Certification for and Approval of Fire Alarm System Installations
Rule status: Adopted
Effective date: May 1, 2023
Proposed Rule Full Text
Adopted Rule Full Text
Adopted rule summary:
The Fire Department is promulgating to amend Fire Department rules 3 RCNY §§ 104-02 (entitled “Professional Certification of Fire Alarm System Installations”), 104-04 (entitled “Certification of Corrected Defects in Fire Alarm System Installations”) and 105-01 (entitled “Approval of Fire Alarm System Installations”) to conform these rules to the provisions of the 2022 New York City Fire Code and current Fire Department filing procedures, and to facilitate professional certification of fire alarm system design and installation in lieu of Fire Department plan examination and inspection of such systems.
Comments are now closed.
Online comments: 10
See attached.Comment attachment
This comments corrects and clarifies one of my last ones, item # 4 on my suggested on the number of defects that can be certified. It does not apply but the real issue at hand is the type of defects that cannot be certified that is limited mostly to indicating alarm devices and not alarm initiating devices. This should be re-evaluated as to allow for them as well to make this program work. As it is now without this the is no reason to use the program. Initiating devices must be also allowed to be certified as well such as smoke, heat detectors and water flows etc. plus other items.
Please see our comments in support of this proposed rule attached.Comment attachment
Comment 1: The first part of Section 104-02(c)(2) states “persons possessing qualifications set forth…” may professionally certify fire alarm installations, but the newly added text at the end of this section states, “such persons may professionally certify fire alarm system design and installation only within the scope of the lawful authority…”. For clarity, is this intending to state that all those with the requisite Certificate of Fitness be permitted to professionally the design or is it intending to still limit it to only registered design professionals?
Comment 2: It seems that Section 104-02(d)(1)(C) does not require a different entity from the one who installed the fire alarm system (either electrical contractor or fire alarm contractor) to professionally certify the installation in lieu of an FDNY inspection. Was consideration given to requiring a firm other than those involved in the installation to certify? It would seem that a conflict of interest exists if the installing contractors would certify their own work. Even under the current Certification of Corrected Defects process (FA-26), any installation related defects that are certified by the fire alarm or electrical contractor in Section A or B are still required to also be certified by a different entity for Section C (PE, RA, Master EC, etc). This type of check and balance would still allow for a productive rollout of the concept while ensuring the integrity of the process is maintained.
The American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York) represents close to 300 consulting engineering and affiliate firms throughout New York, with a concentrated presence in New York City.
Our members plan and design the electrical, fire protection, structural, mechanical, plumbing, civil, environmental and technology systems forComment attachment
buildings and infrastructure citywide. We thank the FDNY for this opportunity to comment regarding the proposed rule. Please see our comments in the attachment.
Zygmunt "Ziggy" Staszewski P.E., F. SFPE
I was one of the founders of Automatic Fire Alarm Association of NY back in 1986 and Founding President of the New York Fire Alarm Association in 2004. For over 20 years I have been a member of the FDNY Industry Advisory Board. For 26 years I taught fire alarm coursed at New York University. I am the owner of one of the oldest fire protection design and inspection firms in New York – ZS Engineering DPC, founded in 1989. I have been involved in Professional Certifications of fire alarm systems since 1982 (40 years now). At that time, D.O.B. professional certification of fire alarm systems for places of assembly with cabaret licenses (disco clubs, adult entertainment etc.) was in effect under LL 41/1978 and it was a very successful program. The key to that success was that only Licensed Professional Engineers were allowed to self-certify operation of these systems. Subsequently, FDNY introduced different self-certification programs (core system extensions and limited Letters of Defect). These programs were sometimes audited, and many false certifications were caught by the FDNY inspectors, mostly those done by fire alarm vendors and electricians. Subsequently, some of these programs were revoked, causing additional system approval delays.
I reviewed the proposed 3 RCNY 104-02 entitled “Professional Certification of Fire Alarm System Design and Installation”. Proposed revisions to Sec. 104-02 (b) will allow electricians and fire alarm system installers to professionally certify fire alarm design. I believe this in conflict with the NY State Education Laws, where only licensed design professionals (PE or RA) are allowed to deal with design documents (provide design services or certify designs by signing and sealing the design documents).
Section 104-02(d)(1)(C) does not require a different entity from the one who installed the fire alarm system (either electrical contractor or fire alarm contractor) to professionally certify the installation in lieu of an FDNY inspection. I believe only Licensed Design Professionals shall be allowed to certify the installations in lieu of the FDNY inspection. Besides, it is clearly a conflict of interest to allow installing contractors to certify their own work. Even under the current Certification of Corrected Defects process (FA-26), any installation related defects that are certified by the fire alarm or electrical contractor in Section A or B are still required to also be certified by a different entity for Section C (PE, RA, Master Electrician, etc.).
As stated before, I have been involved in Professional Certifications of fire alarm systems in NYC for 40 years (since 1982), so I have extensive and unique experience in this matter. I have seen several self-certification programs succeed and others fail, so I hope my comments above will be considered by the FDNY.
Zygmunt "Ziggy" Staszewski P.E., F. SFPE
In addition to my previously submitted comments to proposed Rule 104-02 revisions, I also reviewed the proposed revisions to Rule 104-04 “Certification of corrected defects in Fire Alarm System Installations”. Art. (g)(2) states that certification of corrected defects shall be signed by “professionals who corrected the defects” and “professional who verified the functionality of the fire alarm system following correction of defects”. I believe that functionality of the fire alarm after correction of defects shall only be certified by a licensed design professional (one that designed the system or another one retained by the building owner). This will eliminate conflicts of interest and false certifications by installers who want to get paid upon FD system approval.
Please see the attached comments submitted on behalf of the New York Electrical Contractors Association.
Thank you for your consideration.Comment attachment
Will my S99 Certificate of Fitness, Certification of Professionally Verifying Fire Alarm System Functionality, be valid for Professionally Certifying Fire Alarm System Designs, Installations and Certification of Corrected Defects under this proposed Rule?
Please see my comments attached.Comment attachment