Apartment and Guest Room Identification and Directional Markings and Signs Apartment, Guest Room and Stairwell Fire Emergency Markings
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule
The Fire Department is proposing a rule, 3 RCNY §505-01, entitled “Apartment and Guest Room Identification and Directional Markings and Signs,” to set forth standards and requirements for the design and placement of entrance door room number markings for dwelling units (apartments, guest rooms and sleeping rooms) in Group R-1 and Group R-2 buildings and occupancies, and building lobby and building hallway corridor directional signs, which serve to assist emergency response personnel in locating such dwelling units when responding to fires, medical emergencies and other emergencies at the premises.
The Fire Code was amended by Local Law No. 148 of 2013 to include, in FC505.3, requirements for identification of apartment and guest rooms. This rule is being proposed to implement this new section of the Fire Code.
The Fire Department is proposing a second rule, 3 RCNY §505-02, entitled “Apartment, Guest Room and Stairwell Fire Emergency Markings,” to set forth standards and requirements for the design and placement of entrance door fire emergency markings for dwelling units (apartments, guest rooms and sleeping rooms) in Group R-1 and Group R-2 buildings or occupancies, and stairwell doors, which serve to assist firefighters in locating such dwelling units and stairwells and in identifying multi-floor dwelling units.
The Fire Code was amended by Local Law No. 148 of 2013 to include, in FC505.4, requirements for apartment, guest room and stairwell fire emergency markings. This rule is being proposed to implement this new section of the Fire Code.
The marking of entrance doors with emergency markings serves to better facilitate firefighting operations, thereby providing a greater level of safety to firefighters and building occupants. The fire emergency marking enables firefighters to identify apartment numbers in smoke conditions that obscure the regular (eye-level) door numbers. Such identification ensures firefighters can more quickly conduct search and rescue operations.
Additionally, the fire emergency marking for multi-floor dwelling units will make it possible for firefighters to ascertain whether they are entering the lower level of an apartment, rather than the upper level of an apartment, where temperatures may be unsafe.
The fire emergency marking also assists in identifying apartments that are joined horizontally (such as adjoining apartments that have been combined into a single dwelling unit). All doors are to be marked with a star or a triangle to indicate whether they are a main entrance or a secondary entrance.
The requirement for doors to be marked extends to entrance doors lawfully obstructed from inside the dwelling unit, such as entrances obstructed by the placement of furniture or in some cases by sealing the door with sheetrock, while giving the appearance of an unobstructed entrance door on the corridor side. Notwithstanding the fact that such lawfully obstructed entrance doors represent a major impediment to access, this proposed rule requires that such entrance doors be identified as a secondary entrance. However, depending upon fire conditions in the dwelling, it is possible that even a lawfully obstructed entrance could be the only or safest means of access to a dwelling unit.
Terms used in the proposed rules that are defined in the Fire Code or elsewhere in the Fire Department’s rules are indicated by italics.
The entire proposed rules are underlined indicating that they are new rules.
“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of the Fire Department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
Guidance with respect to the interpretation of the Fire Code and Fire Department rules may be obtained using the Public Inquiry Form on the Fire Department’s website, www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/firecode/index.shtml#p6.