A01906 Summary:

BILL NOA01906A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S04663-B
 
SPONSORZebrowski (MS)
 
COSPNSRJaffee, Gottfried, Thiele, Rosenthal L, Cook, Galef, Dickens, D'Urso, Bronson, Solages, Montesano, Raia, Colton, Norris, Manktelow, Perry, Buchwald
 
MLTSPNSRMiller B, Simon
 
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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A01906 Actions:

BILL NOA01906A
 
01/17/2019referred to education
05/01/2019reported referred to ways and means
06/12/2019amend and recommit to ways and means
06/12/2019print number 1906a
06/19/2019reported referred to rules
06/20/2019reported
06/20/2019rules report cal.637
06/20/2019substituted by s4663b
 S04663 AMEND=B CARLUCCI
 03/20/2019REFERRED TO EDUCATION
 05/29/2019AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO EDUCATION
 05/29/2019PRINT NUMBER 4663A
 06/11/2019AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO EDUCATION
 06/11/2019PRINT NUMBER 4663B
 06/20/2019COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
 06/20/2019ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1818
 06/20/2019PASSED SENATE
 06/20/2019DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
 06/20/2019referred to ways and means
 06/20/2019substituted for a1906a
 06/20/2019ordered to third reading rules cal.637
 06/20/2019passed assembly
 06/20/2019returned to senate
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A01906 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A1906A
 
SPONSOR: Zebrowski (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to fire inspections of public and private schools   PURPOSE OF THE BILL: The bill will modernize the process of conducting annual fire inspection reports for public and private schools.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill amends section 807-a of the education law as it relates to annual fire inspections in public and private school build- ings. The bill requires the schools to request inspection from the local fire department, county fire coordinator or certified fire inspector. The bill allows certain notices to be posted and mailed electronically. The bill provides for recourse if schools fail to comply with the annual fire inspection process. It clarifies the current power of the commis- sioner to deny the certificate of occupancy if a public school fails to correct deficiencies following an inspection. If a private school fails to comply with the requirement, the commissioner must inspect or request a local authority to inspect the building. If the school fails to provide access to an inspector or fails to correct violations in a time- ly manner then the commissioner notify, in writing, the local government of the school's failure to comply. The bill clarifies which authorities may inspect the schools at any reasonable time. Section two of the bill amends section 807-c as it relates to renumber- ing amended references. Section three of the bill relates to the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: This bill modernizes the law to take into account changes in how these inspections are conducted. It will remove the ability of persons who are not qualified to conduct the inspection to do so. It also provides schools with flexibility in meeting the public notice requirements and eliminates the "hold harmless" provision which allow inspectors who made errors on an inspection reports to not be held liable. Current law requires schools to submit an annual fire safety report which includes an inspection of school buildings. There is no recourse for schools who fail to submit an annual fire safety report in a timely manner or at all. This bill requires the commissioner of education to take action if a private school does not comply with the inspection requirement. Currently, the commissioner has the ability to take action if a public school fails to comply with the inspection requirement but there is no similar process for private schools. Under the legislation, if a private school fails to comply, the commissioner shall order the school to be inspected and if the inspection is refused, they must notify the local government who has jurisdiction over the school of their non-compliance. This will provide the State Education Department with the necessary enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance with this requirement and the safety of school buildings.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.2985-A of 2017-18   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become law.
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A01906 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         1906--A
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 17, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M. of A. ZEBROWSKI, JAFFEE, GOTTFRIED, THIELE, L. ROSEN-
          THAL, COOK, GALEF, DICKENS, D'URSO, BRONSON, SOLAGES, MONTESANO, RAIA,
          COLTON, NORRIS, MANKTELOW -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. B. MILLER,
          SIMON -- read once and referred  to  the  Committee  on  Education  --
          reported  and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means -- committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
          to said committee
 
        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.

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01579-07-9

        A. 1906--A                          2
 
     1    2.  The annual fire inspection shall be made prior to the first day of
     2  December of every school year and the report thereof shall be  filed  by
     3  the  school  authorities  in  the places required by subdivision five of
     4  this section no later than the sixteenth day of December of  every  such
     5  year.
     6    3.  a. The school authorities shall cause any fire inspection pursuant
     7  to this section to be made by one  of  the  following  methods,  or  any
     8  combination of such methods:
     9    (1)  [Employing,  either  regularly  or specially, persons who, in the
    10  judgment of the school  authorities,  are  qualified  to  make  such  an
    11  inspection, or any phase thereof.
    12    (2) Contracting for the making of such inspections, or any phase ther-
    13  eof,  by  persons  who,  in  the judgment of the school authorities, are
    14  qualified.
    15    (3)] Requesting inspection by the fire department of any  city,  town,
    16  village or fire district in which the building is located.
    17    [(4)] (2) Requesting inspection by a fire corporation which is subject
    18  to  the provisions of section fourteen hundred two of the not-for-profit
    19  corporation law, if such building is located within the  area  described
    20  in the certificate of incorporation of any such corporation.
    21    [(5)] (3) Requesting inspection by the county fire coordinator, or the
    22  officer  performing  the  powers and duties of a county fire coordinator
    23  pursuant to a local law, of the county in which the building is located,
    24  or by any deputy county fire coordinator or deputy of such other officer
    25  so performing the powers and duties of a county fire coordinator  desig-
    26  nated  to  make  the  inspection  by the county fire coordinator or such
    27  other officer so performing the powers and duties of a county fire coor-
    28  dinator, if the building is located outside a city,  town,  village,  or
    29  fire  district,  which  has its own fire department and outside the area
    30  described in the certificate of incorporation of  any  fire  corporation
    31  which  is  subject  to the provisions of section fourteen hundred two of
    32  the not-for-profit corporation law.
    33    (4) Requesting inspection by a  fire  inspector,  who  holds  a  valid
    34  certification.
    35    b.  [If any such inspection, or phase thereof, is to be made by either
    36  of the methods specified in subparagraphs (1) and (2) of paragraph a  of
    37  this subdivision, the school authorities shall give reasonable notice of
    38  the  date  and time such inspection is to be made to the chief, or other
    39  comparable officer, of any fire department, or fire  corporation,  which
    40  has  the  regular duty of fighting fire in the building to be inspected.
    41  Such officer, or any subordinate  designated  by  him,  may  be  present
    42  during  the  inspection  and may also file a report of inspection in the
    43  manner provided in this section.
    44    c.] If any fire department, certified fire inspector  or  fire  corpo-
    45  ration  described  in  subparagraphs [(3) and (4)] one, two, and four of
    46  paragraph a of this subdivision shall fail or  refuse  to  make  a  fire
    47  inspection  promptly  after having been requested to do so by the school
    48  authorities, the request shall  be  denied  in  writing  to  the  school
    49  authorities  [may  request  the  county fire coordinator, or the officer
    50  performing the powers and duties of a county fire  coordinator  pursuant
    51  to  a  local law, of the county in which the building is located to make
    52  such inspection. It shall be the duty of the county fire coordinator, or
    53  such other officer so performing the powers and duties of a county  fire
    54  coordinator, in such case to make such inspection or cause it to be made
    55  by  a  deputy  whom  he shall designate] with an explanation of why such
    56  request was denied. In no  event  may  an  authority  who  is  otherwise

        A. 1906--A                          3
 
     1  required  by  law  to conduct fire inspections in such municipality or a
     2  county fire coordinator refuse a request by a school authority for  such
     3  inspection.
     4    [d.]  c.  Regardless  of  the method or methods used to accomplish the
     5  inspection required by this section, the [person] authority  making  the
     6  inspection  shall file the report thereof with the school authorities no
     7  later than the first day of December.
     8    4. The state fire administrator shall prescribe the form of  the  fire
     9  inspection  report  and  the commissioner [of education] shall furnish a
    10  supply of such form to school authorities annually, either  by  mail  or
    11  electronically.    In prescribing such form the state fire administrator
    12  shall consider standards for fire safety set forth in the state building
    13  construction code, the state building conservation and  fire  prevention
    14  code, the regulations of the commissioner [of education] and other safe-
    15  ty standards.
    16    5.  a.  The report of any fire inspection shall be filed in the office
    17  of the school authorities and with the commissioner [of education].  All
    18  such  reports  [so]  filed  in any public office shall be kept as public
    19  records for at  least  three  years  after  which  period  they  may  be
    20  destroyed.
    21    b.  Within  twenty days after the [filing of the] report is filed with
    22  the school authorities, the school authorities shall cause public notice
    23  of the filing of such report to be given in substantially the  following
    24  form:     "Notice  is  hereby  given  that  the  annual  inspection  for
    25       (year)                                                           of
    26  the                      school building (or of the
    27  and        school  buildings)  of  (name  of  school district or private
    28  school) for fire hazards which might endanger  the  lives  of  students,
    29  teachers and employees therein, has been completed and the report there-
    30  of  is  available  at  the office of (school district or private school)
    31  at        for inspection by all interested persons". If  the  inspection
    32  was  not  made for the school authorities by the fire department or fire
    33  company responsible for fire protection of the building,  such  authori-
    34  ties  shall  cause  a copy of such notice to be mailed or electronically
    35  transmitted to the chief of such fire department or company.
    36    c. The school authorities of public schools shall cause such notice to
    37  be published on the school's website or at least once  in  the  official
    38  newspaper,  or  if there is no official newspaper, in a newspaper having
    39  general circulation in the school district, and if there is no newspaper
    40  having general circulation in the district, shall cause such  notice  to
    41  be  posted in ten conspicuous places in the district.  Proof of publica-
    42  tion or posting of such notice and of the mailing  of  a  copy  of  such
    43  notice to the fire chief shall be filed in the office of the district.
    44    d.  The  school authorities of private schools shall cause such notice
    45  to be published on the school's website or at least once in a  newspaper
    46  having general circulation in the postal area in which the school build-
    47  ing  is located, and if there is no newspaper having general circulation
    48  in such postal area, shall  cause  such  notice  to  be  posted  in  ten
    49  conspicuous places in such postal area.  Proof of posting or publication
    50  of  such  notice and of the mailing of a copy of such notice to the fire
    51  chief shall be filed in the school office.
    52    e. If the report shows any alleged deficiencies, the  school  authori-
    53  ties  shall  [give at least five days notice by mail to the chief of the
    54  fire department or fire company responsible for fire protection  of  the
    55  school  building  of  the  date  and place of a meeting of the trustees,
    56  board of education, or corresponding officers by whatever name known, to

        A. 1906--A                          4

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

        A. 1906--A                          5
 
     1    (5)  the fire inspector, who holds a valid certification, of any city,
     2  town, village or fire district in which the building is located.
     3    b.  In  no event shall the school authorities of any public or private
     4  school, required to be inspected as hereinabove provided, refuse  access
     5  at  any  reasonable  time  to any person described in subparagraphs one,
     6  two, three [and], four or five of paragraph a of this  subdivision,  who
     7  appears  for the purpose of conducting an inspection for fire prevention
     8  or fire protection purposes; provided, however, that  the  administrator
     9  or the designee of the administrator of the school to be inspected shall
    10  be given the opportunity to be present during the inspection.
    11    8.  [Any person, or any public or other corporation for which any such
    12  person acts, shall not be liable for any  error,  omission  or  lack  of
    13  thoroughness  in  the  making  of  the inspection and report required or
    14  permitted by this section.
    15    9.] The term "school authorities", as used in this section, means,  in
    16  relation  to  public  schools,  the  trustees, or board of education, or
    17  corresponding officers, whether one or more, and by whatever name  known
    18  of a city school district, or other school district however created, or,
    19  in  relation  to private schools, the board of trustees, board of direc-
    20  tors, or other governing board in general charge of the operation of any
    21  such school.
    22    [10.] 9. The term "private school", as used in this section, means:
    23    a. Any nursery school or kindergarten attended by six or  more  pupils
    24  three  years of age or older which may apply for registration by the New
    25  York state education department pursuant to part one hundred twenty-five
    26  of title eight of the official compilation of  codes,  rules  and  regu-
    27  lations  of  the state of New York; provided, however, that this section
    28  shall not apply to day care facilities  possessing  a  valid  permit  as
    29  required by section three hundred ninety of the social services law; or
    30    b.  Any establishment, other than a public school, attended by twenty-
    31  five or more pupils for the purpose  of  receiving  the  instruction  of
    32  academic grade at the elementary or secondary level required by part one
    33  of article sixty-five of this chapter.
    34    [11.]  10.  This  section shall not apply to the school authorities in
    35  the cities of New York, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers  or  to
    36  colleges and universities.
    37    §  2.  Subdivision 1 of section 807-c of the education law, as amended
    38  by chapter 1015 of the laws of 1974, is amended to read as follows:
    39    1. The school authorities designated in subdivision  [nine]  eight  of
    40  section eight hundred seven-a of this [chapter] article in charge of the
    41  operation  of  any  public school or of any private school designated in
    42  subdivision [ten] nine of such section, located in an area within  which
    43  a fire department or fire company is responsible for fire protection and
    44  within  which  there  is no electrically or electronically operated fire
    45  alarm reporting system provided for public use may  cause  the  internal
    46  fire  alarm, fire detection, or fire extinguishing system of each build-
    47  ing in which is contained  classroom,  dormitory,  laboratory,  physical
    48  education,  dining  or  recreational  facilities  for  student use to be
    49  interconnected with the fire alarm reporting location or system which is
    50  provided for such fire department or fire company to receive alarms from
    51  the public so that upon activation of such  internal  fire  alarm,  fire
    52  detection,  or  fire extinguishing system a signal will be automatically
    53  transmitted to such fire alarm reporting location or system.
    54    § 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
    55  have become a law.
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A01906 LFIN:

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