Establishes an emergency evacuation plan for individuals with disabilities; establishes $500 fine for failure to comply with such plan within one year of the effective date.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to establishing and maintaining an emergency evacuation plan for individuals with disabilities
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To ensure that there is an efficient emergency evacuation plan for people with disabilities who work or live in high-rise buildings in New York State.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one of this bill amends the executive law by adding two new sections 378-a and 378-b. Section 378-a updates chapter four of the New York state fire code as it pertains to fire safety and emergency evacuation for persons with disabilities. The State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council (SFPBCC), after consulting with the independent agency as described in subdivision (b) of section five hundred fifty-eight of this chapter, shall write regulations for establishing and maintaining emergency evacuation plans. These plans are to include the procedures for evacuating individuals with disabilities and a list of the people who have notified the owner of their need for assistance along with their floor and room numbers. There is a provision in this section to ensure that all lists that are generated are maintained only for the purpose of an emergency evacuation and shall not be disseminated for any other purpose. Furthermore, each plan would also have to identify any evacuation assistance devices or assistive technologies available and provide for areas of rescue assistance to be labeled in accordance with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.
New section 378-b makes it the responsibility of high rise building owners to create an emergency evacuation plan in accordance to the regulations set forth by the SFPBCC. Building owners shall be responsible for filing a copy of the plan with the Department of State no later than one year after the effective date of this bill and with filing an updated copy annually thereafter. Provisions are made for specific areas where copies would have to be placed within the building for local law enforcement and fire safety personnel. Furthermore, copies of the plan shall be made available in accessible formats, upon request. Failure to comply with these sections of law shall carry a civil penalty of up to $500.
Section two provides that this act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become law; provided, however, that high-rise building owners shall have one year from the effective date of this act to establish an emergency evacuation plan.
JUSTIFICATION: Since the tragedy of September 11th, awareness and education of high rise building evacuation plans have been heightened, yet little is specified dealing with evacuating people with disabilities in the event of an emergency. Most people with disabilities, specifically those with mobility and/or sensory impairments, rely on elevators to exit a building, making independent evacuation during an emergency impossible for these individuals because elevator use is prohibited. In the effort to create safer environments in the buildings most difficult to vacate, this bill
requires every high-rise building owner to establish and maintain an emergency evacuation plan for disabled occupants and visitors of the building. Additionally, the building owner will be responsible for maintaining and updating the emergency evacuation plan for persons with disabilities as necessary and ensuring that such plan is readily available to emergency personnel.
To ensure compliance, a fine of $500 is imposed for any building owner who does not comply with the requirements set forth in this bill.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2006: A.10361 (Passed Assembly); 2008: A.7105 (Passed Assembly); 2009: A.7852 (Passed Assembly); 2010 A.10841 (Passed Assembly); 2012: A.6658 (Passed Assembly); 2014: A.6445 (Enacting Clause Stricken)
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it becomes law; provided, however, that high-rise building owners shall have one year from the effective date of this act to establish an emergency evacuation plan.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3925--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 27, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. STEWART-COUSINS, ESPAILLAT, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, PERKINS, SAVINO, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development -- recommitted to the Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to establishing and main- taining an emergency evacuation plan for individuals with disabilities THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding two new sections 378-a and 378-b to read as follows: S 378-A. STANDARDS FOR EMERGENCY PLANNING AND PREPAREDNESS. 1. THE STATE FIRE PREVENTION AND BUILDING CODE COUNCIL SHALL UPDATE CHAPTER FOUR OF THE NEW YORK STATE FIRE CODE, TITLED "EMERGENCY PLANNING AND PREPAREDNESS", TO ENSURE EMERGENCY EVACUATION DRILLS, FIRE SAFETY AND EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLANS, EMPLOYEE TRAINING AND RESPONSE PROCEDURES, HAZARD COMMUNICATION, AND USE AND OCCUPANCY-RELATED STANDARDS ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. THE PROCESS OF UPDATING CHAPTER FOUR OF THE NEW YORK STATE FIRE CODE AS IT PERTAINS TO THE NEEDS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES SHALL BE DONE IN CONSULTATION WITH THE INDEPENDENT AGENCY AS DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION (B) OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY-EIGHT OF THIS CHAPTER. 2. THE STATE FIRE PREVENTION AND BUILDING CODE COUNCIL SHALL PROMUL- GATE REGULATIONS TO REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS TO BE INCLUDED IN EACH EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN: (A) PROCEDURES FOR EVACUATING INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; (B) A LIST OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES WHO HAVE NOTIFIED THE OWNER THAT THEY ARE DISABLED AND WOULD REQUIRE ASSISTANCE IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY. THE LIST SHALL INCLUDE THE FLOOR AND ROOM NUMBER THATEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03314-03-4 S. 3925--A 2
THE INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY OCCUPIES WITHIN THE BUILDING. SUCH LIST SHALL ONLY BE MAINTAINED FOR THE PURPOSE OF AN EMERGENCY EVACUATION, AND SHALL NOT BE DISSEMINATED FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE; (C) A NOTIFICATION MECHANISM TO THE OCCUPANTS THAT A LIST OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY EXISTS AND IS MAINTAINED BY THE OWNER AND THE METHOD BY WHICH OCCUPANTS CAN PLACE THEIR NAME ON SUCH LIST; (D) THE LOCATION AND TYPE OF EVACUATION ASSISTANCE DEVICES OR ASSIS- TIVE TECHNOLOGIES THAT ARE AVAILABLE WITHIN THE BUILDING; AND (E) AREAS OF RESCUE. THESE AREAS SHALL BE IDENTIFIED BY SIGNS THAT STATE "AREA OF RESCUE ASSISTANCE" AND DISPLAY THE INTERNATIONAL SYMBOL OF ACCESSIBILITY. LETTERING MUST BE PERMANENT AND COMPLY WITH FEDERAL AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT GUIDELINES. S 378-B. EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN. 1. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF EVERY OWNER OF A HIGH-RISE BUILDING, AS DEFINED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED THREE OF THE BUILDING CODE OF NEW YORK STATE, TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN AN EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN AS PROVIDED FOR IN REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-EIGHT-A OF THIS ARTICLE. 2. SUCH OWNER SHALL MAKE THE PLAN AVAILABLE IN A LARGE-PRINT DOCUMENT (18-POINT FONT SIZE OR LARGER) AND BRAILLE (GRADE II) UPON REQUEST TO: (A) LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AND FIRE SAFETY PERSONNEL; AND (B) EMPLOYEES, TENANTS, OR GUESTS LOCATED IN THE HIGH-RISE BUILDING. 3. A COPY OF SUCH PLAN SHALL BE MAINTAINED AT ALL TIMES IN A PLACE EASILY ACCESSIBLE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AND/OR FIRE SAFETY PERSONNEL, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE MANAGEMENT OFFICE, THE SECURITY DESK, IN THE VICINITY OF THE FIREFIGHTER'S ELEVATOR RECALL KEY, THE LIFE SAFE- TY PANEL, OR THE FIRE PUMP ROOM. IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY OF THE LOCATIONS LISTED IN THIS SUBDIVISION, A COPY OF SUCH PLAN SHALL BE POSTED IN THE FRONT ENTRY OF THE BUILDING. 4. ON AN ANNUAL BASIS, EVERY HIGH-RISE BUILDING OWNER SHALL UPDATE SUCH EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN AND PROVIDE OCCUPANTS WITH A NOTICE DETAILING THE PROVISIONS OF THE EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN. 5. A COPY OF SUCH PLAN SHALL BE FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, AND AN UPDATED EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN SHALL BE FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE ANNUALLY THEREAFTER. 6. OWNERS LOCATED IN MUNICIPALITIES WITH A POPULATION OF OVER ONE MILLION ARE EXEMPT FROM DEVELOPING SUCH PLAN IF SUCH MUNICIPALITIES HAVE ORDINANCES, RULES, CODES OR REGULATIONS THAT ESTABLISH EMERGENCY EVACU- ATION PROCEDURES SPECIFICALLY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS. 7. KNOWING FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ANY PROVISION WITHIN THIS SECTION SHALL BE PUNISHABLE BY A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that high-rise building owners shall have one year from the effective date of this act to establish an emergency evacuation plan.