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Illegal alcove 8 foot steel door in steel frame?

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Illegal alcove 8 foot steel door in steel frame?

Postby Robert Fortune » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:06 am

Ke aloha no:
(Greetings)

Would anyone know the specifics of the NYC building code law that would apply to a 8 foot (high) steel door that the building owner where I live has installed almost directly outside the door to the room which I rent to live in full time?
I need to open this door to make entry to the door to my room and also to access the shared bathroom (with the room next to mine) and when this door is opened there is about 8 inches or less that one has to squeeze through to get by the steel door in question.
In addition, with this steel door installed that is yet one more door that I have to be able to hear through while sleeping should a building fire break out at night while I am sleeping making it less likely that I will hear the smoke alarms in the hallway while asleep in my room with my door closed and locked.
As well the building owner has installed similar doors in the front of the building which lead to the rooms in the building (the building is a SRO---> made into a tourist hotel recent years) that has the only fire escape in the building. The NYC fire department has been of no help whatsoever on this or any other fire safety issue in the building. I had one fire officer try to tell me that the building did not require smoke alarms because the building has a fire sprinkler system in it. No, I am not making that one up folks.
Oh boy what a system! Any feedback much appreciated. I am due in NYC housing court later this month. I am choosing to represent myself as earlier efforts to get the West Side SRO Law Project (I live in Manhattan on the lower West Side- Chelsea) and the NYC Civil Liberities Union were both turned down and both told me that could not help me under any circumstances. Nice, huh? Thanks. Aloha. Peace.
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Re: Illegal alcove 8 foot steel door in steel frame?

Postby Anna » Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:45 pm

Did you include these problems in your HP Action?
http://www.tenant.net/.WWW/ubbgraphics/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=000156
Are they on your inspection list? If not, bring photos to court and ask the court to amend your complaint to include them.

ps: did you go to the Chelsea Clinic?
CHELSEA COALITION ON HOUSING
Covers 14th St. to 30th St., 5th Ave. to the Hudson River.
322 W. 17th St. (basement), CH3-0544
Thursdays 7:30 pm
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Re: Illegal alcove 8 foot steel door in steel frame?

Postby BronxRenter » Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:19 pm

I am a firefighter with the FDNY, currently assigned to inspection duties. The Officer may be correct, fire alarms are actually required in very few buildings.

Your building if it is actually a SRO still, comes under some very old and cryptic laws.

The best way to make a complaint with the FDNY is to call or stop by your local firehouse, ask for the officer on duty and make your complaint. He or she may refer you to another firehouse, because the admin districts are different than the response districts.

If you email me your address, I would be glad to stop by and inspect the building thoroughly when I am working next.
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Re: Illegal alcove 8 foot steel door in steel frame?

Postby Robert Fortune » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:20 pm

Aloha, NYFD Officer:

I'm not talking Fire Alarm. I'm talking "Smoke" alarms. This particular NYFD officer tried to convince me that since the building has a "supposedly" fully functinal working building-wide fire sprinkler system that the BO\LL did not need to have any *smoke* alarms in the building. NYC law most definitely does require that all dwellings in the confines of the City of New York York have working smoke alarms. Of that I am most certain.
Fortunately, at the time, there were two other (more senior - White Shirts) NYFD Fire Officers inspecting the other half of the building and when they can down from their inspection they DID notify the BO\LL (Building Owner\Landlord)'s onsite agent that they had to install smoke alarms throughout the building and in each and every single room in the SRO\Hotel here which of course the BO\LL did the next day (thanks to yours truly - I could have done without the aggravation since it's not my building and I'm only a rent-paying tenant here).
Since I now have your ear, so to speak, as a NYFD member, I'd be most curious to hear your call on something. With these building-wide fire sprinkler systems which of course are set off when sufficient heat melts the coating on the sprinkler head(s) itself, how is it that the NYFD has determined that simply by checking that the pressure gauge of the water line that feeds the sprinkler heads throughout the building is all that is required to determine that the system is working and fully operational in the event of a building fire? By assuming that just because there is sufficient water pressure in the line aren't you overlooking the possibility that these fire sprinkler heads, some of which are here are corroded, painted on and over 20 years old, may in fact be clogged and\or non-functioning and no amount of water pressure in the line will make any difference if these fire sprinkler heads should be clogged, that be the case in the event of a fire? You know kind of like a garden hose connected to a faucet on the outside of your home. That garden hose can have plenty of water pressure in it, but if the actual sprayer that you have connected to the other end of that garden hose is clogged or non-functioning no amount of water pressure in that garden hose is going to get water to come spraying out of the end of that sprayer connected to the end of that garden hose. No?
I do have sympathy though for you rank and file NYFD people since I have a good idea of some of the conditions in some of these buildings that if and when they catch fire must be most definitely extremely hazardous to enter, especially in a smoky and hot burning fire situation, and live to tell the tale.
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Re: Illegal alcove 8 foot steel door in steel frame?

Postby BronxRenter » Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:57 pm

First let me correct you on some terms,please don't take offense, I simply want to clarify things to avoid confusion.

It FDNY not NYFD :)

Second you are referring to smoke detectors, a smoke alarm is something entirely different. Yes you are correct smoke detectors, and now, CO detectors are required inside every apartment in NYC.

In regards to the sprinkler system. I do not have a cut and dry answer for you because it's complicated. The proper way to test the sprinkler system is to open the valve called the "inspectors test valve". If the system is working properly water should flow from this point. This ensures that there is at least water present in the pipe throughout the entire system. This valve is located at the farthest point in the entire system. Whether or not the heads will function is a different matter, I'm not sure if there are any rules about this, but as an inspector, the common sense rule would apply, if there is paint present on them or they are missing, I would require replacement.

Without knowing the particulars of your type of system, it is impossible to know which set of rules it comes under, but generally the system should be inspected by a qualified person at least annually. Other systems require monthly checks, and a FDNY certificate of fitness. These inpection records must be made available to FDNY inspectors.
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Re: Illegal alcove 8 foot steel door in steel frame?

Postby Anna » Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:59 am

Smoke/CO detectors are required in every dwelling unit in a Class A unit/bldg, but NOT in Class B units/bldgs. (Class A = permanent residence, Class B = transient, i.e. stays for less than one week are legal. Bldgs can contain both.)

the building is a SRO---> made into a tourist hotel recent years
If this SRO/hotel is legally a tourist hotel, it is a Class B building. The LL has these options, not available in Class A hotels:

smoke detectors
HMC Sec. 27-2046
1. provide and install one or more approved and operational smoke detecting devices in each dwelling unit or, in the alternative,provide and install a line-operated zoned smoke detecting system with central annunciation and central office tie-in for all public corridors and public spaces, pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner of buildings.

CO detector requirement, eff 11/1/04:
Are hotels subject to the new law?

Yes. Hotels are treated just like apartment buildings, except hotels are given one additional compliance method. Under Department of Buildings Rules 1 RCNY § 28-02 (b)(1), available online at www.nyc.gov/buildings, hotel owners may choose either to:

1. Comply with the requirements as specified for apartments, with a carbon monoxide detector located in each dwelling unit; or
2. Install a line-operated zoned carbon monoxide detector system with central annunciation and central office tie-in. This sort of system must provide an alarm in spaces identified in the Rules.
'hotel' as used here means Class B hotels only; Class A hotels must install a CO detector in every sleeping room.
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Re: Illegal alcove 8 foot steel door in steel frame?

Postby Robert Fortune » Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:31 am

Originally posted by LizardKing:
Ke aloha no:
(Greetings)

Would anyone know the specifics of the NYC building code law that would apply to a 8 foot (high) steel door that the building owner where I live has installed almost directly outside the door to the room which I rent to live in full time?
I need to open this door to make entry to the door to my room and also to access the shared bathroom (with the room next to mine) and when this door is opened there is about 8 inches or less that one has to squeeze through to get by the steel door in question.
In addition, with this steel door installed that is yet one more door that I have to be able to hear through while sleeping should a building fire break out at night while I am sleeping making it less likely that I will hear the smoke alarms in the hallway while asleep in my room with my door closed and locked.
As well the building owner has installed similar doors in the front of the building which lead to the rooms in the building (the building is a SRO---> made into a tourist hotel recent years) that has the only fire escape in the building. The NYC fire department has been of no help whatsoever on this or any other fire safety issue in the building. I had one fire officer try to tell me that the building did not require smoke alarms because the building has a fire sprinkler system in it. No, I am not making that one up folks.
Oh boy what a system! Any feedback much appreciated. I am due in NYC housing court later this month. I am choosing to represent myself as earlier efforts to get the West Side SRO Law Project (I live in Manhattan on the lower West Side- Chelsea) and the NYC Civil Liberities Union were both turned down and both told me that could not help me under any circumstances. Nice, huh? Thanks. Aloha. Peace.
Yes, they are "Smoke" detectors. Still the tale I told was the absolute truth. Sorry about the NYFD thing.
Another point of interest regarding this New York City fire sprinkler up to code stuff is the fact that with it the BO\LL (Building Owner(s)\Landlords) have control over whether the shutoff valve that feeds water to the fire sprinkler system is ON or OFF which is usually in the building basement.
Given the track record of these BO\LLs with some having literally hundreds of active and on file building violations against just a single one of their buildings, you are giving them way too much room to violate one more code and a *very* life-threatening one, too!
There will and no doubt are some LLs who will simply shut the valve that feeds water to the building's fire sprinkler system and if a fire should break out in their building and lives are lost they'll simply claim they "didn't know" it was off. Boy! What a system.
Of course I am aware that the NYFDs fire safety codes do not meet the meet the NFPA's (National Fire Prevention Association's) recommended nationwide standards.
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Re: Illegal alcove 8 foot steel door in steel frame?

Postby BronxRenter » Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:20 pm

The main sprinkler valve on any sprinkler system is either an OSY (outside stem and yoke) or a wafer type valve. This means that anyone can tell the status of the valve by simply looking at it.

This valve is required by law to be sealed in the open position. You will usually see a bicycle type chain with a padlock securing these valves open.
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Re: Illegal alcove 8 foot steel door in steel frame?

Postby Robert Fortune » Sun Apr 17, 2005 9:57 pm

Aloha, Phil on-the-job:

Mahalo (Thanks) for the tip on the "required by law" tip that those fire sprinkler systems water feeder lines must have a chain locking them in the open position.
Unfortunately too many of these local NYC BO\LLs have more excuses than vermin can find their ways into their buildings.
Nice of you to donate some of your free time online here trying to help local folks out. Makes FDNY look good. It surely does. Peace.
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