S04663 Summary:

BILL NOS04663
 
SAME ASSAME AS A01906
 
SPONSORCARLUCCI
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd 807-a & 807-c, Ed L
 
Relates to fire inspections in public and private schools; requires annual fire safety reports.
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S04663 Actions:

BILL NOS04663
 
03/20/2019REFERRED TO EDUCATION
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S04663 Memo:

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S04663 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          4663
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                     March 20, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Education
 
        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to  fire  inspections  of
          public and private schools
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Section 807-a of the education law, as added by chapter 871
     2  of the laws of 1955, subdivision 1 as  amended  and  subdivision  10  as
     3  added  by  chapter  981  of  the  laws  of 1963, subdivisions 2 and 3 as
     4  amended by chapter 607 of the laws of 1964, subparagraphs  4  and  5  of
     5  paragraph  a  of  subdivision  3  and  paragraph  a of subdivision 10 as
     6  amended by chapter 284 of the laws of 1971, paragraph b of subdivision 3
     7  as amended by chapter 511 of the laws of 1974, subdivision 4 as  amended
     8  by  chapter 225 of the laws of 1979, subdivision 5 as amended by chapter
     9  700 of the laws of 1971, paragraph a of  subdivision  5  as  amended  by
    10  chapter 464 of the laws of 1975, subdivision 6 as amended by chapter 165
    11  of the laws of 2006, subdivision 7 as amended by chapter 536 of the laws
    12  of  1981,  and  subdivision  11 as amended by chapter 380 of the laws of
    13  1976, is amended to read as follows:
    14    § 807-a. Fire inspections. 1. It shall  be  the  duty  of  the  school
    15  authorities  in general charge of the operation of any public or private
    16  school to cause the  buildings  of  such  school  containing  classroom,
    17  dormitory, laboratory, physical education, dining or recreational facil-
    18  ities for student use to be inspected at least annually for fire hazards
    19  which might endanger the lives of students, teachers and employees ther-
    20  ein.
    21    2.  The annual fire inspection shall be made prior to the first day of
    22  December of every school year and the report thereof shall be  filed  by
    23  the  school  authorities  in  the places required by subdivision five of
    24  this section no later than the sixteenth day of December of  every  such
    25  year.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01579-01-9

        S. 4663                             2
 
     1    3.  a. The school authorities shall cause any fire inspection pursuant
     2  to this section to be made by one  of  the  following  methods,  or  any
     3  combination of such methods:
     4    (1)  [Employing,  either  regularly  or specially, persons who, in the
     5  judgment of the school  authorities,  are  qualified  to  make  such  an
     6  inspection, or any phase thereof.
     7    (2) Contracting for the making of such inspections, or any phase ther-
     8  eof,  by  persons  who,  in  the judgment of the school authorities, are
     9  qualified.
    10    (3)] Requesting inspection by the fire department of any  city,  town,
    11  village or fire district in which the building is located.
    12    [(4)] (2) Requesting inspection by a fire corporation which is subject
    13  to  the provisions of section fourteen hundred two of the not-for-profit
    14  corporation law, if such building is located within the  area  described
    15  in the certificate of incorporation of any such corporation.
    16    [(5)] (3) Requesting inspection by the county fire coordinator, or the
    17  officer  performing  the  powers and duties of a county fire coordinator
    18  pursuant to a local law, of the county in which the building is located,
    19  or by any deputy county fire coordinator or deputy of such other officer
    20  so performing the powers and duties of a county fire coordinator  desig-
    21  nated  to  make  the  inspection  by the county fire coordinator or such
    22  other officer so performing the powers and duties of a county fire coor-
    23  dinator, if the building is located outside a city,  town,  village,  or
    24  fire  district,  which  has its own fire department and outside the area
    25  described in the certificate of incorporation of  any  fire  corporation
    26  which  is  subject  to the provisions of section fourteen hundred two of
    27  the not-for-profit corporation law.
    28    (4) Requesting inspection by a  fire  inspector,  who  holds  a  valid
    29  certification.
    30    b.  [If any such inspection, or phase thereof, is to be made by either
    31  of the methods specified in subparagraphs (1) and (2) of paragraph a  of
    32  this subdivision, the school authorities shall give reasonable notice of
    33  the  date  and time such inspection is to be made to the chief, or other
    34  comparable officer, of any fire department, or fire  corporation,  which
    35  has  the  regular duty of fighting fire in the building to be inspected.
    36  Such officer, or any subordinate  designated  by  him,  may  be  present
    37  during  the  inspection  and may also file a report of inspection in the
    38  manner provided in this section.
    39    c.] If any fire department, certified fire inspector  or  fire  corpo-
    40  ration  described in subparagraphs [(3)] (1), (2) and (4) of paragraph a
    41  of this subdivision shall fail or  refuse  to  make  a  fire  inspection
    42  promptly after having been requested to do so by the school authorities,
    43  the  request  shall  be denied in writing to the school authorities [may
    44  request the county fire  coordinator,  or  the  officer  performing  the
    45  powers  and duties of a county fire coordinator pursuant to a local law,
    46  of the county in which the building is located to make such  inspection.
    47  It shall be the duty of the county fire coordinator, or such other offi-
    48  cer so performing the powers and duties of a county fire coordinator, in
    49  such  case  to  make  such inspection or cause it to be made by a deputy
    50  whom he shall designate] with an explanation of  why  such  request  was
    51  denied. In no event may an authority who is otherwise required by law to
    52  conduct fire inspections in such municipality or a county fire coordina-
    53  tor refuse a request by a school authority for such inspection.
    54    [d.]  c.  Regardless  of  the method or methods used to accomplish the
    55  inspection required by this section, the [person] authority  making  the

        S. 4663                             3
 
     1  inspection  shall file the report thereof with the school authorities no
     2  later than the first day of December.
     3    4.  The  state fire administrator shall prescribe the form of the fire
     4  inspection report and the commissioner [of education]  shall  furnish  a
     5  supply  of  such  form to school authorities annually, either by mail or
     6  electronically.  In prescribing such form the state  fire  administrator
     7  shall consider standards for fire safety set forth in the state building
     8  construction  code,  the state building conservation and fire prevention
     9  code, the regulations of the commissioner [of education] and other safe-
    10  ty standards.
    11    5. a. The report of any fire inspection shall be filed in  the  office
    12  of  the school authorities and with the commissioner [of education]. All
    13  such reports [so] filed in any public office shall  be  kept  as  public
    14  records  for  at  least  three  years  after  which  period  they may be
    15  destroyed.
    16    b. Within twenty days after the [filing of the] report is  filed  with
    17  the school authorities, the school authorities shall cause public notice
    18  of  the filing of such report to be given in substantially the following
    19  form:    "Notice  is  hereby  given  that  the  annual  inspection   for
    20       (year)                                                           of
    21  the                      school building (or of the
    22  and        school buildings) of (name  of  school  district  or  private
    23  school)  for  fire  hazards  which might endanger the lives of students,
    24  teachers and employees therein, has been completed and the report there-
    25  of is available at the office of (school  district  or  private  school)
    26  at        for  inspection  by all interested persons". If the inspection
    27  was not made for the school authorities by the fire department  or  fire
    28  company  responsible  for fire protection of the building, such authori-
    29  ties shall cause a copy of such notice to be  mailed  or  electronically
    30  transmitted to the chief of such fire department or company.
    31    c. The school authorities of public schools shall cause such notice to
    32  be  published  on  the school's website or at least once in the official
    33  newspaper, or if there is no official newspaper, in a  newspaper  having
    34  general circulation in the school district, and if there is no newspaper
    35  having  general  circulation in the district, shall cause such notice to
    36  be posted in ten conspicuous places in the district.  Proof of  publica-
    37  tion  or  posting  of  such  notice and of the mailing of a copy of such
    38  notice to the fire chief shall be filed in the office of the district.
    39    d. The school authorities of private schools shall cause  such  notice
    40  to  be published on the school's website or at least once in a newspaper
    41  having general circulation in the postal area in which the school build-
    42  ing is located, and if there is no newspaper having general  circulation
    43  in  such  postal  area,  shall  cause  such  notice  to be posted in ten
    44  conspicuous places in such postal area.  Proof of posting or publication
    45  of such notice and of the mailing of a copy of such notice to  the  fire
    46  chief shall be filed in the school office.
    47    e.  If  the report shows any alleged deficiencies, the school authori-
    48  ties shall [give at least five days notice by mail to the chief  of  the
    49  fire  department  or fire company responsible for fire protection of the
    50  school building of the date and place of  a  meeting  of  the  trustees,
    51  board of education, or corresponding officers by whatever name known, to
    52  be held within thirty days following the publication or posting required
    53  by  this  section,  and shall at such meeting confer with the fire chief
    54  concerning the alleged deficiencies appearing on the  inspection  report
    55  and  the  measures  proposed  to  be  taken by the school authorities to
    56  correct such deficiencies.

        S. 4663                             4

     1    f. In each such school district  subject  to  the  jurisdiction  of  a
     2  district  superintendent  under  the provisions of article forty-five of
     3  the education law, such district superintendent shall ascertain that the
     4  notices required by this subdivision have been published or posted,  and
     5  mailed, and any conference with the fire chief required by this subdivi-
     6  sion  has  been  had]  provide  the details of such deficiencies and the
     7  proposed actions to be taken to correct such deficiencies to  the  local
     8  government that administers and enforces the uniform fire prevention and
     9  building code for the municipality in which the building is located.
    10    6.  a.  It shall be the duty of the commissioner to ascertain annually
    11  whether the inspections of school buildings  required  by  this  section
    12  have  been  made  and  the  reports of the inspection have been filed in
    13  their respective offices. The commissioner shall review the  reports  of
    14  inspection  filed  pursuant to this section and may make recommendations
    15  to the school authorities with  respect  to  any  problems  relating  to
    16  school fire safety noted in such reports. The commissioner shall require
    17  a re-inspection of school buildings where a report of inspection identi-
    18  fied  violations  [that,  if uncorrected, would cause the department to]
    19  until it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of  the  commissioner  that
    20  said  violations  have been corrected. In the event that a public school
    21  fails to correct violations following a re-inspection, the  commissioner
    22  may  deny  an  annual certificate of occupancy to such school building[,
    23  and shall require additional re-inspections until it is demonstrated  to
    24  the  satisfaction  of  the  commissioner  that said violations have been
    25  corrected]. The commissioner may inspect or cause to be inspected at any
    26  reasonable time for fire prevention and  fire  protection  purposes  the
    27  school buildings required to be inspected by this section.
    28    b.    In  the event a private school has failed to file an annual fire
    29  safety report with the department within ninety days of the sixteenth of
    30  December, the commissioner shall inspect or request an appropriate local
    31  authority, described in subdivision seven of this  section,  to  inspect
    32  the  school. If a private school either refuses access for an inspection
    33  pursuant to this paragraph, or does not correct violations identified in
    34  such report in a timely manner, the commissioner shall immediately noti-
    35  fy, in writing, the local government who issues the certificate of occu-
    36  pancy for the school of their failure to file a fire safety report.
    37    7. a. Every public or private  school  required  to  be  inspected  as
    38  hereinabove  provided  may  be  inspected  for  fire prevention and fire
    39  protection purposes at any reasonable time by:
    40    (1) the chief of the fire department of the  city,  town,  village  or
    41  fire district in which the school is located,
    42    (2)  the chief of a fire corporation having its headquarters outside a
    43  village or fire district, if the school is located in the area described
    44  in the certificate of incorporation of such company,
    45    (3) the chief of the fire department or fire  company  affording  fire
    46  protection  to  a fire district, fire protection district, or fire alarm
    47  district pursuant to a contract, if the school is located  in  any  such
    48  district,
    49    (4)  the  member  of  any  fire  department  or fire company listed in
    50  subparagraph one, two or three of this paragraph assigned by  the  chief
    51  thereof the duty of inspecting school buildings[.],
    52    (5)  the fire inspector, who holds a valid certification, of any city,
    53  town, village or fire district in which the building is located,
    54    (6) the county fire coordinator, or the officer performing the  powers
    55  and  duties of a county fire coordinator pursuant to a local law, of the
    56  county in which the building is located.

        S. 4663                             5
 
     1    b. In no event shall the school authorities of any public  or  private
     2  school,  required to be inspected as hereinabove provided, refuse access
     3  at any reasonable time to any person  described  in  subparagraphs  one,
     4  two,  three [and], four, five or six of paragraph a of this subdivision,
     5  who  appears  for  the  purpose  of  conducting  an  inspection for fire
     6  prevention or fire protection  purposes;  provided,  however,  that  the
     7  administrator  or  the designee of the administrator of the school to be
     8  inspected shall be given  the  opportunity  to  be  present  during  the
     9  inspection.
    10    8.  [Any person, or any public or other corporation for which any such
    11  person acts, shall not be liable for any  error,  omission  or  lack  of
    12  thoroughness  in  the  making  of  the inspection and report required or
    13  permitted by this section.
    14    9.] The term "school authorities", as used in this section, means,  in
    15  relation  to  public  schools,  the  trustees, or board of education, or
    16  corresponding officers, whether one or more, and by whatever name  known
    17  of a city school district, or other school district however created, or,
    18  in  relation  to private schools, the board of trustees, board of direc-
    19  tors, or other governing board in general charge of the operation of any
    20  such school.
    21    [10.] 9. The term "private school", as used in this section, means:
    22    a. Any nursery school or kindergarten attended by six or  more  pupils
    23  three  years of age or older which may apply for registration by the New
    24  York state education department pursuant to part one hundred twenty-five
    25  of title eight of the official compilation of  codes,  rules  and  regu-
    26  lations  of  the state of New York; provided, however, that this section
    27  shall not apply to day care facilities  possessing  a  valid  permit  as
    28  required by section three hundred ninety of the social services law; or
    29    b.  Any establishment, other than a public school, attended by twenty-
    30  five or more pupils for the purpose  of  receiving  the  instruction  of
    31  academic grade at the elementary or secondary level required by part one
    32  of article sixty-five of this chapter.
    33    [11.]  10.  This  section shall not apply to the school authorities in
    34  the cities of New York, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers  or  to
    35  colleges and universities.
    36    §  2.  Subdivision 1 of section 807-c of the education law, as amended
    37  by chapter 1015 of the laws of 1974, is amended to read as follows:
    38    1. The school authorities designated in subdivision  [nine]  eight  of
    39  section eight hundred seven-a of this [chapter] article in charge of the
    40  operation  of  any  public school or of any private school designated in
    41  subdivision [ten] nine of such section, located in an area within  which
    42  a fire department or fire company is responsible for fire protection and
    43  within  which  there  is no electrically or electronically operated fire
    44  alarm reporting system provided for public use may  cause  the  internal
    45  fire  alarm, fire detection, or fire extinguishing system of each build-
    46  ing in which is contained  classroom,  dormitory,  laboratory,  physical
    47  education,  dining  or  recreational  facilities  for  student use to be
    48  interconnected with the fire alarm reporting location or system which is
    49  provided for such fire department or fire company to receive alarms from
    50  the public so that upon activation of such  internal  fire  alarm,  fire
    51  detection,  or  fire extinguishing system a signal will be automatically
    52  transmitted to such fire alarm reporting location or system.
    53    § 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
    54  have become a law.
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