The Real Estate Board of New York to The New York City Council Committee on Fire and Emergency Management on Intro 2430-2021

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The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is the City’s leading real estate trade association representing commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers, salespeople, and other organizations and individuals active in New York City real estate. REBNY thanks the Council for the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the New York City Fire Code.

The standards set in the Fire Code are essential for New Yorkers to safely reside, work, and socialize throughout the five boroughs. The Fire Department’s (FDNY) continual review and updates to the City’s fire safety requirements for businesses and buildings is necessary to ensure New York’s regulations remain current and account for recently identified fire risks and hazards, such as new technologies.

REBNY shares in FDNY’s goal of improving public safety and thanks FDNY for its partnership and willingness to work with the industry throughout the code revision process. FDNY worked with industry representatives, including REBNY, seeking feedback on relevant sections of the Code. In particular, we appreciate FDNY’s extensive engagement and conversations around fire operations in high-rise megastructures, building rooftop access, and stationary energy storage systems. Many of these demonstrate considerable effort from FDNY to accommodate the design and technology necessary to allow the city’s buildings to comply with municipal and state resilience and sustainability efforts. Moreover, we believe the latest proposed Code language will improve fire safety standards without appreciable disruption to continued building development and operations.

This sort of long-term engagement with different subject matter experts to work through far-reaching and technical regulations is the archetype of good governance. As the City continues its work to improve life for New Yorkers, it should follow FDNY’s approach by being inclusive, measured and addressing issues holistically rather than through disjointed acts and legislation.

REBNY broadly supports the proposed changes to the Fire Code, and we look forward to our continued collaboration as the Code is finalized and implemented and are eager to assist FDNY with outreach and education to ensure compliance with the changes.

Thank you for the consideration of these points.