Fire Safety Guidelines for NYC Residential Building Owners


When you visit New York City, the first thing to greet you are the tall skyscrapers surrounding everyone. Of course, New York buildings or any other building take a lot of time for the initial planning and a few more months of construction until businesses and companies can move in and occupy them.

However, during the construction process, the building needs to follow several rules and regulations, and requirements to ensure everyone's safety. New York has since passed several building fire safety guidelines that NYC buildings need to follow to prevent any unfortunate fire accidents. You should know at least some of the many fire safety requirements if you plan on constructing a building for residential purposes. 

Self-Closing Doors by 2021

One local law that building owners who own apartments should follow is that their apartment complex should have a self-closing feature or provide a device that will close the pathway. The law also states that apartment building owners need to keep the doors maintained, repaired, and in good condition at all times. You will never know when a building fire would suddenly erupt within a building, and the only way they can escape is when the doors provide a safe escape for everyone.

You can find a violation when you do not take care of your apartment building's self-closing doors. Once the inspectors give out the notice, you have twenty-one days to comply and ensure you have the doors maintained and repaired. Usually, the device costs $24, which is more than enough for owners to set a budget for frequent door maintenance and repairs. 

Closing Doors in the Event of a Fire

When the fire alarms start ringing, everyone's instinct is to run out of the building and into the safety of the open space. However, NYC residential building owners need to make the building tenants aware that they should close the door behind them during a building fire. 

While you may think that it's a weird and useless rule, that is where you are wrong. When you shut the door behind you, it prevents the fire from spreading throughout the building even more. Usually, modern apartment or residential buildings will have fire-resistant doors that could last up to hours until they get consumed by the flames. It's currently an ongoing rule, and the local government has yet to put out the law, so you should expect several changes or improvements to the law. 

Specific Area of Installation for Smoke Detectors and Alarms

You might have entered an apartment around New York and noticed that contractors did not install smoke detectors and alarms near kitchen appliances. That's because the local government of NYC wanted to ensure that the fire alarms and smoke detectors do not send a false alarm. 

There were many instances when firefighters responded to a fire alarm going off in a building, but they only wasted their time because the tenant was cooking. The smoke got too much and triggered the smoke detector. The local government of NYC decided that residential building owners install smoke detectors and fire alarms at least 20 feet from either stationary or fixed cooking appliances to ensure they won't get triggered. 

However, there is an exception when you install the fire alarms and smoke detectors with photoelectric detection. The law states that you can install them "at a radial span greater than 6 feet" from any fixed or stationary cooking appliances under two conditions:

  • The cooking or kitchen area and adjoining spaces have no clear interior headers or partitions.
  • The ten-foot area of exclusion would forbid the placement of a smoke detector or alarm needed by other code portions. 

Since you now know the fire safety guidelines and requirements in NYC, it can help you construct your residential building better. If you're looking for quality construction materials like HVAC access doors and panels, don't forget to look for Best Access Doors. You can give us a call at 1-800-483-0823 today!

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  • Chris Jackson

    Business Development Manage


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