March 20, 2022
WHEREAS, a fire at an apartment building in the Bronx on January 9, 2022 resulted in 17 deaths from smoke inhalation because, as residents evacuated, doors were left open, providing a pathway for the spread of deadly fumes; and
WHEREAS, this Administration is committed to doing all that it can to prevent future avoidable deaths by educating the public about fire safety and by enforcing fire safety laws and rules; and
WHEREAS, confronting the dangers posed to City residents by the risk of fire requires bold executive action; and
WHEREAS, Local Law No. 111 of 2018 required all multiple dwellings to be equipped with self-closing doors by July 31, 2021, and imposed a duty on building owners to maintain such doors in good condition; and
WHEREAS, city agencies will work with the City Council on additional “fire safety” legislation, including sensible retrofit sprinkler legislation and increased fines for landlords who falsely report curing a self-closing door violation; and
WHEREAS, section 401-06 of Title 3 of the Rules of the City of New York (“3 RC
NY § 401-06”) requires building owners to: (i) prepare and distribute to building residents and staff a fire and emergency preparedness guide, an annual fire and emergency preparedness bulletin, and an emergency preparedness/evacuation planning checklist; (ii) prepare, post and maintain fire and emergency preparedness notices, including “close the door notices;” and (iii) periodically monitor and enforce compliance with the requirements of the rule by requesting and obtaining residential certifications and/or conducting inspections; and
WHEREAS, increasing communication and coordination between the Fire Department (FDNY) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is critical to effective enforcement of fire safety laws and rules;
NOW, THEREFORE, by the power vested in me as Mayor of the City of New York, it is hereby ordered:
Section 1. HPD and FDNY shall enhance the inspection and enforcement of existing fire safety laws and rules through the following directives:
§ 2. FDNY shall strengthen compliance with 3 RCNY § 401-06 by conducting enhanced inspections for: (i) signage required to be posted in common areas of buildings, including the fire safety notice and Part I of the fire and emergency preparedness guide (the building information section); and (ii) close the door notices. FDNY shall take appropriate enforcement action to ensure compliance with these requirements.
§ 3. HPD, FDNY, and any other City agencies subsequently identified by the Mayor, shall increase public outreach to encourage City residents, including building owners and tenants, to adopt and practice fire safety measures. Such outreach shall include:
a. Education relating to proper fire safety practices and requirements, including the installation and use of smoke detectors, self-closing doors, and stove knob covers;
b. Distribution of fire safety literature and other resources, including the NYC Apartment Building Emergency Preparedness Guide and the Close the Door Notice;
c. Information and resources to enable residents to determine whether their building is fire proof, and guidance as to when tenants should remain in their dwelling unit in the event of a fire in a fire-proof building;
d. Information for building owners on their legal obligations relating to fire safety and preparedness requirements; and
e. Guidance for residents regarding how to report non-compliance with building owner safety requirements.
§ 4. FDNY shall work with the Department of Education to conduct outreach in schools, including educating teachers, staff and students about appropriate fire safety measures and evacuation procedures to be implemented in the event of a fire or other emergency requiring evacuation.
§ 5. FDNY and HPD shall, on a regular basis, discuss whether there are additional steps they can take to coordinate and enhance the inspection, auditing, and enforcement of fire safety laws and rules. FDNY and HPD shall reach out to other agencies, as necessary, for assistance. All other agencies shall, to the extent practicable, cooperate with and assist FDNY and HPD in their coordination efforts.
§ 6. This Order shall take effect immediately.