For nearly 20 years, all owners of buildings in NYC have been required to post Fire and Emergency Preparedness Notices on the interior side of each apartment entrance door.
The FDNY has recently amended this law to require all building owners to ensure these signs are always present and well-maintained. Here’s what you need to know about the new requirements and how to stay compliant.
What are my requirements?
To ensure the Fire and Emergency Preparedness Notices are always present and in good condition, the FDNY is requiring building owners to:
- Obtain written certification from the tenant or apartment owner that the notice has
been posted by delivering a form to each tenant, to be completed and returned to the building owner or board, that includes a statement from the Fire Department regarding the importance of the notice;
- inspect each dwelling unit at least once every three years to confirm the presence of
the notice and to replace missing or damaged notices whenever the owner or the building manager becomes aware of a missing or damaged notice, or, in apartment buildings with a cooperative or condominium form of ownership, require the apartment owner to post the replacement notice provided by the board.
In short, the FDNY is presenting building owners with the choice of having each tenant complete and return a form certifying that the fire safety notice in their apartment is present and in good condition, or inspecting each unit for the fire safety notice once every three years. Depending on the amount of units you have and on your tenants, you may find it easier to send out the forms, or to inspect each unit in person. The good news is that the choice is yours!
What if my tenant does not respond to the notice certification form?
If you’ve decided to send out notice certification forms to each tenant and one tenant has failed to respond by April 30 of that year, you are required to perform an inspection of the apartment to check on the status of the Fire and Emergency Preparedness Notice within the year.
When will the new requirements go into effect?
The amendment to the Fire and Emergency Preparedness Notice requirements was originally intended to go into effect on April 30, 2021. However, in light of the difficulty of performing inspections amid COVID restrictions, the City has pushed off the deadline by a full year. Building owners now have until April 30, 2022 to get those certifications completed or the inspections performed.
Are there any additional requirements?
In addition to checking for the presence and condition of the Fire and Emergency Preparedness Notice in each unit, owners are responsible for the following:
- If there is a change in the building conditions which modify the information in the Fire and Emergency Preparedness Notices, building owners must post this information within sixty days of the change.
- The owner must replace any missing or damaged notices and may charge the building resident the reasonable cost of its replacement.
- The owner must replace a missing or damaged notice in a unit before a change in occupancy, and upon the tenant’s request. The owner may charge the tenant for the cost of replacing the notice.
- The owner or board must maintain a written record of the distribution of the notices and certification forms, or detailed documentation of an inspection program, for a minimum of three years.
What do I need to include in the certification form?
According to the FDNY, the following language must be printed in bold lettering not smaller than 14 point Times New Roman typeface or its equivalent: “Fire Department Notice. Building owners and apartment residents are required to post a small Fire Safety Notice (not larger than 6” x 9,” excluding the frame if framed) on the inside of the main entrance door to your apartment. We regret the intrusion, but the Fire Safety Notice is designed to save your life and those of your family. It contains important information and guidance about what to do in the event of a fire in your building. This information needs to be immediately available to all apartment residents if there is a fire. For additional information, refer to the NYC Apartment Building Emergency Preparedness Guide, which accompanies this notice.
If the Fire Safety Notice is posted, please sign and return the certification confirming its presence. False statements are punishable by law. If the Fire Safety Notice is not posted, please complete and return the form to indicate it is missing and to request that it be posted. Failure to complete and return the resident certification form will require the building owner/manager to inspect your apartment to check on the presence and condition of the Fire Safety Notice. The Fire Safety Notice will be posted at no expense to you unless the notice posted in your apartment at the time you moved in is missing or damaged. Thank you for your cooperation.”
In addition, the form should include a place for the resident’s signature and date under the following certification: “I hereby certify that the Fire Safety Notice provided by the building owner has been posted and is being maintained on the inside of the main entrance door to my apartment. I understand false statements are punishable by law.”
How can the Jaffa team help me stay compliant?
As always, Jaffa is one step ahead of the NYC compliance maze.
First, we are happy to announce that we will be adding the Fire Safety Notice Resident Certification to our Annual Safety Mailings to be conducted in January, 2022.With the deadline delayed until the end of April, this should give you more than enough time to perform an inspection if it becomes necessary.
Of course, you’ll also need to replace any notices that are damaged or missing. Signage can get pricey, but the Jaffa team’s got a solution! To help cut costs, we’ve arranged discounted bulk pricing on Fire Safety and Emergency Preparedness Notices for our clients through www.CodeSignsNYC.com. Why not keep more money in your pocket?
Fire Safety Notice inspections? There’s an app for that! Look out for a Fire Safety Notice inspection module on the upcoming Jaffa deFINEd app to help you store relevant documentation and recordkeeping with ease. Now that’s compliance at your fingertips.
Still overwhelmed by the new requirements? Give us a call at 718.655.6110 or contact us through our website to see how we can help.