A new Fire Code for New York City went into effect July 1, 2008. The new Fire Code sets forth new fire safety requirements for construction, alteration and demolition work that were not contained in the prior Fire Prevention Code.
Generally speaking, the Fire Code and FDNY Rules regulate the storage, handling and use of hazardous and combustible materials (e.g., motor fuel and other flammable and combustible liquids, and compressed gases), and operations affecting fire safety on construction sites (e.g., torch operations and portable fuel-fired heaters).
Local fire companies and FDNY Bureau of Fire Prevention inspectors enforce the Fire Code, the New York City Building Code and FDNY Rules by conducting a variety of fire safety inspections. Fire companies inspect buildings in their administrative districts for such violations as blocked stairways or exits, and the proper maintenance of sprinkler and standpipe systems. The Bureau of Fire Prevention conducts inspections of premises and installations and witnesses tests of standpipe, sprinkler, fire alarm and other systems for permitting and licensing purposes.
Following the deaths of two Firefighters at the Deutsche Bank building fire in August 2007, the Department undertook a comprehensive review of its inspection programs. As a result, the Department implemented several changes to enhance the effectiveness of its inspections, including developing an enhanced computer program for reporting inspections of buildings over 75 feet that are under construction or demolition, and expanding our partnerships with the Department of Buildings (DOB) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in a number of other ways.
The following links will facilitate a better understanding of the role of the FDNY with respect to inspection of construction and demolition work in New York City and provisions of the recently enacted Fire Code and FDNY Rules relating to these activities.
This website contains the complete text of the Fire Code, together with Frequently Asked Questions and other informative materials. Questions about the Fire Code may be submitted using the public inquiry form on the website.
FDNY is in the process of repealing and repromulgating all of its rules. The rule relating to construction site enforcement has been repromulgated as R1401-01. Proposed and final FDNY rules can be viewed by clicking here.
DEP and DOB’s websites should also be consulted for more information as to those agencies’ roles in inspection of construction, demolition and abatement work in New York City.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Anyone involved in the construction, demolition and/or asbestos abatement operations in New York City should review all of the applicable codes, rules and regulations governing those activities in New York City, including, but not limited to, all relevant provisions of the New York City Fire Code and FDNY Rules; the New York City Construction Codes and DOB rules; and the New York City Air Code and the DEP Asbestos Rules and Regulations/Asbestos Control Program.
The information contained on this and other websites should not be considered complete or definitive information as to the legal requirements for construction, demolition and/or asbestos abatement activities in New York City. Professional guidance should be sought to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations.