Yearly Fire Inspection of All Charter Schools
To: School Leaders and Board Chairs of All Charter Schools
From: David Frank, Executive Director
Date: January 14, 2019
Subject: Yearly Fire Inspection of New York City and Rest of State Charter Schools
All charter schools operating in New York State are required to have an initial fire inspection and valid Certificate of Occupancy prior to the use of any building to be occupied by children. Thereafter, charter schools are required to maintain a valid Certificate of Occupancy and yearly fire inspections as a condition of operation. Fire inspection reports are required to be completed by December 1 and submitted by December 16 of each year unless otherwise noted. Failure to meet these requirements can result in the inability to continue to operate in the applicable structure.
Charter Schools in New York City
For charter schools in New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) co-located space, the NYCDOE assumes all responsibility for the building, and no further action is needed from the school unless otherwise notified by the NYCDOE. All other charter schools located in New York City are responsible for ensuring that the initial and then subsequent yearly fire inspections occur. In New York City, yearly fire inspections are conducted centrally by the FDNY Bureau of Fire Prevention, not the local fire precinct.
An initial fire inspection may be requested from the FDNY by calling the Public Buildings Unit at 718-999-2411 or you can request an inspection online by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon inspection by the FDNY, an A106 form will be issued (see sample below). It is this form, in New York City, that may be requested by your authorizer to verify that the charter school has met all fire inspection requirements.
After the initial fire inspection, the FDNY should automatically schedule fire inspections on a yearly basis. If this fails to occur, it is the responsibility of the charter school to ensure that the FDNY is contacted annually, and a fire inspection takes place in the appropriate time frame.
Rest of State Charter Schools
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Facilities Planning is the Authority Having Jurisdiction for code enforcement for all public schools in New York State outside of New York City.
Schools chartered prior to 2010 are subject to local code enforcement rules and requirements. These schools are required to have an annual fire inspection, after which the Nonpublic School Fire Inspection Report must be submitted to the NYSED Office of Facilities Planning. For these purposes, the Nonpublic School Fire Inspection Report and Manual are used.
Schools chartered after 2010 must adhere to the same requirements as other public schools, including annual fire inspection requirements. Annual fire inspection due dates are determined by the school’s geographic location within school fire inspection zones (as determined by the NYSED Office of Facilities Planning). Following the receipt and review of the annual Public School Fire Inspection Report, as well as the school’s correction of all items of non-conformance, an annual certificate of occupancy will be issued for that school building. The date for the annual inspection shifts by one month every year to ensure that over the course of time, the facility is inspected during each season. The Public School Fire Inspection Report and Manual (including the inspection schedule) are available.