3 RCNY 401-07 Fire and Non-Fire Emergency Drills

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Final Rule


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


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


The rule details the location of the presentation and effective presentation techniques, including use of visual enhancements, and lessons learned from actual emergency incidents.  The 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 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 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 rule.  Appendix B to the 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.


Public Comment


Public comment was received requesting clarification of the reference in 401-07(b)(2) to “all types of non-fire emergencies.”  The provision has been revised to reference the non-fire emergencies identified in 401-07(a).


Public comment was received requesting that 401-07(d)(3) be revised to make clear that drill participants are being instructed to activate manual pull stations during an actual fire or smoke condition, not during the drill.  The provision has been revised accordingly.  The fire alarm system is commonly activated from the fire command center to announce the drill and to educate building occupants as to the meaning of the different alarm tones.


A similar comment was received with respect to use of warden phones during a drill.  Drill instructors may instruct floor wardens or other emergency preparedness staff during the drill to use the warden phones to familiarize them with the phones’ operation, but are not required to do so.


The entire 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.