fire protection Subscribe to RSS - fire protection

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

Fire Department rule 3 RCNY §4601-01 sets forth amendments to the fee provisions of the Fire Code, and reflects these new fees by bracketing and underlining, as applicable, the existing text of Sections A03 and A04 of Appendix A to the Fire Code.

 

The Fire Department proposes to amend the provisions relating to fees for plan examinations set forth in FC A03(51) and to amend FC A04 to include a document management fee for certain plan examination filings.  These changes are being proposed at this time to implement Local Law No. 195 of 2018 (Local Law 195), which eliminated New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) review of plans and other design and installation documents for fire alarm, emergency alarm, auxiliary radio communication, and fire extinguishing systems, and fire protection plans.  The Fire Department also proposes to amend FC A03 to include fees for late plan filings and for supplemental reviews of new technology applications and other applications requiring complex technical analyses.

 

Fire Alarm, Emergency Alarm, Auxiliary Radio Communication and Fire Extinguishing System/ Fire Protection Plan Fees

 

DOB currently reviews fire alarm, emergency alarm, auxiliary radio communication and fire extinguishing system plans for compliance with zoning, licensing and asbestos inspection requirements; issues work permits authorizing installation of these systems; and posts information about the applications, approvals and permits on its website.  Fire protection plans – narrative statements describing buildings’ fire protection systems –  are also filed with DOB.

 

To consolidate and streamline the plan review and approval process, Local Law 195 transferred these tasks to the Fire Department, effective on or about May 30, 2019. Local Law 195 eliminated the requirements for DOB filings and work permits, thereby eliminating the applicable DOB application and permit fees.

 

The Fire Department proposes to adopt fees that will enable the agency to hire staff to perform the administrative tasks previously performed by DOB. Specifically, the Fire Department proposes to adopt a document management fee of $165 per application (the same fee previously charged by DOB) to support the cost of processing applications, establishing a public portal on the Fire Department’s website and maintaining electronic records of all applications.  This fee would be added to the list of fees for administrative services set forth in FC A04.

 

The document management fee would apply to any application for a fire alarm system, emergency alarm system, auxiliary radio communication system, or fire extinguishing system, and to any other application not requiring a work permit from DOB (and thus requiring Fire Department administrative review of the application for items normally reviewed by DOB).

 

The Fire Department has determined that the costs involved in these administrative tasks exceed the $165 that the Fire Department proposes to charge.

 

Additionally, the Fire Department proposes to charge a fee of $420 for reviews of fire protection plans, which are reviewed by the Emergency Planning and Preparedness Unit of the Bureau of Fire Prevention to confirm that they are in compliance with applicable code requirements.  .  This is the same amount the agency currently charges for review of fire protection plans, and reflects an average of two hours of review time.

 

Article 109 of Chapter 1 of the New York City Construction Code requires that fire protection plans be filed for covered buildings (including all new high-rise buildings, most hotel and institutional buildings, buildings with assembly spaces of 300 or more persons, and various other occupancies), as well as when the building undergoes a substantial alteration or change in use and occupancy.

 

Late Plan Filings

 

Local Law 195 amended the New York City Fire Code to clarify that when Fire Department approval of plans is required, such approval must be obtained prior to commencing work on the installation.  FC105.4.3 was amended to read as follows:

 

Approved documents required.  When department review of design and installation documents is required by this code or other laws, rules or regulations, it shall be unlawful to construct or alter any facility, or install, alter or remove any device, equipment or system, without first having obtained department approval of the design and installation documents.

 

In order to promote compliance with this provision, the Fire Department proposes to adopt late plan filing fees similar to the late fees for renewals of Fire Department certificates and permits authorized in FC 117.

 

The purpose of these late plan filing fees would be to discourage applicants from performing work without approved plans.  (Such unauthorized work would also be subject to issuance of violations and other enforcement action.)

 

The Fire Department proposes to impose a fifty percent (50%) surcharge for plans filed after the date of commencement of work without approved plans, up to one year from such date, and a one hundred percent (100%) surcharge for plans filed more than one year after such date.

 

New Technology Applications and Other Applications Requiring Complex Technical Analyses

 

The Fire Department regularly receives applications for approval of new technologies.  More resources in time and labor are required for review of these applications in order to understand and evaluate the fire safety of the technology and the particular application or installation.

 

For example, the Fire Department regularly reviews applications for outdoor stationary storage battery systems that utilize lithium-ion and other new battery technologies.  A plan review associated with such an applications, which is conducted by the engineering staff of the Bureau of Fire Prevention’s Technology Management Unit, is highly complex.  In addition to reviewing the design of standard fire protection systems and other fire safety features and components, the plan review requires an analysis of the technology and system design.

 

The Fire Department currently charges a fee of $420 for review of plans, specifications and other design and installation documents.  The fee is set forth in FC A03(51) and represents an average of two hours’ review of each application.  Rather than increase nationally recognized testing laboratories – require detailed technical analysis beyond the average of two hours reflected in the standard plan review fee.  Such submissions require comprehensive and highly complex technical analyses by Fire Department engineers in order to determine the merits of the application.

 

The Fire Department proposes to adopt a supplemental fee of $525 for review of new technology applications and other applications involving complex technical analyses.  This includes all applications filed pursuant to Fire Code Section FC102.8, which authorizes the Fire Department to establish fire safety requirements for any material operation or facility not addressed by the Fire Code, and FC104.9, which authorizes the Fire Department to approve alternative devices, equipment and systems not specifically prescribed or prohibited by the Fire Code.  This supplemental fee reflects an average of 2.5 additional hours spent reviewing such applications.

 

Material newly added to 3 RCNY §4601-01 is underlined.  Material to be deleted is in [brackets].

 

Certain text has been highlighted as a note to the publisher.  Blue highlighting of text indicates that the underlining should be retained in the publication of the final rule, to reflect the changes to the Fire Code fee schedule.

the base fee for design and installation document review (which applies to many other types of applications), the Fire Department proposes to adopt a supplemental fee to reflect the additional time required to review new technology applications and applications requiring complex technical analyses.

 

Battery storage systems and other new technology applications – including but not limited to fluid fire dynamic simulation studies and fire test results by

 

“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: 

.

Contact: 

No contact

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

The New York City Fire Code (FC) incorporates by reference a large number of industry standards, including dozens of standards developed and published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  A list of Referenced Standards is included in FC Chapter 45.

 

One of the Referenced Standards is NFPA 45, entitled “Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals.”  Currently, both the Fire Code and the New York City Building Code reference the 2004 edition of NFPA 45.  The NFPA has recently published an updated, 2015 edition of this standard.

 

The Fire Department proposes to adopt modifications to the Fire Code to incorporate standards, procedures and requirements from the latest (2015) edition of NFPA 45.

 

The Fire Department proposes these modifications in response to a number of recent fires in school laboratories.  The 2015 edition of NFPA 45 addresses a number of concerns associated with those fires.  Among the changes proposed to be made by these modifications are the following operational and maintenance requirements:

 

  • Risk assessments for all experiments and demonstrations that use hazardous chemicals;

 

  • Establishment of instructor responsibilities;

 

  • Initial and refresher training on the laboratory’s emergency plan for instructors and students;

 

  • Proper use of fire retardant clothing when pyrophoric reagents (chemicals that spontaneously ignite in air) are used outside the inert atmosphere of a glove box (a sealed enclosure);

 

  • Proper handling and dispensing of pyrophoric reagents and water reactive materials;

 

  • Restrictions on the use of Bunsen burners and other open flames;

 

  • Prohibitions on the use of improperly functioning exhaust hoods; and

 

  • Prohibitions on the handling and use of hazardous materials when laboratory exhaust ventilation is improperly functioning.

 

The proposed Reference Standard modifications relate solely to operational and maintenance provisions of NFPA 45.  The Fire Department is not proposing to replace the 2004 edition of NFPA 45 with the 2015 edition at this time because the New York City Building Code continues to reference the 2004 edition with respect to design and installation requirements, and it is important to coordinate the two codes.

 

For legal and editorial reasons, Referenced Standard modifications do not appear as revised (combined) text (that is, the text of the NFPA standard with Fire Code modifications) but as deletions, additions and other revisions to the original copyrighted text of NFPA 45.  However, in order to make it possible for the public to understand the nature and purpose of the proposed Referenced Standard modifications, revised (combined) text is included as part of this Statement of Basis and Purpose.  The revised text included in this Statement of Basis and Purpose is solely for informational purposes in connection with this rulemaking and is not intended for, nor does it authorize, any commercial use.

 

The actual text of the proposed Referenced Standard modifications immediately follows.  An addendum to this Statement of Basis and Purpose includes the text of the NFPA standard with Fire Code amendments.

 

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.

 

New material is underlined.  Deleted material 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: 

.National Fire Protection Association Referenced Standards

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

No contact

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

The proposed rule:

  • repeals rules setting forth National Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”) amendments relating to elevator hoistways and machine rooms, closets and pantries, hydrostatic tests, and exemption from Fire Department connection requirements in one- and two-family residential buildings, and
  • amends the rule setting forth the NFPA amendment relating to the national fire alarm and signaling code to add language relating to occupant evacuation elevators.  This will update the safety requirements to the latest national standard, which will enhance public safety.

Sections one through four of the proposed rule repeal sections 3616-01, 3616-02, 3616-03, and 3616-05 of Title 1 of the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY), because sections 3616-02 and 3616-05 have been superseded by Appendix Q of the Building Code, and the amendments to the NFPA standards that had been set forth in 3616-01 and 3616-03 have been superseded by the most recent associated NFPA standards, as amended by Appendix Q.

Section five of the proposed rule amends section 3616-04 of Title 1 of the RCNY to update provisions of section 21.6 of NFPA 72 regarding occupant evacuation elevators to conform to the requirements of NFPA 72-2013. 

The Department of Buildings’ authority for this proposed rule is found in sections 643 and 1043 of the New York City Charter, section 28-103.19 of the New York City Administrative Code, and section BC 3008 of the New York City Building Code (found in Chapter 7 of Title 28 of the New York City Administrative Code).

Note that an asterisk (*) found within this proposed rule, following the number or letter designating a paragraph, indicates that explanatory material on the paragraph can be found in Annex A of NFPA 72.

“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.

New material is underlined.

[Deleted material is in brackets.]

 

 

 

Subject: 

.

Location: 
Department of Buildings
280 Broadway, 3rd floor conference room
New York, NY 10007
Contact: 

No contact