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Proposed Rules: Open to Comments

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Comment By: 
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

The Fire Department proposes this rule to implement the provisions of Local Law No. 103 of 2019 regarding hurricane evacuation notices and to require apartment building owners to periodically inspect the fire safety notices on dwelling unit doors.

Hurricane Evacuation Notices

Local Law 103 requires apartment building owners (Group R-2 buildings and occupancies) within a hurricane evacuation zone, as designated by Commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management (now New York City Emergency Management or NYCEM) to post a hurricane evacuation notice in a common area of the building. The notice is intended to inform building occupants of the current hurricane evacuation zone designation for the building and the means by which building residents can determine the closest hurricane evacuation centers, namely by calling 311 or viewing the online Hurricane Evacuation Zone finder operated by NYCEM. The law provides that “[s]uch notice shall be in such form as prescribed by the commissioner by rule and shall be posted within a common area of the building and such other locations as set forth in the rules.”

Fire Department rule 3 RCNY §401-06 sets forth emergency preparedness requirements for apartment buildings. The proposed rule would amend Section 401-06 to require the posting of the hurricane evacuation notice in a conspicuous location in the building lobby at street level, either near the main building entrance, in the mailbox area or by the elevators or main stairwell.

The proposed rule prescribes that the notice take the form of the hurricane evacuation notice posted on NYCEM’s website and that it be affixed to the wall by adhesive or in a frame, displayed in an enclosed, locked bulletin board, or otherwise durably and securely posted.

Fire Safety Notices

Fire and emergency preparedness notices (entitled “Fire Safety Notices”) are required to be posted on the interior side of dwelling unit doors. The posting of this notice has been required for almost 20 years.

The Fire Department does not ordinarily inspect dwelling units and therefore does not have a means to enforce replacement of missing or damaged notices. When it has found missing or damaged notices, owners have maintained that the rule does not clearly require prompt replacement of the notices.

To address these issues, the Fire Department proposes to amend Section 401-06 to require building owners to inspect each dwelling unit at least once every two years to confirm the presence of the notice, and to replace missing or damaged notices whenever the owner or the owner’s managing agent or building staff become aware of a missing or damaged notice. In apartment buildings with a cooperative or condominium form of ownership, the cooperative or condominium association board of directors shall cause such inspections to be conducted, and, if the notice is missing or damaged, require the apartment owner to post the replacement notice provided by such board.

This proposed rule was not included in the Fire Department’s FY2020 regulatory agenda because the need for it was not anticipated.

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