Proposed FDNY Rules: New Signage, New Inspections & Professional Alarm Approval Program

Here’s a roundup of the latest FDNY-related proposed rules, and what they mean for your buildings:

New Proposed Signage For Hurricane Evacuation

The FDNY has proposed new hurricane evacuation signage for apartment building lobbies. This is in line with Local Law 103 of 2019, which requires apartment building owners (Group R-2 buildings and occupancies) within a hurricane evacuation zone to post a notice in a common area of the building. The proposed adjustment to Section 401-06 of the rules would 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 city has previously published various zone posters here, along with information about how to find your building’s zone. Per the proposed rules, these are the posters you’d be able to print and hang in the lobby via adhesive or frame, displayed in a closed & locked bulletin board, or “otherwise durably and securely posted.”

New Proposed Fire Safety Notice Inspections

Additionally, the FDNY is proposing additional requirements to ensure Fire Safety Notices (back of door signage for dwelling units) are displayed and replaced as needed.

If finalized, owners would be required to:

  • Inspect each unit at least once every 3 years to confirm the presence of the Fire Safety Notice
    • UNLESS Certification (see below) is received from the tenant/apartment owner
    • Written records must be kept for 3 years of the date of inspection, attempted inspections for apartments where Certification wasn’t received, the presence or absence of the Notice, and remedial action taken if the notice is missing/damaged
  • Replace missing or damaged notices whenever owner/staff become aware of the same
  • In condos or co-ops, require apartment owners to post the replacement notice provided by the board; and/or
  • Obtain written Certification from the tenant/unit owner that the notice has been posted (by delivering an FDNY-approved form to each unit for completion and return)
    • This would be sent alongside the Fire & Emergency Preparedness Guide (during the annual safety notice mailing process, for example)
    • If the form is not completed by the next April 30th following the date of mailing, an inspection shall be conducted for that unit within 1 year

This rule (along with the above signage rule, in the same proposal) is still in the proposed stage, so you have a chance to share your thoughts with the FDNY before it’s finalized (likely sometime over the next few months). A virtual hearing will take place on Wednesday, September 30th for the public to provide any comments on this proposed rule. Get more details on how to attend the hearing online or provide comments here.

Professional Alarm Approval Program

The FDNY has proposed establishing a certification program so licensed professionals can certify correction on certain fire alarm system defects and eliminate the need for FDNY re-inspections in these cases.

This would help with potential delays due to re-inspection requests and allow owners to work with certified professionals to certify correction on specific fire alarm system defects. Corrections will be reviewed by the FDNY, and if accepted, would eliminate the need for re-inspections and expedite issuances of Letters of Approval.

That said, there are lots of details to the proposed rule – including specific limitations and requirements for certified professionals. You can view them all here.

While this rule is also still proposed, a public hearing has already occurred. That means it’s one step closer to being final, including any changes based on input from the community. Stay tuned to see when this rule is finalized and in effect.

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About the Author

Kristen Hariton

Kristen Hariton is the Vice President, Product Engagement at SiteCompli, focused on exploring new solutions and innovations in property operations tech. When she's not sharing the latest industry trends, changes, and updates, she's planning her next adventure to Walt Disney World.