Your to-do list just got longer. The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) has issued new regulations that will require co-op and condo boards to install glow-in-the-dark signs on all apartment and stairwell doors.
All apartment buildings must comply with the rule by March 30, 2018 – though buildings with duplex or triplex apartments were required to comply by March 30 of this year. A glow-in-the-dark or light-reflecting sign with the apartment number must be installed on the door jamb of every apartment in the building, no more than 12 inches from the floor. A similar sign with the word EXIT must be installed on the jamb of all stairwell doors. The signs are intended to guide firefighters if smoke obscures eye-level apartment numbers.
“Such identification ensures firefighters can more quickly conduct search-and-rescue operations,” the FDNY rule states. “Additionally, the fire emergency marking for [duplex and triplex] units will make it possible for firefighters to ascertain whether they are entering the lower level of an apartment, rather than the upper level of an apartment, where temperatures may be unsafe. The fire emergency marking also assists in identifying apartments that are joined horizontally [such as adjoining apartments that have been combined into a single unit].”
Failure to comply with this new local law is not advised. As Evan Lipstein, president of Hyline Safety Co., wrote recently in the New York Real Estate Journal: “If building owners disregard this law, it opens them up to the potential for criminal negligence if a tragedy should occur as a result of non-compliance.”