NY Forward Business Reopening Fire Safety Adviso
June 4, 2020
To: Nassau County Fire Departments, Town / City / Village Building Departments, Business and Property Owners
COVID-19 has changed the way in which our society must interact with each other. Businesses in New York State have been closed since the beginning of March to assist in combating this pandemic.
Now we are looking ahead to getting businesses operating and buildings reopened again. New York State has formed the NY Forward Advisory Board which has established regulations which must be followed by businesses who seek to reopen.
Part of the reopening procedure is that every location who is reopening shall develop a written plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The NY Forward Advisory Board has developed a Safety Plan Template that each business must complete and be retained on the premises of the business and made available to the NYS Department of Health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. The template can be found on-line at:
We must be cognizant that any plan to reduce the spread of COVID-19 must also take into consideration existing regulations of the NYS Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Codes, the Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance, and any other local laws or ordinances governing building and fire safety.
As buildings have been unoccupied for an extended period, each business shall:
- Have fire sprinkler systems serviced quarterly and annually in accordance with NFPA 25.
- Have fire alarm systems serviced annually and be in normal operation in accordance with NFPA72.
- Have portable fire extinguishers serviced annually in accordance with NFPA 10.
- Have Grease Hood and Duct systems inspected and cleaned within the last six (6) months.
- Have Automatic Fire Extinguishing Systems inspected and serviced within the last six (6) months.
- Have their local jurisdiction issued, maximum posted occupancy sign, posted in a conspicuous location.
Changes, alterations, modifications to the interior of spaces shall not:
- Obstruct a safe, continuous and unobstructed path of travel to any exit, exit access, exit discharge, exit passageway, or means of egress [NCFPO 13.3].
- Use combustible materials to create barriers or rooms to create isolated spaces; or utilized to create combustible platforms
- Use temporary electrical installations without required electrical inspections or utilize extension cords in place of permanent fixed hard-wired installations.
- Obstruct any fire lanes (fire apparatus access), fire hydrants, fire department sprinkler connections (FDC)
- Obstruct or inhibit the proper operation of a fire alarm, sprinkler system or any fire protection system.
- Obstruct access to portable fire extinguishers; additional portable fire extinguishers shall be provided in outdoor seating areas so they are accessible at a travel distance not to exceed 75 feet.
- Location of Cooking and heating equipment shall not be within 10 feet of exits or combustible materials. FCNYS 3107.12.3
- Outdoor Patio Heaters and cooking appliances utilizing LPG (propane) as its fuel source shall not be operated under any tent, canopy or membrane structure that is open to the public. These LPG patio heaters and cooking appliances shall not be located within ten (10) feet of exits or combustible materials and shall not be operated on any combustible construction, balconies or decks attached to an occupied structure.
Tent, canopy or membrane structures shall conform with the requirements of the NCFPO and FCNYS::
- A tent permit shall be secured from the Fire Marshal prior to the erection and/or use of a tent or membrane structure having an area greater than two hundred (200) square feet, or for any canopy having an area greater than four hundred (400) square feet where the tent, canopy or membrane structure is used for the public. NCFPO 14.8.1
- A tent permit shall be secured from the Fire Marshal for a tent, canopy or membrane structure within which cooking operations will be conducted regardless of size. NCFPO 14.8.2
- Smoking shall not be permitted in tents or membrane structures. Approved NO SMOKING signs shall be conspicuously posted. FCNYS 3107.3
- Open flame or other devices emitting flame, fire or heat or any flammable or combustible liquids, gas, charcoal or other cooking device or any other unapproved devices shall not be permitted inside or located within twenty (20) feet of the tent, canopy or membrane structures while open to the public. FCNYS 3104.7
Please call the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office if you should have any questions on this bulletin or the reopening process pertaining to fire safety. – Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Michael F. Uttaro