Fire Code

Rooftop solar installations are becoming increasingly popular in New York City. Recently the DOB released Buildings Bulletin 2015-024 to address the acceptable panels, their respective installation requirements and the required testing methods.

The following types of solar installations are permissible in New York City:

  • Flat-plate collectors–The most common type of collectors. Consists of a dark flat-plate absorber, a transparent cover, heat transport fluid and a heat insulating backing.
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So many new codes have been released since 2014 that building professionals are still catching their collective breath. The FDNY released a memo simplifying some of the most important changes in the 2014 Fire Code. The changes can broadly be categorized to include codes relating to fire escape plans and those relating to road and rooftop accessibility.

Fire Escape Plans

Previously, the FDNY categorized requirements of fire escape plans by occupancy. (more...)

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Yes and no. It is illegal to open a fire hydrant by yourself. However, anyone over the age of 18 can fill out a request at their local fire station to have a fire hydrant opened. A firefighter from the station will then open and close the hydrant.

There are two reasons the FDNY does not allow civilians to open fire hydrants. The first reason is water waste. (more...)

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You may want to check the Fire Code before you put those burgers on the grill. The New York City Fire Code allows barbecuing in very few areas.

Section 307.5.3 of the New York City Fire Code dictates where a grill can and cannot be used. It states that “portable outdoor barbecues shall not be stored or used within 10 feet of any combustible waste, combustible material, or any combustible building surface, including combustible roofs and decks.” The 10-foot rule by de facto eliminates the possibility of grilling inside of a dwelling. (more...)

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All mid-rise and high-rise building owners are required to paint Siamese connections, which are the two-headed pipes in front of buildings, red, green or yellow. Red represents a connection to the standpipe system, or the vertical pipes that run through a building. Green connections link to the sprinkler system of a building. Yellow denotes access to a combined standpipe and sprinkler systems throughout a building. This color coding system came into effect in 2010 through Local Law 58/09 in order for the Fire Department to more efficiently identify these systems in the event of a fire. (more...)

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A Fire Protection Plan (FPP) is a detailed report of the life safety, fire safety and evacuation systems of a building. The plan includes narrative descriptions of the building, its safety systems and features along with drawings that denote all items within these systems.

When filing a New Building or Alteration Type I (change in use) Application, it is likely that you will need to submit a separate FPP.  (more...)

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Short-term apartment rentals are on the rise in New York City. According to a recent report by the Attorney General of New York Eric Schneiderman Airbnb in the City, rentals through the popular apartment rental website Airbnb increased 600% over the last four years. The report concludes that many short-term rentals are residential dwellings operating illegally as transient dwellings. This article will outline the building code and zoning standards required of transient dwellings and how they are different than standards required of residential dwellings. (more...)

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