Today, the Department of Buildings (DOB) reminded all property owners and tenants of safety regulations concerning the use of rooftops, terraces, balconies, and fire escapes. These regulations apply all year, but are particularly relevant for viewing the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks display, which is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, July 4th, 2019.
“We want everyone to have a safe and happy Fourth of July – but to do that, New Yorkers need to make sure they select an appropriate place to view the fireworks. We encourage building owners to communicate to residents that areas like rooftops and fire escapes are not safe places to gather,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca.
Property owners and tenants should observe the following safety rules:
- accessing building rooftops is prohibited, unless the rooftop has an approved deck or other code-compliant space for gatherings, beyond what is required for regular maintenance; legal spaces for rooftop gatherings are equipped with guardrails and multiple emergency exits, among other safety features; the maximum legal occupancy is required to be publicly displayed in these spaces;
- do not gather on fire escapes; fire escapes must be free of obstructions at all times;
- do not overcrowd terraces or balconies;
- do not prop open emergency doors or disable door alarms.
New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311 to report non-compliant conditions or 911 to report emergencies. Under §28-301.1 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, property owners are legally obligated to maintain their properties in a safe condition.