The follow additions and/or amendments outline recent code and system alarms changes put into effect as of 02/19/2023 by the Commissioner of Buildings by Section 643 of the New York City Charter and in accordance with Section 1043 of the Charter that the Department of Buildings.
Recent confirmation from a public hearing under New York City jurisdiction have finalized new rule sections addressing Fire Service Access Elevators annunciators (FSAE) and amendments to the original rule set forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) related to the national fire alarm and signaling code through amended and added language relating to FSAE annunciators.
First published in September 2022, these changes have been put into official account as of February 2023 following a formal healing in October 2022. Read more about these new updates and mandatory changes set for obligatory compliance as of 2026.
With 2023 in full swing, updated fire alarm system requirements, code regulations, and other related fire and safety revisions remain on the rise to accommodate ongoing changes and development in construction, real estate, and more. According to the NFPA, five property types account for over 73% of all high-rise fires, including apartment or other multi-family housing, hotels, dormitories and alike properties, care facilities, and office buildings. Although these structures account for three quarters of all high-rise fires, these buildings are more likely to have fire detection, sprinklers, and constructed with fire-resistive materials that are less likely to spread compared to fires in shorter buildings.
A recent report published by the NFIRS and NFPA Fire Experience Survey found that from 2014-2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 13,400 reported structure fires in high-rise buildings with heights of at least seven stores above grade per year. These fires caused an accumulated $204 million in property damage annually resulting in an estimated 39 civilian deaths and 464 civilian injuries. These high-rise fires accounted for 3% of all reported structure fires and 2% of the direct property damage.
In response to evolving times and safety regulations, New York City has now finalized a new set of rule sections addressing FSAE and the associated fire alarm and signal coding required in correlation with NFPA guidelines and requirements. These recent changes come in correlation to design and installation of fire service annunciators associated with FSAE providing private access during an emergency.
For reference, an FSAE is an elevator that remains in service for firefighters to reach upper levels of a building within a reasonable response time to stage firefighting operations at a level below the actual fire. An annunciator, as defined, is a graphic panel which provides visual signals containing one or more indicator lamps, alphanumeric displays, or other similar visuals that provide quick signals and reference to alarm and trouble signal reporting on the protected premises. These panels assist the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) in their efforts to provide necessary responses on site during a fire or related incident. Providing adequate equipment within the most updated code, alarm, and system protocols increases accessibility and response time while decreasing injury or civilian casualties.
What Are the Primary Changes and Purpose of Rule?
Both additions to previous rule and amendments to predetermined regulations and code are established in such purpose of rule regarding FSAE systems and protocol. These rules have been adopted and are in effect as of February 2023 with mandatory compliance no later than three years from the effective date of this rule.
As published by the Commissioner of Buildings by Section 643 of the New York City Charter and in accordance with Section 1043 of the Charter that the Department of Buildings, the following additions and/or amendments have been enforced under mandatory compliance and adoption as of February,19th 2023.
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Here are the key takeaways:
(1.) Section 403.6.1 of the New York City Building Code (“BC”) requires at least one FSAE in building with an occupied floor more than 120 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicles access in accordance with BC Section 3007.
(2.) BC Section 3007.7 requires that the FSAE be monitored by a standard emergency interface system meeting the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 72.
a. NFPA 72 Section 18.11 states that annunciators are to be design, arrange, and located in accordance with the requirements of the organization intended to use the equipment, which in New York City is FDNY.
(3.) Section one of the rule adds a new section 3007-01 to Title 1 of the Rules of the City of New York to address the applicability of NFPA 72 to fire service access elevator annunciators. Section one also provides that a building with a temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued a certificate of occupancy prior to installation of the FSAE annunciator and the timeframe for such installation is such buildings as well as in building that have already been issued a certificate of occupancy. In response to comments received at the public hearing, language was added to clarify that the FSAE requirement does not apply to buildings lawfully erected in accordance with a building code that was in effect before 2014. Language was also added to allow buildings with construction sign-off time to comply with FSAE requirements.
(4.) Section two of the rule adds a new section 3007-02 to Title 1 of the Rules of the City of New York to add requirements for hoistaway lighting for fire services access elevators.
(5.) Section three of the rule repeals section 3616-04 of Title 1 of the RCNY because the provisions of that section have been included in Section BC Q107 of Appendix Q of the 2022 Building Code and replaces it with a new section 3616-04 to amend NFPA 72 with regard to FSAE annunciators.
(6.) The Department of Buildings authority for this rule is found in sections 643 and 1043 of the New York City Charter and Section 28-103.19 of the New York City Administrative Code.
You can read the official Final Notice and Adoption of Rule here for more details and specific code amendments, additions, and changes. You can find specific information regarding code 3007.01 Fire Service Annunciators, 3007-02 Fire Service Access Elevator (FSAE) Hoistaway Light, and the 3616-04 National Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”) 72 Amendment Relating to the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. All new material is underlined, with asterisks (***) indicating unamended text. The term and/or phrase “shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements in rule of previously established FDNY department authority.
Conclusion and Application:
Adopting updated systems, codes, and safety regulations continue to be the top priority of both the FDNY and the NFPA to provide adequate services and aide in the event of a fire or affiliated disaster. While fires themselves are unfortunately enviable, the ability to provide appropriate equipment, resources, and training to increase awareness and decrease cause is an ongoing development that everyone can participate in. These mandatory requirements provide the most up-to-date code and regulation changes to ensure and prioritize the safety of both firefighters and the general public.
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