Emergencies requiring quick exit from a building can quickly turn catastrophic when there are many people on the premises. As a result, the Department of Buildings holds buildings with a Place of Assembly permit to a high standard, and it’s easy to get written up. Here are the most common problems throughout the PACO permit application process, as identified by the DOB:
Most Common Objections for Plan Exam:
- The individual space, floor, or building does not provide the necessary egress to support the place of assembly (PA) activity.
- The building’s Certificate of Occupancy does not reflect the correct use.
- The travel distance between PA space and fire-rated safe area, such as a stairwell or outside, does not meet minimum Construction Codes requirements.
- The separation between kitchen and PA space is not fire-rated according to Construction Codes requirements (only applicable for kitchens where cooking will occur).
Most Common Reasons for Failing PA Inspection:
- Exit signs are not in the correct area (they do not comply with Construction Codes or do not match approved plans).
- Failure to post occupancy sign indicating the maximum number of people allowed in the space.
- Failure to produce Emergency Lighting Letter or TR1 Form.
- Improper locking devices on doors (they do not comply with Construction Codes or do not match approved plans).
Even after a PA certificate is granted, the FDNY will still conduct periodic inspections to ensure the premises remains adherent to guidelines. If problems are found, the FDNY will issue either a Notice of Violation for problems that are not imminently dangerous, or a Violation Order for imminent safety hazards. Below are the most common reasons for each:
The Most Common Reasons Why FDNY Issues ECB Violations (NOVs):
- Failure to post permits (e.g., PA, maximum occupancy sign, Certificate of Occupancy)
- Failure to produce flame proofing affidavit
- Valid Certificate of Fitness/Certificate of Qualification holder not on site (Only applicable for certain types of PA spaces such as banquet halls and cabarets
- Missing or damaged lighting or exit signs
The Most Common Reasons Why FDNY Issues Violation Orders (VOs)
- Approved floor plans or PA not on site
- Plans not updated after major renovation
- Operating contrary to Certificate of Occupancy (C of O)
- Observed establishment name, owner name or use description does not match
- Obstruction in travel path (path from PA space to fire-rated safe area, such as
- stairwell or outside)
- Egress blocked or locked
- Overcrowding (more people in space than allowed by PA)
Interested in learning more? Give us a call at 718-392-1969 or Contact Us