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Certification of Corrected Defects in Fire Alarm System Installations

Rule status: Adopted

Agency: FDNY

Effective date: November 6, 2020

Proposed Rule Full Text
FDNY_Proposed_Corrected_Alarm_Systems.pdf

Adopted Rule Full Text
FDNY_Final_Corrected_Alarm_Defects-1.pdf

Adopted rule summary:

Notice of Adoption of New Fire Department Rule “Certification of Corrected Defects in Fire Alarm System Installations” The Fire Department adopts this rule to establish a certification program by which licensed or certified professionals may certify correction of certain fire alarm system defects. The certifications will be filed with and reviewed by the Fire Department, and if accepted, will eliminate the need for a re-inspection and expedite issuance of a Letter ofApproval.

Online comments: 0

  • S. Gilbert

    See attachment for a change

    Comment added July 21, 2020 7:25pm
  • Matt Austin

    Regarding proposed Rule 3 RCNY 104-04 we have the following questions:

    Does the person witnessing the functionality testing on site have to be a licensed professional (e.g. a professional engineer), or can it be performed under the supervision of a licensed professional and certified by a professional engineer?

    Will a new Certificate of Fitness (COF) for “verification of fire alarm systems” be created for a professional engineer acting as a licensed professional, or will the professional engineer be required to obtain a S-95 COF?

    Thank you for your time.

    Matt Austin
    Code Consultants Professional Engineers, PC

    Comment added August 10, 2020 5:36pm
  • Fabian Quesada

    The proposed rule is sound but will this rule expand on the time it will take once a certification has been accepted?
    Lead time on distribution of sign off (Letter of Approval) once accepted.
    Lead time of upload of as-built to DOB website.
    On TCO projects, how can this be communicated and expedited with DOB?

    Comment added August 10, 2020 5:37pm
  • S. Gilbert

    Additional comments after a second review from S. Gilbert of Superior Protection Services:In this proposed new Rule 3 RCNY 104-04 Certification of Corrected Defects in Fire Alarm System Installations, in section (C) (4) it refers to the amount limit of defects that can be self-certified such as not more than 10 for low rise buildings and not more than 20 for high rise buildings. I believe that this should be a percentage of the total amount of fire alarm system devices installed in the building as opposed to these arbitrary numbers. The amount of defects should not be differentiated between low and high rise buildings because you can have a 100,000 square foot one story building or a 100,000 square foot high rise building. Please consider changing this to now read so that it does not distinguish between low and high rise buildings and that up to 15 defects can be self-certified for 100 or less fire alarm system device and 15% for every 100 after that. This puts things more in prospective with the size of the job unlike now. In a building that has 500 fire alarm devices 15 defects is nothing and with the stated numbers of 10 and 20 the intention to reduce re-inspections will be very limited.
    With regards to my previous comments allowing other trades such as fire suppression and elevator to be part of this self-certification program minor defects such as the retard timing on a fire sprinkler water flow switch that is a small adjustment could now be self-certified and in the case of elevator recall phase one can be as well. Items like this should not require a re-inspection.

    Comment added August 15, 2020 5:04pm
  • John DiStefano

    Dear FDNY Code Development Unit,

    On behalf of the New York Fire Alarm Association we want to acknowledge the fact that the FDNY requested the “NYFAA” to be involved in the develop the guidelines for this Proposed Rule for the Certification of Correction Defects in Fire Alarm System Installations. The NYFAA truly appreciates this opportunity to represent our Industry and our Members of our Association.

    During the review of the Proposed Ruling we have the following comments.

    1. Item 3 & 4 of the Proposed Ruling concerning the re-submission of As-built and A-433 forms to Obtain a Letter of Approval: Our concern which was address during our discussions at the ruling development meetings is that the $210.00 fee Would Not be assessed for the sole submission of a revised A-433 or As-built Drawing if they were the Only Items Listed on a Letter of Defect (LOD). We were under the impression that if the only item or items listed on a FDNY Inspection LOD were solely paperwork related items the Professional Certification Fee of $210.00 would not apply. We are Not in favor of the $210 fee in this case and feel that the traditional process that is in place today that a revised A-433 or As-built drawing can be dropped to the FDNY at Metrotech Window 8 without any fees should still apply.

    2. In any case of a professional certification we would like to know if an FDNY has established a timeline or time limit to Issue the Fire Alarm System Letter of Approval? We feel it is important the FDNY establish this timeline so the certification process will be productive.

    4- Will the FDNY establish a database to track the submission, processing and status of certifications submitted? This will allow the industry to check status without having to contact the FDNY and make the certification process seamless.
    Respectfully Submitted,
    John DiStefano
    President of the New York Fire alarm Association.

    Comment added August 21, 2020 1:34pm
  • Miles Fisher

    Comment Part 1 of 2 Miles Fisher, P.E.

    Dear FDNY Code Development unit. I am a licensed professional engineer with 35 years of experience in the Fire Alarm Industry. I am appreciative and grateful the FDNY is introducing a rule that will allow the certification of Letters of Defect (LOD’s). I have reviewed the proposed rule and have the following comments and concerns:

    1- Referring to a NYC licensed electrician or fire alarm contractor as a licensed professional is contrary what the NYS Education Department (NYSED) allows unless they are one of the licensed professionals listed on NYSED website. The license for Installing, Servicing or Maintaining Security or Fire Alarm Systems is part of division of NYS licensing for a business. NICET testing and certification was introduced by NSPE for technicians and non-licensed professional engineers and not considered a licensed professional. Therefore the use of licensed professional in the rule need to be updated so it is only used for licensed professionals listed on NYSED website
    2- It is a conflict of interest to have the same or multiple employees, technicians, installation contractor or fire alarm company owners to certify their own work instead of an independent licensed professionals with documented experience in the fire alarm industry and proper errors and omissions insurance. The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) inspections are all conducted by special inspectors that are licensed professionals that meet insurance requirements and documented experience, training and qualifications required by DOB. Therefore the appropriate changes to the rule need to be made to ensure there is no conflict of interest.
    3- Permit an LOD that has only Paperwork items like an A-433 or as-built riser or Post Approval Amendment to be filed (items not requiring an onsite inspection) to continue to be submitted to FDNY through intake window 8 without a Certification Application or paying a $210.00 fee. There was never a fee associated with paperwork items being submitted to the FDNY and a new $210.00 fee should not be introduced for paperwork only items as part of the certification program.

    Comment added August 21, 2020 4:07pm
  • Miles Fisher

    Comment Part 2 of 2 Miles Fisher, P.E.
    4- It should be mandatory that the persons signing and/or sealing the Certification Application be present at the job site to verify the compliance by actual inspection and test of all items on the Letter of defect. This means the person holding the certificate of fitness must be present and confirm compliance of all items on the Letter of Defect. Otherwise the certification program will be plagued with fraudulent certifictions.
    5- Having a timeline included in the rule for the FDNY to process certification applications and issue the Letter of Approval would be productive. If the process takes too long owners and contractors will opt to wait for a re-inspection date.
    6- How the certification applications will be audited including the percentage that will be audited and the random system used to select which applications are audited needs to be established and included in the rule. If too many certification applications are audited owners and contractors will opt to wait for re-inspection dates.
    7- A database needs to be established to track the submission, processing and status of certification applications. Otherwise the FDNY will receive calls to determine status which is a waste of valuable time and unproductive.

    Thank you for giving me this opportunity to comment on the proposed rule and I hope that my comments will be considered and included in final rule that is passed.

    Miles Fisher, P.E.

    Comment added August 21, 2020 4:07pm
  • Edward Keshecki

    Dear FDNY Code Development Unit; I am submitting my comments as one of several industry professionals who were invited to participate with the FDNY in the development of this Rule. I am basing my comments solely on my understanding of the proposed Rule. #1- I would like to thank the FDNY for considering the fire alarm industry to participate in a project which should benefit our industry, and in turn will hopefully assist the FDNY to decrease backlogs for reinspections. Notwithstanding a discussion of terminology proposed in the Rule (Licensed Professional), I believe that during the meetings to develop the Rule permissions and requirements were defined for those who would be likely to utilize the certification process, and those permissions are part of the proposed Rule. #2-Any party correcting or verifying any defect on the form will be required to meet the requirements to hold the proper CofF’s and licenses applicable to their profession(see proposed Rule). 3-A licensed electrician as per the Rule would be permitted to verify electrical work if that person personally performed the work or supervised the work….4-Any parties (including within the same company) verifying any corrections which were not performed would be at risk of penalties applied as per the certification document. 5-Different professions can certify different items corrected on an LOD. One person does not need to certify all items on an LOD, and in fact one person or trade may not be permitted to certify all items, depending on the items. They would certify each item applicable to their trade. 6-The FDNY currently permits (in addition to others) “a person holding a license to engage in the business of installing, servicing and maintaining fire alarm systems issued by NY Secretary of State ………….[Ref: FDNY Rules R105-01(c)(A)(4)]” to provide a written statement certifying that a functional test has been conducted of the fire alarm system, and the system operates as designed and in accordance with the Input/Output programming matrix. 7-Fire alarm companies and electrical companies carry substantial insurance with errors and omissions. 8-In ALL cases a Licensed P.E. or Architect can be a verifier, as indicated on the new form. 9-Partaking in the Professional Certification process is voluntary and a Request for Reinspection may be submitted in lieu of Professional Certification. 9-Not related to the above…Currently, no inspection will be conducted if Supervising Station monitoring at a premise is not in place. I believe that particular deficiency should be added to the list of ineligible defects.
    Respectfully Submitted,
    Edward Keshecki, Statewide Fire Corp.

    Comment added August 24, 2020 3:25am
  • Laura Rothrock

    I am writing on behalf of the New York Coalition of Code Consultants (NYCCC) in support of the newly proposed Rule entitled “Certification of Corrected Defects in Fire Alarm System Installations.” NYCCC is a non-profit membership trade organization whose members specialize in securing construction and development approvals from municipal agencies, as well as building code and zoning consulting. We work closely with FDNY and have created a feedback loop with your agency to share industry insights, improve our industry’s throughput and communication, while ensuring that safety is paramount.

    The fire alarm self-certification is an item our organization has been advocating for and we are pleased to see the proposed Rule being considered. We are aware the FDNY is lacking resources to keep up with the growing number of inspections required and we fear the COVID-19 crisis will compound the Department’s resource problem further. We are supportive of the proposed Rule but would like to see it expanded to include fire alarm plan examination after the first round of objections. Currently, it takes up to 40 business days to complete a review and then after objections it’s another 40 business days for the second round, and so on. Self-certification would greatly decrease the backlog and help the FDNY operate more efficiently.

    While safety is our industry’s number one priority, and certainly that of the FDNY, in most cases the fire alarm defects are relatively minor and can be easily corrected by a licensed professional. The process outlined in the proposed Rule would eliminate the need for a re-inspection and expedite issuance of a Letter of Approval while also ensuring robust oversight.

    NYCCC greatly appreciates FDNY thoughtful consideration to finding a solution to the backlog of fire alarm inspections and is thankful for your close collaboration with our industry.

    Comment added August 24, 2020 5:58pm
  • Zygmunt "Ziggy" Staszewski

    Dear FDNY Code Development Unit,

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment on proposed Rule 104-04 regarding Certification of Corrected Defects in Fire Alarm System Installations.

    I am a Licensed Professional Engineer practicing in New York for over 32 years, specializing in design and commissioning of fire alarm systems. I am also a Fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Co-founder and Director of Codes and Standards of the Automatic Fire Alarm Association of New York, Founding President of the New York Fire Alarm Association and Past President of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. For over 12 years I was also a member of the NYC Fire Department Industry Advisory Board and the Building Department Fire Alarm Code Revision Committee.

    I commend the Fire Department for taking action to reduce the inspection backlog by introducing a Certification of Corrected Defects in lieu of a re-inspection by the Fire Alarm Inspection Unit.

    Having read the proposed Rule, it is my understanding that fire alarm defects can be corrected and verified by persons employed by the same company that created such defects. It is my professional opinion that the rule as drafted, does not truly provide a method of checks and balances.

    For the Rule to be effective, the verifier should be a licensed Professional Engineer holding a New York State license and a Certificate of Authorization for his/her company to provide Professional Engineering Services in New York State.

    NYC Fire Code Section 104.4.1 permits the Fire Department to accept professional certification in lieu of required department inspections. “For purposes of this section, “professional certification” or “professionally certified” means the submission to the department of a signed, personal verification by a registered design professional…”

    By definition in Fire Code Section FC 202:
    “REGISTERED DESIGN PROFESSIONAL. An architect registered to practice the profession of architecture, or an engineer licensed to practice the profession of engineering, as set forth in the laws, rules and regulations of the State of New York.”

    Similarly, Fire Department Rule 3RCNY 104-02(c) states:
    “Qualifications. Only registered design professionals may professionally certify that fire alarm system installations are in compliance with the Fire Code, Building Code, applicable provisions of Department and Department of Buildings rules, and other applicable laws, rules and regulations.”

    In addition, I propose that staff working under the direct supervision of a Professional Engineer should be permitted to obtain a Certificate of Fitness to verify corrected defects.

    Thanks again for the opportunity to submit comments.

    Sincerely,

    Zygmunt “Ziggy” Staszewski PE, FSFPE
    President
    ZS Engineering DPC Fire Protection Engineers
    99 Tulip Avenue # 102, Floral Park NY 11001
    email: staszewski@zsengineering.com

    Comment added August 25, 2020 2:32pm
  • Bill Murray

    The American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York) thanks The New York City Fire Department for this opportunity to submit comment on the Proposed New Rule 3 RCNY §104-04, entitled “Certification of Corrected Defects in Fire Alarm System Installations.”

    ACEC New York represents close to 300 consulting engineering and affiliate firms throughout New York State, with a concentrated presence in New York City. Our members plan and design the fire protection, plumbing, structural, mechanical, electrical, environmental and technology systems for the City’s buildings and infrastructure.

    We appreciate the proposed rule’s goal of ensuring timely certification of corrections of certain fire alarm system defects. At the same time, our Fire Code Committee has expressed concern with the required signatures. Although two signatures are required, it appears that two employees at the same company could provide those signatures. This could pose a conflict of interest. The committee recommends that one of the required signatures be that of a registered design professional such as a professional engineer or registered architect. We believe this requirement would provide a higher level of verification.

    Comment added August 25, 2020 2:33pm
  • Zygmunt "Ziggy" Staszewski

    I am a Licensed Professional Engineer practicing in New York for over 32 years, specializing in design and commissioning of fire alarm systems. I am also a Fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Co-founder and Director of Codes and Standards of the Automatic Fire Alarm Association of New York, Founding President of the New York Fire Alarm Association and Past President of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. For over 12 years I was also a member of the NYC Fire Department Industry Advisory Board and the Building Department Fire Alarm Code Revision Committee.

    I commend the Fire Department for taking action to reduce the inspection backlog by introducing a Certification of Corrected Defects in lieu of a re-inspection by the Fire Alarm Inspection Unit.

    Having read the proposed Rule, it is my understanding that fire alarm defects can be corrected and verified by persons employed by the same company that created such defects. It is my professional opinion that the rule as drafted, does not truly provide a method of checks and balances.

    For the Rule to be effective, the verifier should be a licensed Professional Engineer holding a New York State license and a Certificate of Authorization for his/her company to provide Professional Engineering Services in New York State.

    NYC Fire Code Section 104.4.1 permits the Fire Department to accept professional certification in lieu of required department inspections. “For purposes of this section, “professional certification” or “professionally certified” means the submission to the department of a signed, personal verification by a registered design professional…”

    By definition in Fire Code Section FC 202:
    “REGISTERED DESIGN PROFESSIONAL. An architect registered to practice the profession of architecture, or an engineer licensed to practice the profession of engineering, as set forth in the laws, rules and regulations of the State of New York.”

    Similarly, Fire Department Rule 3RCNY 104-02(c) states:
    “Qualifications. Only registered design professionals may professionally certify that fire alarm system installations are in compliance with the Fire Code, Building Code, applicable provisions of Department and Department of Buildings rules, and other applicable laws, rules and regulations.”

    In addition, I propose that staff working under the direct supervision of a Professional Engineer should be permitted to obtain a Certificate of Fitness to verify corrected defects

    Sincerely,

    Zygmunt “Ziggy” Staszewski PE, FSFPE
    President
    ZS Engineering DPC Fire Protection Engineers
    99 Tulip Avenue # 102, Floral Park NY 11001
    email: staszewski@zsengineering.com

    Comment added August 25, 2020 2:40pm
  • Peter Rescigno

    On behalf of NYECA, please see our testimony attached.

    Comment added August 25, 2020 2:44pm
  • Peter Rescigno

    I am posting this on behalf of Mohamad A. Mohamad :

    Five Boro Electrical Contractors Association
    August 24, 2020

    To New York City Fire Department
    Sub: Proposed New Rule
    3 RCNY- 104-04, entitled -“Certification of Corrected Defects in Fire Alarm Systems
    Installations”

    As the Five Boro Electrical Association Code Committee Chairman representing our membership,
    It is disturbing to read the proposed amendment that puts the building businesses and housing residences in the hands of other than Master Electrical Licensees that have stature and acquired the knowledge of installations, repairs and make corrections of system defects and/ or violations of Fire Alarm Systems.
    The State of New York recognizes the stability and ability of a Master License Electrician further New York City for years identified the Master License Electrician as the only certified and qualified installer to correct defects.
    It is with the best of intentions and for the safety of our City that we oppose the above amendment with steadfast assertion that this amendment is defeated.

    Respectfully
    Mohamad A. Mohamad
    Five Boro Code Chairman

    Comment added August 25, 2020 2:45pm
  • Peter Rescigno

    NYECA Comment 1 of 3:
    On behalf of the New York Electrical Contractors Association (NYECA), New York’s City’s leading trade association of 145 licensed electrical contractors who employ over 10,000 members of Local Union #3, IBEW, below please find our concerns regarding the above-referenced FDNY proposed rule to establish a new program by which licensed professionals may certify the correction of certain defects in fire alarm system installations.

    We urge FDNY to exercise caution before proceeding with this proposal for the reasons detailed below. In addition to submitting this written testimony, we respectfully request an immediate meeting with FDNY representatives to discuss this proposal in greater detail, as our members will be the individuals most impacted by its adoption.

    As a general principle, while we are acutely aware of the volume of inspection requests before FDNY and recognize the potential value of self-certification before municipal agencies under certain carefully limited circumstances, NYECA has traditionally opposed self-certification. We believe that due to inherent pressure from owners there is a fundamental conflict of interest in self-certifying correction of one’s own work which puts public safety at risk, if the certification is done by anyone other than a member of FDNY. Accordingly, we have issues with this proposed rule in toto.

    More specifically, under the proposed rule, while the initial fire alarm installation inspection will still be conducted by FDNY, the subsequent certification of correction of defects, as opposed to actual inspection and verification thereof, could have serious financial and legal implications for the electrical contractor on the job. For example, we have confirmed that our members’ general liability insurance policies all exclude coverage for professional liability and thus they would have no coverage for any failure to perform, bodily injury or property damage emanating from the actual self-certification. It is already very difficult for our members to secure coverage for alarm installation in NYC and the further burden of securing yet another high limit insurance policy would be financially straining.

    Comment added August 25, 2020 2:46pm
  • Peter Rescigno

    NYECA comment 2 of 3:
    Second, NYECA is concerned that other New York City agencies, specifically the Department of Buildings (DOB), could follow suit and endorse self-certification, causing significantly increased liability exposure and additional cost in the construction industry. Often, the FDNY issues noncontractual letters of violations to the filing contractors creating serious problems. We believe that the FDNY should follow the recent efforts of the DOB to modernize their inspection system and merge it with that of the DOB, ultimately allowing the final DOB inspection to control.

    Furthermore, and perhaps of greatest concern, Section 104-04(b) (2) of the proposed rule allows, admittedly only under certain circumstances, for a “special electrician” to be one of the signatories on the certification. A special electrician is a lesser level of licensure than that of a Master electrician. As a result, a special electrician is prohibited from engaging in contracting work and is restricted to performing electrical work in particular buildings. (See NYC 2011 Electrical Code definition of “Special Electrician’s License”) It is important to keep in mind that public safety is the mission of the FDNY. Incorporating the proposed changes and elevating the status of a “special electrician” to equate to that of a master electrician will undercut the public safety aspect of fire alarm installation.

    Certifying that a defect has been cleared should simply be beyond the authority of a special electrician. FDNY Application A433 B form itself properly requires the signature and seal of a Master Electrician. However, the proposed rule would allow a special electrician to certify that a defect has been cured in some instances, in essence allowing special electricians to certify work they did not physically and would not be qualified to install themselves. This strikes us as at best an artificial approval that could potentially create unforeseen liability to the original Master Electrician listed on the A433 B form. This should not be allowed to happen! Electrical contracting insurance costs are steep enough without causing increases in liability which surely would ratchet up the insurance companies’ rates.

    It has been NYECA’s longstanding position that FDNY should hire more professional inspectors to address its inspection backlog, in contrast to allowing self-certification. Instead of passing its mandated responsibility to two parties who may have no prior familiarity with the installation, FDNY should increase its inspection staff. Substituting special electricians for these trained personnel is a dangerous shortcut, given the necessarily limited experience and expertise of electricians whose permissible activities are confined to particular buildings.

    Comment added August 25, 2020 2:47pm
  • Peter Rescigno

    NYECA Comment 3 of 3.

    The proposed rule change also states:

    “The certifications will be filed with and reviewed by the Fire Department, and if accepted, will eliminate the need for a re-inspection and expedite issuance of a Letter of Approval.”
    Our members’ experience with the FDNY review process has proven to be anything but expeditious. In many cases it has taken years to get the approval. FDNY should not lower its standards through reliance on self-certification of the correction of defects discovered during alarm installation inspections, nor should FDNY burden contractors with the potential liabilities of self-certification. There is simply too much at risk to even consider self-certification by anyone other than a Master electrician.
    Founded in 1892, NYECA is the leading trade association of electrical contractors in New York City. We help build New York City, serve our communities in times of crisis, provide opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses, and promote the highest standards of worker safety in the industry.
    For any further questions, I can be reached at rescigno@nyeca.org.

    Respectfully submitted by,

    NEW YORK ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION, INC.

    Comment added August 25, 2020 2:48pm
  • GIUSEPPE ANZALONE

    As past President, and current member of the American Institute of Architects Brooklyn chapter and design professional in private practice, I applaud the Department on this proposed rule. The proposed should expedite the process for all sides. As proposed under § 104-04 (d) (1) a registered design professional is eligible for certificate of fitness for verification of corrected fire alarm system defects. I do ask that the Department reconsider the requirement for registered Design professionals (RA’s, & PE’s) to hold a Certificate of Fitness. FDNY pamphlet “Certificate of Fitness FAQ” states in part “A Certificate of Fitness (COF) is a certification issued by the New York City Fire Department. These certifications are legally required for most businesses to operate within New York City.” Registered Design professionals are licensed by the NY State Education Department and subject to disciplinary actions for misconduct by the state and by the NYC Department of Buildings. The need for a certificate of fitness in this case has no benefit and creates barriers. Your consideration on this matter is appreciated.

    Comment added August 25, 2020 2:52pm
  • danielle mannino

    Please see the comments attached on behalf of the Association of Electrical Contractors, Inc.

    Comment added August 25, 2020 3:04pm
  • Zygmunt "Ziggy" Staszewski

    Enclosed is my list of comments, updated right after the hearing. Thank you all for the time and effort

    Comment added August 25, 2020 5:06pm
  • Ryan Monell

    The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is the City’s leading real estate trade association representing commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers, salespeople, and other organizations and individuals active in New York City real estate. REBNY thanks the Fire Department (FDNY) for the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule that would establish a certification program by which licensed professionals may certify correction of certain fire alarm system defects and eliminate the need for FDNY re-inspections of these conditions.

    New York City has been experiencing an uptick in construction for the better half of the past decade, and as the built environment has grown, so too has the demand for FDNY’s inspection services. For this reason, REBNY supports this proposed rule that would establish a program that would allow licensed professionals to certify the correction of certain fire alarm system defects. Such a program would help reduce the administrative burden on FDNY, while continuing to ensure public safety and supporting development in the city.

    REBNY believes that the proposed rule appropriately considers public safety by requiring that the licensed electrician or the fire alarm installer to be one of the two professionals needed to certify the correction. At the same time, we would encourage FDNY to provide additional clarity on the following items:

    • If FDNY will be creating a new Certificate of Fitness for verification of corrected fire alarm system defects, what will be required to obtain such a Certificate of Fitness, and whether holders of an existing Certificate of Fitness could be eligible for any new Certificate of Fitness automatically.

    • Additional specificity about the precise types of ineligible defects to avoid any ambiguity as to which defects may be corrected through professional certification.

    • The process for issuing a Letter of Approval for projects that correct all defects through professional certification, including whether definitive timeframes for issuing Letters of Approval could be established.

    Thank you for the consideration of these points.

    Comment added August 25, 2020 8:33pm
  • Joe Razza

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment on proposed Rule 104-04 regarding Certification of Corrected Defects in Fire Alarm System Installations. As a Professional Engineer practicing in New York for over 33 years, the Immediate Past President of the New York Fire Alarm Association and a Past President and Fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, it was an honor working with the Fire Department on the development of this Rule. I’d like to thank Chief Joseph Jardin and Chief John Buckheit who initially introduced me to Chief Charles Mastandrea to initiate this Rule.
    The ultimate goal of the Rule is to assist FDNY in reducing the backlog of the Fire Alarm Inspection Unit. Ideally, all Letters of Defect (referred to in the Rule as Notice of Defect), would be professionally certified. However, through a consensus process, it was agreed that certain defects could not be certified and a re-inspection would be required for those items. The following are my comments on the proposed Rule:
    On page 4, Section 104-04(b) states “…defect cited by the Department in the design and/or installation of a fire alarm system has been corrected…” It is my understanding that this certification is not intended for system designs. Therefore, I recommend deleting the text “design and/or” from this sentence.
    In several places, the Rule refers to “licensed professional(s)” who corrected the defect (a fire alarm installer and or an electrician). On page 5, Section 104-04(b(1)(B) includes “a technician employed by such a company who holds a certificate of fitness for fire alarm system installation…” Also, on page 6, Section 104-04(e) titled “Scope of Certification of Licensed Professional Correcting Defects” and the text that follows would preclude the a fire alarm technician from certifying the corrected defects since they are not a “licensed professional.” The text of the Rule should be clarified.
    My third comment pertains to the “Submission” of the Certification of Corrected Defects Form mentioned on page 8. Although the Rule does not specify how the form should be submitted, I understand previous comments referred to submitting the form to Window 8 at FDNY HQ . I recommend that the Certification of Corrected Defects be permitted to be submitted electronically, either via email or the FDNY’s Business portal. With the current COVID-19 procedures in place for Fire Alarm Plan Submission and other Technology Management submissions, it does not seem practical to visit FDNY HQ to drop off the form.
    Thanks again and we look forward to a successful Certification of Corrected Defects program.
    Sincerely,
    Joe

    Joseph C. Razza, P.E., FSFPE
    VP / Partner
    Z.S. Engineering, D.P.C., Fire Protection Engineers
    99 Tulip Avenue # 102, Floral Park NY 11001 USA
    Tel. +1 516 328 3200
    email: razza@zsengineering.com

    Comment added August 26, 2020 12:08am

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