Compliance
The Fire Department proposes to regulate the decals and tags that serve as proof of compliance with Fire Code requirements.
The proposed rule would require commercial cooking exhaust system cleaning companies to use Fire Department-issued, numbered decals as proof of compliance with Fire Code inspection and cleaning requirements. It would also require portable fire extinguisher sales and servicing companies to use Fire Department-issued, numbered tags as proof of compliance with Fire Code inspection, testing and servicing requirements. Only licensed companies would be eligible to purchase the Fire Department-issued decals and tags, and only the Fire Department-issued decals and tags would be acceptable proof of the inspection, cleaning and/or servicing. The decals and tags would be designed with various security measures to prevent counterfeiting.
This would help ensure that only licensed businesses perform the required fire safety inspections, cleaning and servicing; promote proper performance by preventing misidentification of the company that performed the work; and make it more difficult for unqualified and unlicensed businesses to engage in fraudulent practices.
Unauthorized use of Fire Department-issued proof of compliance by an unlicensed company or individual, or misuse by a licensed company or one of its technicians, would constitute a violation of the applicable Fire Code requirements for commercial cooking exhaust systems or portable fire extinguishers and subject the violator to a civil or criminal penalty. It could also result in denial, suspension, revocation or non-renewal of a Fire Department certificate.
In accordance with existing Fire Code requirements (as set forth in FC107.7), records of all inspections, cleaning and/or servicing of equipment, and the names and Certificate of Fitness numbers of all company personnel who performed the work, must be maintained for a period not less than three (3) years.
Proposed Proof of Compliance Issuance Process
The Fire Department would coordinate the purchase of the proof of compliance from an approved City vendor. The Fire Department would retain the services of a vendor and order blank proof of compliance, which would be completed with the name of the company certificate holder at time of purchase. The price of the proof of compliance for company certificate holders would reflect the cost of its preparation and printing, as well as administrative processing costs. Minimum order sizes may apply. Price, order and payment arrangements would be published on the Fire Department’s website and would be subject to change. When possible, the Fire Department would offer company certificate holders the benefit of bulk discounts that are available for large print orders. The Fire Department anticipates publishing a bulk reorder schedule. If enough orders are received from the companies during the bulk reorder period, significant discounts may be obtained.
Related Amendments
The Fire Department also proposes to amend 3 RCNY §115-01, the rule addressing company certificates, to reference company certificates for commercial cooking system cleaning (currently set forth in Fire Code Section FC901.6.3.3), and incorporate the existing qualifications for the certificate (currently set forth on the Fire Department application form), including five years’ experience. Proposed Section 115-01(d) will also incorporate existing minimum company staffing requirements and indicate the types of tools, materials and equipment required to conduct commercial cooking exhaust system cleaning.
New material is underlined. Material to be deleted is in [brackets].
“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Subject: 

Proposed Rule 3RCNY 115-02 Issuance of Proof of Compliance to Company Certificate Holders

Location: 
Fire Department Auditorium
9 MetroTech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Contact: 

No contact

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

The Fire Department is proposing to amend existing rules 3 RCNY §§ 109-01 and 109-02 to reflect changes in the administrative body that adjudicates most Fire Department violations and to the name of the violation form returnable to that body. The Fire Department is also proposing to adopt a penalty schedule as a new Fire Department rule, 3 RCNY §109-03.

 

The Fire Department is responsible for enforcing the New York City Fire Code (FC) (Title 29 of the Administrative Code); Title 15 of the Administrative Code (Fire Prevention and Control); the New York City Construction Codes (Title 28 of the Administrative Code); and the rules promulgated by the Department and codified in Title 3 of the Rules of the City of New York (“RCNY”).

 

The Fire Department conducts enforcement by, among other things, issuing “FDNY Summonses” to people and businesses that violate the above laws and rules. FDNY Summonses are returnable to the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (“OATH”) acting pursuant to Section 1049-a of the New York City Charter, which relates to the Environmental Control Board (“ECB”). In 2008, ECB became part of OATH.  The new procedural rules of OATH’s Hearings Division, found in Chapter 6 of the Rules of the City of New York, use the term “Summons” rather than “Notice of Violation.”

 

Accordingly, to reflect the changes described above, the Fire Department now proposes conforming amendments to Sections 109-01 and 109-02 of its rules.

 

Additionally, the Fire Department’s penalty schedule used in the adjudication of agency violations, which defines the penalties associated with each type of violation of the above laws and rules, will now be included in the Fire Department’s rules. The Department’s penalty schedule is currently promulgated as part of the OATH rules, and that rule will be repealed by OATH simultaneous with the Fire Department’s adoption of this rule.

 

The enforcement agencies possess the expertise to adopt appropriate penalties based upon the severity of each violation and its corresponding impact on public safety.  Making the penalty schedule part of the issuing agency’s rules will make it more accessible to the public as it will now be located in the same title and chapter as the rules cited in the FDNY Summonses.

 

Accordingly, the Fire Department hereby proposes adoption of a new rule, 3 RCNY §109‑03, which sets forth a penalty schedule for FDNY Summonses.  The proposed penalty schedule is unchanged from the existing penalty schedule, which is currently codified as 48 RCNY §3‑106 of OATH rules, except that the violation categories for flashback arrestor, backflow valves and gas boosters (BF34) and for cryogenic fluids (BF36) have been eliminated.  Such violations will be integrated into the applicable Violation Categories in a separate rulemaking.

 

The Fire Department’s proposed adoption of the penalty schedule is being undertaken in conjunction with OATH’s proposed repeal of the existing penalty schedule.

 

Text that has been deleted is indicated by [brackets].  Text that has been added is underlined.

 

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Subject: 

Amendments to 3RCNY Section 109-01: FDNY Summons, Certification of Correction and Stipulation Procedures
Amendments to 3RCNY Section109-02: Consolidation of Administrative Code Provisions For Enforcement Purposes
Propose New Rule 3RCNY Section 109-03: Penalty Schedule For FDNY Summonses

Location: 
FDNY Headquarters Auditorium
9 MetroTech Ctr
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Contact: 

No contact

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:6)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

The Fire Code regulates the manufacturing, storage, handling, use and transportation of hazardous materials in New York City, including liquefied carbon dioxide, a compressed gas that is a potential asphyxiant (i.e., suffocation hazard). The fire safety regulations for carbon dioxide installations currently set forth in Section 3004-01 of Title 3 of the Rules of the City of New York are outdated, as they are based on reference industry standards dating from 1984 and 1986.

 

Carbon dioxide is used for refrigerating and fire extinguishing systems, but the most common use is for carbonation of soft drinks in restaurants and other places of business.  Steel containers storing carbon dioxide, pressurized and liquefied to below minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit, are installed in such premises and connected by special piping to the fountains that dispense soft drinks and supply the carbon dioxide needed to carbonate the beverages.  Cargo tank trucks periodically refill these containers through a fill connection on the outside of the building that is connected by piping to the storage container.  This system is typically self-contained; it is not connected to any building systems other than being plugged into a standard electrical outlet.

 

After reviewing current industry standards, the Fire Department proposes to repeal and re‑promulgate Section 3004-01 in order to reference the relevant provisions of the 2015 International Fire Code, the model code upon which the New York City Fire Code is based and the National Fire Protection Association standard referenced by the International Fire Code, and to eliminate or update the New York City-specific design, installation, operation and maintenance requirements set forth in the rule.

 

The proposed rule would:

 

·        regulate carbon dioxide beverage dispensing systems storing more than 100 pounds of liquefied carbon dioxide (that is, all but the smallest containers for commercial use for liquefied carbon dioxide);

 

·        require the installation of such systems by a Fire Department certificate of fitness holder;

 

·        eliminate outdated design and installation requirements, such as copper piping, that are no longer approved for use in carbon dioxide beverage dispensing systems, and reference new design and installation standards, including carbon dioxide detection and alarm systems;

 

·        allow installers to electronically file with the Fire Department the report certifying the installation of the system, and require submission of a report if there is a release of carbon dioxide or activation of the carbon dioxide detection and alarm system;

 

·        require “quick checks” of the system at time of delivery, and full inspections on an annual basis; and

 

·        standardize recordkeeping requirements for such systems.

 

This rule was identified for repeal and re-promulgation in response to a review of the City’s existing rules conducted by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Operations, working with the New York City Law Department and Office of Management and Budget, to reduce regulatory burdens, increase equity, support small businesses, and simplify and update content to help support public understanding and compliance.

 

The entire proposed rule is underlined, indicating that it is a new rule.

 

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

 

Subject: 

3RCNY Section 3004-01 Use of Carbon Dioxide in Beverage Dispensing Systems

Location: 
Fire Department Auditorium
9 MteroTech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Contact: 

No contact

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

The Fire Department is increasing the amounts it charges patients and insurers for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) ambulance transport service provided through the New York City 911 System, to reflect increased costs and help defray the City’s cost of providing these services.

The charges for ambulance service were last increased five years ago, in March 2012.  The new rates reflect a 10.4% increase in the salary of EMS and other Fire Department personnel. The rate increases will help the Fire Department recoup the cost of providing ambulance service and reduce the portion of such cost that is currently borne by City taxpayers.

The schedule of charges represents a single rate for BLS service, and separate rates for ALS1 and ALS2 levels of service.  The definition of BLS, ALS1 and ALS2 are determined by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The charges set forth in the rule are the amounts that the Fire Department would bill for EMS ambulance treatment and transport service.  The charges do not necessarily reflect the amounts accepted by the Fire Department as payment for such services from government and private health insurance plans.

Effective Date: 
Sun, 03/12/2017

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Final Rule


The Fire Code regulates the manufacturing, storage, handling, use and transportation of hazardous materials in New York City, including fuel oil, a combustible liquid.

Section 3405-01 of the Fire Department’s rules (Title 3 of the Rules of the City of New York) allows mobile heating and power generating trailers to operate with a citywide permit, and sets forth permit, supervision, and design and installation requirements. The rule was originally developed in response to the use of these trailers to serve buildings whose heating or electrical systems were undergoing major repairs or replacement and were taken out of service.  The trailers are typically parked on the street and connected to building utilities by piping or electrical lines.

Effective Date: 
Wed, 03/15/2017

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

The Fire Department is proposing to increase the amounts it charges patients and insurers for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) ambulance transport service provided through the New York City 911 System, to reflect increased costs and help defray the City’s cost of providing these services.

 

The charges for ambulance service were last increased five years ago, in March 2012.  The proposed rates reflect a 10.4% increase in the salary of EMS and other Fire Department personnel. The proposed rate increases will help the Fire Department recoup the cost of providing ambulance service and reduce the portion of such cost that is currently borne by City taxpayers.

 

The proposed schedule of charges represents a single rate for BLS service, and separate rates for ALS1 and ALS2 levels of service.  The definition of BLS, ALS1 and ALS2 are determined by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

 

The current and proposed charges set forth below are the amounts that the Fire Department would bill for EMS ambulance treatment and transport service.  The charges do not necessarily reflect the amounts accepted by the Fire Department as payment for such services from government and private health insurance plans.

 

The Fire Department proposes to amend subdivision (b) of §4900-02 of Title 3 of the Rules of the City of New York to adopt the following schedule of charges for ambulance transport service provided by the Fire Department through the New York City 911 System:

 

Subject: 

Schedule of Charges for Fire Department Ambulance Transport Service

Location: 
Fire Department Auditorium
9 MteroTech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Contact: 

No contact

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Pages