Title 15: Fire Prevention and Control

Chapter 2: Unlawful Conduct

§ 15-202 Obstruction of fire stations.

It shall be unlawful to obstruct the entrance to or exit from any fire station.

§ 15-203 Right of way of fire apparatus; obstructing.

The officers and members of the department, and the officers and members of the insurance patrol respectively, with their apparatus of all kinds, when on duty, shall have the right of way at and in proceeding to any fire or other emergency in any highway, street or avenue, over any and all vehicles of any kind, except those carrying the United States mail. It shall be unlawful for any person in or upon any vehicle to refuse the right of way, or in any way obstruct any fire apparatus, or any apparatus of the insurance patrol, or any of such officers while in the performance of duty.

§ 15-204 Motor vehicles having the appearance of apparatus and vehicles of the department and fire patrol prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to use or possess a motor vehicle which is designed, designated, painted, colored or provided with insignia to have the appearance or take on the form of the apparatus and vehicles of the department or fire patrol, excepting emergency vehicles of public service corporations or companies doing construction or excavation work under franchises, without an authorization in writing issued by the commissioner, in his or her discretion, and in accordance with such regulations as he or she may prescribe. Such authorization shall be valid until revoked by the commissioner, and shall not be transferable.

§ 15-205 Obstruction of fire hydrants.

  1. For the purposes of this section, the term “fire hydrant street area” means, with respect to a fire hydrant, any space that is located:

   1. In a street; and

   2. Between the center of such street and a line that (i) is 20 feet in length, (ii) has such hydrant at its center point and (iii) runs parallel to the curb nearest such hydrant.

    1. It shall be unlawful in any manner to obstruct the use of any fire hydrant, or to throw or pile, or allow any snow or ice or other material or thing to be thrown or piled (i) upon a fire hydrant, (ii) within two feet of a fire hydrant or (iii) within a fire hydrant street area. All material or things found obstructing any fire hydrant may be forthwith removed by the officers or employees of the department, at the risk, cost and expense, of the owner, lessee or tenant of the premises fronting such hydrant.

   2. No newsstand may be located within ten feet from either side of a fire hydrant, except that this prohibition shall not apply to any newsstand which was first licensed by the department of consumer affairs before August 1, 1979, where the person who held the license for such newsstand on August 1, 1991 continues to be the licensee for such newsstand; provided, however, that where a newsstand which was first licensed before August 1, 1979 is reconstructed in its entirety or in substantial part, which reconstruction was commenced on or after August 1, 1991, such newsstand shall be subject to such prohibition.

  1. All snow and ice accumulating within a space identified in paragraph 1 of subdivision b of this section shall be removed by the owner, lessee or tenant of the premises fronting such space within four hours after the snow ceases to fall, except that (i) such owner, lessee or tenant shall not be required to remove snow and ice from the fire hydrant street area or from the property of such owner, lessee or tenant and (ii) the time between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. shall not be included in the aforementioned period of four hours.
  2. Notwithstanding section 15-216, a violation or knowing violation of this section shall be punishable in the same manner as a violation of subdivision a of section 16-123, except that a knowing violation of subdivision b of this section may in addition be punishable by imprisonment not to exceed one day.
  3. In addition to the department, the department of sanitation may enforce the provisions of this section.

§ 15-206 Fire hose.

It shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle to drive over or across any hose in use, or about to be used, or while lying in the street after being used by the department. The provisions of this section shall not apply to drivers of wagons carrying the United States mail, nor to drivers of ambulances when conveying any patient or injured person to any hospital, or when proceeding to the scene of any accident by which any person or persons have been injured, nor to the operator of any vehicle directed or permitted to drive over or across any such hose by the officer of the department in command of the force operating at a fire or other emergency.

§ 15-207 Fire lines.

During the actual prevalence of any fire or other emergency, the officers of the police and fire departments shall remove, or cause to be removed and kept away from the vicinity of such fire or other emergency, all idle and suspicious persons, and all persons unfit to be employed, or not actually and usefully employed, in aiding the extinguishment and termination of such fire or other emergency or in the preservation of property in the vicinity thereof.

§ 15-208 Interfering with or obstructing officials, officers and members of department.

It shall be unlawful for any person to disobey the lawful orders of a department official, fire officer or firefighter or to offer resistance or interfere with the lawful activities of said officials and members while engaged in the performance of fire fighting duties or to commit any act likely to prevent a fire from being extinguished.

§ 15-211 Violations. [Repealed]

  1. Any person who shall wilfully or designedly give, raise, create or continue a false alarm of fire, or who shall wilfully tamper, meddle or interfere with any station or signal box of any fire alarm telegraph system, or any auxiliary fire appliance, or who shall wilfully break, injure, deface or remove any such box or station, or who shall wilfully break, injure, deface or remove any of the wires, poles or other supports and appliances connected with or forming a part of any fire alarm telegraph system, shall be punished by imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars, or both, for each offense.
  2. Aiding or abetting in giving false fire alarms. Any person aiding or abetting or assisting in the commission of any of the acts described in subdivision a of this section, shall be punished by imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars, or both, for each offense.

§ 15-215 Tampering with automatic sprinkler systems.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to tamper with a system of automatic sprinklers in any building or occupancy by damaging such a system or otherwise preventing it from properly functioning.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to tamper with a system of automatic sprinklers in any building or occupancy by causing such a system to activate or otherwise release its fire extinguishing agent when there is no fire condition or other public safety consideration requiring such activation or release.
  3. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to make unlawful any maintenance or inspection of a system of automatic sprinklers by any person acting with the authorization of the owner of the building or occupancy, when such person possesses such permits, licenses or certifications as may be required to perform such maintenance and inspection.
  4. This section shall be enforceable by the department and such other agencies as the mayor may direct.

§ 15-216 Fines and penalties.

  1. Any person who shall violate or fail to comply with any laws, rules, or regulations enforceable by the department, unless a different penalty is specifically provided, shall be guilty of a violation and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars for each offence. Such person shall also be subject to the payment of a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars which may be recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the commissioner.
  2. Any person who shall knowingly violate or fail to comply with any laws, rules, or regulations enforceable by the department, unless a different penalty is specifically provided, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than six months or both for each offense. Such person shall also be liable for a civil penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars which may be recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the commissioner.
  3. The commissioner, in his or her discretion, may pay a portion of a fine or penalty when collected, not to exceed one-half thereof, to any person giving information of any such violation.

§ 15-217 Suits and actions.

The commissioner is authorized and empowered to receive and collect all license fees mentioned in this title and chapter four of title twenty-seven of the code, and may sue for, and shall have the exclusive right of recovery of any and all fees, fines and penalties imposed hereunder, together with costs. Such action may be brought in any of the courts of record of the city. The commissioner may bring any action for the enforcement of the rights and contracts of the department, and for the protection, possession and maintenance of the property under its control. All actions authorized by this title and chapter four of title twenty-seven of the code shall be brought in the name of the commissioner of the city of New York. The commissioner is authorized to settle or compromise any suit or judgment for less than the amount demanded or recovered, in case he or she is satisfied that the full amount cannot be collected. The commissioner and the corporation counsel shall pay all license fees, fines and penalties received by them pursuant to any of the provisions of this title and chapter four of title twenty-seven of the code into the general fund of the city established pursuant to section one hundred nine of the charter.

§ 15-218 Purposes of investigations.

The commissioner, the chief and deputy chief fire marshals, the assistant fire marshals, and such other employees of the department designated by the commissioner, shall investigate, examine and inquire into the following matters:

  1. The origin, detail and management of fires in the city, particularly of supposed cases of arson, incendiarism, or fires due to criminal carelessness.
  2. The violation of any of the several regulations, orders, or special directions issued by the commissioner, for the purpose of discovering any delinquency in the performance of duty, or violations of discipline, on the part of any officer, agent, or employee of the department.
  3. The violation, or supposed violation, of any of the provisions of this title or chapter four of title twenty-seven of the code.

§ 15-219 Compelling attendance of witnesses.

  1. Power of subpoena of commissioner.

   1. The commissioner, in and about any investigation authorized by section 15-218 of this title, and touching any matter connected therewith, may subpoena and compel the attendance of any person or persons, and the production of any books, papers, archives or documents in his, her or their possession or control, which, in the judgment of the commissioner or of the chief or deputy chief fire marshal, is connected with and necessary to such investigation.

   2. For such purpose, the corporation counsel, at any time, may cause subpoenas to be issued out of the supreme court, attested under the name of a justice of such court, in like form and with same effect as though issued by such justice in any action pending in a court of record, and such subpoenas may be served, and proof of service may be made, in the same manner as by law provided for the service of subpoenas out of such court. Upon proof of service of the subpoena, and proof of noncompliance therewith, or failure to attend and testify as directed therein, or failure to produce any book, paper, archive or document in the possession or control of the persons named in the subpoena, and directed to be produced therein, or failure or refusal on their part to answer any pertinent question, application may be made before any justice of the supreme court, who may thereupon cause to be arrested and punished as for a contempt of the orders of such court the person or persons named in such subpoena.

   3. Any person subpoenaed under this section shall attend and testify upon such adjourned day or days and at such adjourned time and place as may be designated by the commissioner or chief or deputy chief fire marshal.

  1. Power of subpoena of fire marshal.

   1. A fire marshal shall have the power to issue a notice in the nature of a subpoena, in such form and subscribed in such manner as the commissioner shall prescribe, to compel the attendance of any person as a witness before such fire marshal, to testify in relation to any matter enumerated in section 15-218 of this title.

   2. Upon the presentation of satisfactory proof of due service of any such notice in the nature of a subpoena upon any such witness, and of failure to obey the same, it shall be the duty of the commissioner to make an order that such witness be arrested and brought before the marshal, to testify in relation to the subject matter of the inquiry. Such order may be executed by any member of the police force or any member of the force having the power of police officers, who may arrest and bring the witness before such marshal; but such witness shall not be detained longer than is necessary to take such testimony.

  1. Additional penalty for disobedience of subpoena. Any person or persons who fail to attend and testify as required by any subpoena issued under the authority of this section shall be liable to a penalty in the sum of fifty dollars.

§ 15-220 Administering oaths; taking and transmitting testimony.

  1. The commissioner, the chief and deputy chief fire marshals, and the assistant fire marshals, in conducting any investigation authorized by section 15-218 of this title, shall have the power to administer oaths and affirmations, and any false swearing under such oath or affirmation shall be perjury.
  2. The chief fire marshal, or other person conducting such investigation shall take the testimony, under oath, of all persons supposed to be cognizant of any fact, or to have means of knowledge, in relation to the subject of the investigation, and shall cause the same to be reduced to writing and verified. All such testimony, together with the report of the investigating officer setting forth his or her opinions and conclusions in respect to the matter, shall be transmitted to the commissioner. A copy of such testimony and report may be furnished, in the discretion of the commissioner, to the police department, to the district attorney of the county in which a crime is believed to have occurred, to the New York board of fire underwriters, to the owners of the property involved, and to other persons interested in the subject matter of the investigation. In all cases of supposed arson, incendiarism, or fires due to criminal carelessness, the commissioner, or officer authorized by the commissioner, shall promptly seek the cooperation of such police department and district attorney, and shall report to such attorney, without delay, all evidence, with the addresses of probable witnesses.

§ 15-220.1 False statements in certificates, forms, written statements, applications, reports or certifications of correction.

  1. Any person who shall knowingly make a false statement or who shall knowingly falsify or allow to be falsified any certificate, form, signed statement, application, report or certification of the correction of a violation required under the provisions of any laws, rules, or regulations enforceable by the department, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both for each such offense.
  2. Such person shall also be liable for a civil penalty of not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars which may be recovered in a proceeding before the environmental control board. In any such proceeding which relates to a false statement in a certification filed pursuant to section 15-230, if an inspection made within six months after the filing of the certification finds a condition constituting a violation which is the same as the condition described in the notice of violation with respect to which such certification was filed, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the condition described in such notice of violation continued and is the same condition found in the inspection.

§ 15-221 Arrest of persons suspected of arson.

It shall be the duty of the chief and deputy chief fire marshals, the assistant fire marshals, or other employees authorized by the commissioner to conduct investigations, whenever they shall be of the opinion that there is sufficient evidence to charge any person with the crime of arson or attempted arson, to arrest or cause such person to be arrested and charged with such offense.

§ 15-223 Issuance of orders.

Upon finding that a violation of any law, the enforcement of which is charged upon the department, exists in any vessel, premises, ground, structure, building, or underground passage, the commissioner, the chief fire marshal, or such other member of the department designated by such commissioner, may issue a printed or written order directing the owner or occupant to alter, remedy, or remove such violation in such manner and in such reasonable time as is stated therein. Such order may authorize and direct the use of such materials and appliances as may be proper and necessary.

§ 15-223.1 Orders; penalty for noncompliance.

  1. Any person who shall violate or fail to comply with an order issued by the commissioner, except an order issued pursuant to section 15-230, shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars. Such person shall also be subject to the payment of a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars to be recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the commissioner or in a proceeding before the environmental control board.
  2. Any person who shall knowingly violate or fail to comply with any order of the commissioner, except an order issued pursuant to section 15-230, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than six months or both for each offense. Such person shall also be subject to a civil penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars to be recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the commissioner or in a proceeding before the environmental control board.

§ 15-224 Service of orders.

Orders of the department or of the commissioner shall be addressed to the owner or owners, lessees or occupants of the building, structure, enclosure, vessel, place or premises affected thereby. It shall be unnecessary to designate such owner or owners, lessees or occupants, by name in any such order, but the premises shall be designated in the address, so that the same may be readily identified. Service of any such order may be made by delivery of a copy thereof to the owner or any one of several owners, to a lessee or any one of several lessees, or to any person of suitable age and discretion in charge or apparently in charge of the premises, or if no person be found in charge of the premises then by affixing a copy of such order prominently upon the premises.

§ 15-225 Transmitting notice to owner.

In case any order of the department or of the commissioner shall be served upon or given to any lessee or person in possession or charge of the building, structure, enclosure, vessel, place or premises therein described, it shall be the duty of such person to give immediate notice to the owner or agent of such building, structure, enclosure, vessel, place or premises named in the order, if the same shall be known to such person personally, and such owner or agent shall be within the limits of the city, and his or her residence known to such person; and if such owner or agent be not within the city, then by depositing a copy of such order in any post office in the city, properly enclosed and addressed to such owner or agent, at his or her then place of residence, if known, and with the postage prepaid. In case any such lessee or person in possession or charge shall neglect to give such notice as herein provided, he or she shall be personally liable to the owner or owners of such building or premises for all damages he, she or they shall sustain by reason of such neglect.

§ 15-226 Violations; order to remove.

In case an order is not complied with within the time set forth therein, the commissioner may execute and enforce such order with employees and equipment of the department, or by the employment of such other agencies as the commissioner may direct. Nothing contained in this section, however, shall be held to authorize the commissioner to alter the construction of any building, structure, or vessel, or to supply any structural deficiency in the fire alarm, fire extinguishing, or fire escape equipment thereof. The party offending shall pay the expense of enforcing such order and, in addition thereto, shall forfeit and pay to the department the sum of fifty dollars. Where the order relates to the storage of explosive or combustible compounds or mixtures, the party offending shall pay an additional penalty of twenty-five dollars plus five dollars for each day’s neglect or refusal to comply with such order.

§ 15-227 Violations; order to vacate building.

  1. Any building, structure, enclosure, vessel, place or premises perilous to life or property in case of fire therein or adjacent thereto, by reason of the nature or condition of its contents, its use, the overcrowding of persons therein, defects in its construction, or deficiencies in fire alarm, fire extinguishing or fire escape equipment, or by reason of any condition in violation of law, or order of the commissioner, is a public nuisance within the meaning of the code and the penal law. The commissioner is empowered to abate any such public nuisance.
  2. In case any order to remedy a condition imminently perilous to life or property issued by the commissioner or the department is not complied with, or the commissioner certifies in writing that an emergency exists requiring such action, he or she may order and immediately cause any building or structure or part thereof (i) to be vacated; and, also, if the commissioner determines such action is necessary to the preservation of life and safety, (ii) to be sealed, secured and closed; provided, however, that the commissioner shall not order sealed, secured, and closed any dwelling unit or other space lawfully used for residential purposes. Upon the issuance of an order to seal, secure and close, no person shall have access to such premises except as authorized by the commissioner. For the purpose of this section, “sealed, secured and closed” shall mean the use of any means available to render the building, structure or part thereof inaccessible, including but not limited to the use of a padlock or cinder blocks.
  3. All orders issued pursuant to this section shall be posted upon the premises. Immediately upon the posting of an order upon the premises, officers and employees of the police department, the department, and other authorized officers and employees of the city shall immediately act upon and enforce such order. The police department shall provide all reasonable assistance to the department and other authorized officers and employees necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. If an order issued pursuant to this section is not complied with within the time designated therein, the commissioner, in addition to or in lieu of any other remedy or power, may apply to the supreme court, at a special term thereof, without notice, for an order directing him or her to vacate and/or seal, secure and close such building or premises or so much thereof as he or she may deem necessary, and prohibiting and enjoining all persons from using or occupying the same for any purpose until such measures are taken as may be required by such order.
    1. Any order to seal, secure and close issued pursuant to item (ii) of subdivision b of this section shall contain notice of the opportunity for a hearing with respect to such order, to determine if the order was properly issued in accordance with the provisions of this section. Such hearing shall be conducted by the commissioner, or in the commissioner’s discretion, by the office of administrative trials and hearings or the environmental control board. If the matter is referred to such office or board, the hearing officer shall submit his or her findings of fact and a recommended decision to the commissioner. The hearing shall be held within three business days after the receipt of the written request of an owner, lessor, lessee or mortgagee for such hearing and the commissioner shall render a decision within three business days after such hearing is con- cluded.

   (ii) Any order issued pursuant to this section shall be served in accordance with section 15-224 of the code and, in addition, shall be mailed to the record owner of such premises and any record mortgagee of such premises at the address for such person as set forth in the recorded instrument and to the person designated as owner or agent of the building or designated to receive real property tax or water bills for the building at the address for such person contained in one of the files compiled by the department of finance for the purpose of the assessment or collection of real property taxes and water charges or in the file compiled by the department of finance from real property transfer forms filed with the city register upon the sale or transfer of real property. A copy shall also be filed with the county clerk of the county in which such premises are located. Such filing shall be notice of the order to any subsequent owner and such owner shall be subject to such order.

  1. An order issued pursuant to this section shall not be rescinded unless the owner, lessor, lessee or mortgagee seeking such rescission provides assurance, in a form satisfactory to the commissioner, that the conditions which caused the issuance of such order have been corrected and will not reoccur. If such order is rescinded, upon the request of the owner, lessor, lessee or mortgagee, the commissioner shall provide a certified copy of such rescission, which may be filed with the county clerk of the county in which such premises are located.
  2. The commissioner shall give written notice of the closing of any building or structure or part thereof pursuant to this section, and any subsequent actions taken with respect thereto, as soon as practicable, to (i) the borough president of the borough within which the closing has occurred; (ii) the council member representing the district within which the closing has occurred; and (iii) the local community board. On January first of each year, the commissioner shall submit a report to the council, setting forth the number of closings made in the previous year, the locations of such closings, and the nature and use of the premises closed. The commissioner shall, in addition, as soon as practicable after a building, structure or part thereof has been closed, make and publish a report of said closing in a manner calculated to quickly notify the local community in which such closing occurred. The commissioner shall also make and publish a report of any premises reopened pursuant to his or her permission under this section. Failure to comply with this subdivision shall not invalidate any action taken by the commissioner pursuant to this section.

§ 15-227.1 Penalties for violation of order to vacate and order to seal, secure and close; access to premises.

  1. Any person who violates the provisions of an order to vacate issued pursuant to section 15-227 of this code shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars and an additional civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each day the violation continues.
  2. Except as authorized by the commissioner, any person who removes or causes to be removed the seal from any premises sealed in accordance with an order of the commissioner or his or her designee shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for no more than one year or a fine not to exceed fifty thousand dollars, or both such fine and imprisonment. Such person shall also be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed fifty thousand dollars.
  3. The commissioner shall allow access to the premises to an owner, or a lessor, lessee or mortgagee, in accordance with the terms of the parties’ lease or mortgage agreement, upon the following conditions: (i) the submission of a written affirmation, satisfactory to the commissioner, that such person or persons will commence or cause to be commenced without delay all work necessary to correct the conditions stated in the vacate order or otherwise to make the premises suitable for a lawful use and will complete such work within a period of time and in a manner to be approved by the commissioner; (ii) the submission of an affirmation or other proof satisfactory to the commissioner describing the steps that have been taken and will be taken in the future to ensure that the premises will be used or operated in a lawful manner and specifying such lawful use; (iii) if a license, permit or certificate of occupancy is necessary for such lawful use, the submission of a written affirmation or other proof, satisfactory to the commissioner, describing the steps that have been taken and will be taken in the future to ensure that such premises will be used or operated in compliance with any law requiring such license, permit or certificate of occupancy; and (iv) if the premises are leased and the person making the affirmations described in items (i), (ii) and (iii) is not such lessee, the commissioner may also require any authorized person seeking access pursuant to this subdivision to submit an affirmation or other proof that proceedings to enable such person to take actions necessary to ensure compliance with the affirmations submitted by such authorized person pursuant to items (i), (ii) and (iii) have been commenced.
  4. Any person who makes a material false statement in any document submitted pursuant to subdivision c of this section which statement he or she knows or has reason to know will be relied upon by the commissioner in determining whether he or she will allow access to the premises shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than fifty thousand dollars.
  5. Notwithstanding any other law, rule, or regulation, any person, corporation, partnership, association or any other legal entity who permits a building, structure or part thereof to be unlawfully occupied or used in contravention of an order of the commissioner pursuant to section 15-227, or who negligently fails to prevent or prohibit such unlawful occupancy or use, shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than one million dollars, if any other person suffers serious physical injury, as defined in section ten of the penal law, or death in the building, structure or part thereof subject to such order, as a result of such unlawful occupancy or use. If more than one person suffers serious physical injury or death, such penalty shall be recoverable for each person suffering injury or death. Such penalty shall be recovered in a civil action brought by the corporation counsel in the name of the city in any court of competent jurisdiction. In determining the amount of the civil penalty to be imposed the court shall consider:

   (i) the extent and severity of injury to persons and property caused by the violation;

   (ii) the history of violations by the defendant at such premises, or any other premises, of laws, rules or regulations enforced by the department;

   (iii) the degree of willfulness, recklessness, or negligence displayed by the defendant in committing the subject violation;

   (iv) the defendant’s financial resources; and

   (v) the defendant’s good faith efforts to cure the subject violation, including efforts to obtain entry to or possession of the premises in order to do so. In the event that any person seriously injured or the family of any person who has died as the result of any unlawful occupancy or use described in this subdivision is unable to collect a judgment recovered in a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death against a defendant who has violated this subdivision because of the insolvency of such defendant, the city may, in its discretion, pay to such injured person or the family of such deceased person an amount, as hereinafter provided, collected from such defendant in an action relating to the same injury or death commenced by the corporation counsel against such defendant pursuant to this subdivision. Payments pursuant to this subdivision shall be made as a matter of grace and shall be in such amounts and in accordance with such standards and procedures as shall be established by the mayor, provided, however, that any payment made pursuant to this subdivision shall be in an amount not exceeding out-of-pocket expenses, including indebtedness reasonably incurred for medical or other services necessary as a result of the injury upon which such action is based; loss of earnings or support resulting from such injury; burial expenses not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars of a person who died as a result of such unlawful occupancy or use described in this subdivision; and the unreimbursed cost of repair or replacement of articles of essential personal property lost, damaged or destroyed as a direct result of such unlawful occupancy or use. In no event shall the payment made to any person exceed the amount of such person’s uncollected judgment for personal injury or wrongful death and in no event shall the total amount paid to any number of persons with such uncollected judgments against a single defendent* exceed the actual amount collected by the city from such defendant in an action under this subdivision.

§ 15-228 Expenses of enforcing orders.

The expenses attending the execution of any and all orders duly made by the department shall respectively be a several and joint personal charge against each of the owners or part owners, and each of the lessees and occupants of the building, structure, vessel, enclosure, place or premises to which such order relates, and in respect to which such expenses were incurred; and also against every person or body who was by law or contract bound to do that in regard to such building, structure, vessel, enclosure, place or premises which such order requires. Such expenses shall also be a lien on all rent and compensation due, or to grow due, for the use of any building, structure, vessel, enclosure, place or premises, or any part thereof, to which such order relates, and in respect to which such expenses were incurred.

§ 15-229 Environmental control board; civil penalties.

  1. In addition to or as an alternative to any of the remedies and penalties provided in any laws, rules, or regulations enforceable by the department, any person who shall violate or fail to comply with any such laws, rules, or regulations shall, except as otherwise specifically provided in subdivision c of section 15-230, be liable for a civil penalty which may be recovered in a proceeding before the environmental control board. Such proceeding shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation returnable before the board. Except as otherwise specifically provided, such civil penalty shall be determined as follows: (1) The maximum penalty for the first violation shall be one thousand dollars ($1,000); (2) the maximum penalty for the second and any subsequent violation of the same provision of law, rule or regulaton shall be five thousand dollars ($5,000), provided the violation is committed by the same respondent, is for the same provision of law, rule or regulation, and occurs within eighteen months of first violation, and provided, further, that if the respondent is the owner, agent, lessee or other person in control of the premises with respect to which the violation occurred, the violation occurred at the same premises.
  2. For the purposes of the multiple offense schedule, if the respondent is the owner or agent of the building or structure with respect to which the violation occurred or a lessee of the entire building or structure, the term premises shall mean the entire building or structure. If the respondent is the lessee or person in control of a part of such building or structure, the term premises shall mean that part of such building or structure leased to or under the control of the respondent.
  3. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if the respondent is the owner or agent of the building or structure with respect to which the violation occurred or a lessee of the entire building or structure, a prior violation by the same respondent shall not serve as a predicate for purposes of the multiple offense schedule set forth in this section if the prior violation or the violation for which penalties are to be imposed occurred within an area of the building or structure which, at the time of the violation, was leased to and under the control of a person other than the respondent except that this provision shall not apply if both the prior violation and the violation for which penalties are to be imposed occurred within areas leased to and under the control of the same lessee. In any proceeding before the board, the burden of proof with respect to this exception shall be upon the respondent.
  4. The commissioner may, by rule or regulation, establish a schedule of civil penalties providing a maximum penalty for the violation of each separate provision of law, rule or regulation based on the degree of seriousness of the violation. Such maximum penalties shall not exceed the maximum penalties for such violation set forth in this section.

§ 15-230 Environmental control board proceedings; order to certify correction.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision e of this section, whenever the commissioner serves a notice of violation such notice shall include an order which requires the respondent to correct the condition constituting the violation and to file a certification with the department that the condition has been corrected. Such order shall require that the condition be corrected within thirty days from the date that the order is issued and that certification of the correction of the condition shall be filed with the department in a manner and form and within such further period of time as shall be established by rule or regulation of the department.
  2. If the board finds, upon good cause shown, that the respondent cannot correct the violation within the period specified in subdivision a, it may, with the concurrence of the commissioner, postpone the period for compliance with such order upon such terms and conditions and for such period of time as shall be appropriate under the circumstances.
  3. For violations which are subject to the penalties for a first violation as set forth in section 15-229, if the respondent complies with the order issued pursuant to subdivision a of this section within the time set forth in such subdivision there shall be no civil penalty for such first violation. Such violation may however serve as a predicate for purposes of the multiple offense schedule set forth in section 15-229.
  4. In any proceeding before the environmental control board, if the board finds that the commissioner has failed to prove the violation charged it shall notify the commissioner and the order requiring the respondent to correct the condition constituting the violation shall be deemed to be revoked.
  5. Subdivisions a, b, c, and d of this section shall not apply to environmental control board proceedings to impose penalties for violations of sections 15-220.1, 15-223.1 and 15-231 or to impose penalties for any violation which the commissioner, in his discretion, determines to be hazardous.

§ 15-231 Civil penalty for failure to certify the correction of a violation.

  1. Any person who shall fail to comply with an order of the commissioner issued pursuant to subdivision a of section 15-230 within the time specified in such subdivision or within such further period of time as may be provided by the environmental control board pursuant to subdivision b of section 15-230 shall, in addition to the penalties which may be imposed for the violation pursuant to section 15-229, be liable for a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars for each violation for which there has been a failure to comply with such order. Such civil penalty may be recovered in a proceeding before the environmental control board.
  2. For the purposes of this section, if the environmental control board finds that a respondent has knowingly made false statements relating to the correction of a violation in a certification filed pursuant to section 15-230, such certification as to correction shall be null and void and the penalties set forth in this section may be imposed as if such false certification had not been filed with and accepted by the department.

§ 15-232 Limitations on power of commissioner to designate administrative code provisions which may be enforced by the environmental control board.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner may not designate the following provisions of the administrative code for enforcement by the environmental control board:

  1. Section 15-208
  2. Section 15-125
  3. Subdivision a of section 15-126
  4. Section 15-214
  5. Paragraph one of subdivision b of section 15-127
  6. Subdivision c of section 15-127

(7)-(19) [Repealed.]

Chapter 1: Fire Department

§ 15-101 Definitions; bureaus, divisions and offices.

  1. For the purposes of this title the following terms shall have the following meanings:

   (1) “Commissioner” shall mean the fire commissioner.

   (2) “Department” shall mean the fire department.

  1. In addition to such other bureaus, divisions and offices as the commissioner may organize pursuant to section eleven hundred two of the charter, there shall be in the department:

   1. A fire bureau in the charge of the chief of the department which shall have charge of the extinguishment of fires and the necessary and incidental protection of life and property in connection therewith. In such bureau there shall be a bureau of fire prevention and such bureau shall be in the charge of a member of the uniformed force of the department, of a rank above that of captain, to be designated by the commissioner. Such bureau shall perform the duties and exercise the powers of the commissioner in relation to (1) combustibles, chemicals, explosives, flammables, or other dangerous substances, articles, compounds or mixtures, (2) the prevention of fires or danger to life or property therefrom, excluding provisions relating to structural conditions and (3) protection against fire and panic, obstruction of aisles, passageways and means of egress, standees, fire protection and fire extinguishing appliances, and fire prevention in licensed places of assembly. In the performance of their official duties, the uniformed and civilian members of the bureau of fire prevention shall have the powers and perform the duties of peace officers, but their power to make arrests and serve process in criminal actions shall be restricted to cases arising under laws relating to (1) the manufacture, storage, sale, transportation or use of combustibles, chemicals, explosives, flammables or other dangerous substances, articles, compounds or mixtures and the control of fire hazards, (2) the prevention of fires or danger to life or property therefrom, excluding provisions relating to structural conditions and (3) fire perils.

   2. A chief and deputy chief fire marshal, appointed by the commissioner, who shall be members of the department.

  1. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of any general, special or local law, or rule or regulation, a chief of the department shall not serve in any other capacity to the department during his or her term of office of chief. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed to have vacated the office of chief so held.

§ 15-102 Volunteer system.

  1. The paid department system, as soon as practicable, shall be extended over the borough of Staten Island by the commissioner, and thereupon the present volunteer fire companies now maintained therein shall be disbanded. Any real property and any apparatus, equipment or other personal property owned or used by such volunteer forces which may be deemed useful or necessary for the use of the department, upon the extension of the paid system to the borough of Staten Island, shall be purchased by the department of general services upon the recommendation of the commissioner at the reasonable value thereof.
  2. In the meantime and until the paid department shall be extended over such borough of Staten Island, such volunteer fire companies shall continue to discharge the duties for which they have been associated or incorporated, and there shall be paid on the first day of June in each year to the treasurers of such volunteer fire companies, by the comptroller, the following sums: To the treasurer of an engine company or chemical engine company twelve hundred dollars, to the treasurer of a hook and ladder company ten hundred dollars, to the treasurer of a hose company, eight hundred dollars, and to the treasurer of a patrol company, eight hundred dollars. The city, in its discretion, may appropriate such sum of money as it may deem necessary for the purchase of apparatus for the use of the several volunteer companies in the borough of Staten Island, and for the maintenance of the fire alarm system in such borough.
  3. The extension of the paid department system shall not affect the rights and privileges of any volunteer benevolent association existing within the territory where such extension is made.

§ 15-103 Qualifications of force of department.

  1. To qualify for membership in the department a person shall be:

   1. A citizen of the United States.

   2. Able understandingly to read and write the English language.

   3. Shall have passed his or her eighteenth birthday but not his or her twenty-ninth birthday on the date of the filing of his or her application for civil service examination. No person who qualifies under this requirement shall be disqualified from membership in the department because of having passed his or her twenty-ninth birthday subsequent to the filing of his or her application. However no person shall be appointed unless he or she shall have attained his or her twenty-first birthday.

  1. A conviction of a felony shall disqualify all persons from membership in the department.
  2. Nothing in this section is intended to repeal or supersede the provisions of section 12-138 of the code.

§ 15-103.1 Chief of department.

Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of any general, special or local law, including but not limited to section 15-110 of this chapter, to the contrary, the chief of department shall not be required to be selected by competitive examination. The chief of department shall be in the exempt class of the classified service, and shall be selected from among persons holding the title of deputy chief (fire).

§ 15-104 Probationary period.

Preliminary to a permanent appointment as firefighter there shall be a period of probation for such time as is fixed by the civil service rules, and no person shall receive a permanent appointment who has not served the required probationary period. The service during probation shall be deemed to be service in the uniformed force if succeeded by a permanent appointment, and as such shall be included and counted in determining eligibility for advancement, promotion, retirement and pension.

§ 15-105 Oaths of office.

Each member of the uniformed force shall take an oath of office and subscribe the same before an officer of the department empowered to administer an oath.

§ 15-106 Warrants of appointment.

Every member of the uniformed force shall have issued to him or her a warrant of appointment signed by the commissioner.

§ 15-107 Grades of members of the uniformed force.

Members of the uniformed force, upon appointment, shall be assigned to the fourth grade; after one year of service in the fourth grade they shall be advanced to the third grade; after one year of service in the third grade, they shall be advanced to the second grade; after one year of service in the second grade, they shall be advanced to the first grade; and they shall in each instance receive the annual pay or compensation of the grade to which they belong.

§ 15-108 Salary during absence from duty caused by injury or sickness.

Each member of the uniformed force shall be paid full pay or compensation during absence from duty caused by injury or sickness, except as otherwise provided by law.

§ 15-108.1 Receipt of line of duty pay.

  1. A member or officer of the force shall be entitled pursuant to this section to the full amount of his or her regular salary for the period of any incapacity due to illness or injury incurred in the performance and discharge of duty as a member or officer of the force, as determined by the department.
  2. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the rights, powers and duties of the commissioner pursuant to any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, the right to discipline a member or officer of the force by termination, reduction of salary, or any other appropriate measure; the power to terminate an appointee who has not completed his or her probationary term; and the power to apply for ordinary or accident disability retirement for a member or officer of the force.
  3. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require payment of salary to a member or officer of the force who has been terminated, retired, suspended or otherwise separated from service by reason of death, retirement or any other cause.
  4. A decision as to eligibility for benefits pursuant to this section shall not be binding on the medical board or the board of trustees of any pension fund in the determination of eligibility for an accident disability or accidental death benefit.
  5. As used in this section the term “incapacity” shall mean the inability to perform full, limited, or restricted duty.

§ 15-109 Salary of first grade firefighters.

Firefighters of the first grade shall be paid a minimum of three thousand dollars per annum.

§ 15-110 Promotions.

Promotions of officers and members of the force shall be made by the commissioner on the basis of seniority, meritorious service in the department and superior capacity as shown by competitive examination. Individual acts of personal bravery may be treated as an element of meritorious service in such examination, the relative rating therefor to be fixed by the commissioner of citywide administrative services. The fire commissioner shall transmit to the commissioner of citywide administrative services in advance of such examination the complete record of each candidate for promotion.

§ 15-111 Credit for service in the police department.

    1. Any member of the uniformed force of the fire department, who immediately prior to his or her appointment or employment as such, has served or shall have served as a member of the police force of the police department, shall have the time served by such member in such police department counted as service in the fire department in determining his or her retirement and pension in such department as herein or otherwise provided, upon condition that he or she shall contribute to the appropriate fire department pension fund a sum equal to the amount which he or she would have been required to contribute had the time served in the police department been served in the fire department.

   (2) Within one year after the fire department pension fund shall request a transfer of reserves with respect to any such person who becomes a member of the fire department pension fund on or after July first, nineteen hundred ninety-eight, who performed such prior service in the police force of the police department, and who has qualified for benefits under this subdivision, the police pension fund shall transfer to the contingent reserve fund of the fire department pension fund the reserve on the benefits of such member which is based on the contributions made by the employer (including the reserve-for-increased-take-home pay). Such reserve shall be determined by the actuary of the police pension fund in the same manner as provided in section forty-three of the retirement and social security law. No such transfer of reserves pursuant to this paragraph shall be made with respect to any person who became a member of the uniformed force of the fire department prior to July first, nineteen hundred ninety-eight.

  1. Any such member who shall have been a member of the police pension fund pursuant to subchapter three of chapter three of title thirteen of the code shall become a member of the department pension fund pursuant to subchapter two of chapter three of title thirteen. The election or elections made by such member pursuant to section 13-247 or 13-253 of the code shall be deemed to be the election or elections required by section 13-350 or 13-355 of the code. In the event that any such member shall have made an election pursuant to section 13-248 of the code, such election shall be deemed to be the election provided by subdivision b of section 13-350 of the code.
  2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any member of the uniformed force of the fire department, who immediately prior to his or her appointment or employment as such, has served or shall have served as a member of the police force of the police department, the New York city transit authority police department or the New York city housing authority police department, shall have the time served by such member in such police department counted as service in the fire department in determining his or her eligibility for variable supplements fund benefits payable by the firefighters’ variable supplements fund pursuant to subchapter five of chapter three of title thirteen of this code or the fire officers’ variable supplements fund pursuant to subchapter six of chapter three of title thirteen of this code.

§ 15-111.1 Credit for service in the uniformed transit police force or uniformed housing police force.

Any member of the uniformed force of the fire department, who immediately prior to his or her appointment or employment as such, has served or shall have served as a member of the uniformed transit police force or a member of the uniformed housing police force shall have the time served by such member in such force counted as service in the fire department in determining: (a) his or her eligibility to compete in a promotional examination; (b) his or her seniority credit for the purpose of grading a promotional examination; and (c) his or her seniority credit for the purpose of determining eligibility for transfers within the uniformed force of the fire department.

§ 15-112 Working hours.

  1. The commissioner shall divide the deputy chiefs, battalion chiefs, captains, lieutenants, engineers and firefighters, marine engineers and pilots in boats of the department into platoons, and such divisions shall be fully completed and the provisions hereof fully effectuated. None of such platoons, or any member thereof, shall be assigned to more than one tour of duty in any twenty-four consecutive hours. The commissioner shall install a two platoon system. The two platoon system shall consist of not more than two tours of duty of not more than nine hours each, to be followed by a rest period of at least forty-eight hours for all members. After such rest period there shall be not more than two tours of duty of not more than fifteen hours to be followed by a rest period for all members of at least seventy-two hours which shall continue in such sequence so that not more than six nine-hour tours of duty and six fifteen-hour tours of duty shall be worked in any twenty-five consecutive calendar days, except, in the event of conflagrations, riots or other similar emergencies or for the necessary time consumed in changing tours of duty, in which events such platoons or members thereof shall be continued on duty for such hours as may be necessary. This section shall in no manner affect any provision of law providing for furlough or leave of absence of such members of the department.
  2. The mayor and all other officials charged with such duty are hereby authorized, empowered and directed to carry out the provisions of this section and to provide any and all necessary funds to effectuate the purposes thereof.
  3. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other section of this title, the provisions of this section, as amended, in relation to the establishment and continuance of the platoon system and the tours of duty and the hours thereof shall not be repealed, superseded, supplemented or amended by local law, and the same may only be repealed, superseded, supplemented or amended as prescribed in section eleven of article nine of the constitution and upon the affirmative action of the qualified voters of the city of New York on a referendum submitted at a general election.

§ 15-113 Discipline of members; removal from force.

The commissioner shall have power, in his or her discretion on conviction of a member of the force of any legal offense or neglect of duty, or violation of rules, or neglect or disobedience of orders or incapacity, or absence without leave, or any conduct injurious to the public peace or welfare, or immoral conduct, or conduct unbecoming an officer or member, or other breach of discipline, to punish the offending party by reprimand, forfeiture and withholding of pay for a specified time, or dismissal from the force; but not more than ten days’ pay shall be forfeited and withheld for any offense. Officers and members of the uniformed force shall be removable only after written charges shall have been preferred against them, and after the charges shall have been publicly examined into, upon such reasonable notice of not less than forty-eight hours to the person charged, and in such manner of examination as the rules and regulations of the commissioner may prescribe. The examination into such charges and trial shall be conducted by the commissioner, a deputy commissioner or other person designated by the commissioner in writing for that purpose; but no decision shall be final or be enforced until approved by the commissioner. The rules and regulations for the uniformed force of the department, as established from time to time by the commissioner, shall be printed, published and circulated among the officers and members of such department.

§ 15-114 Resignations and absences.

Any member of the department who shall withdraw or resign without the permission of the commissioner shall be subject to the forfeiture of salary due to such member. Unexplained absence, without leave, of any member of the uniformed force, for five days, shall be deemed and held to be a resignation by such member, and accepted as such.

§ 15-115 Rehearing of charges; reinstatement of members of department.

  1. Upon written application to the mayor by the person aggrieved, setting forth the reasons for demanding such rehearing, the commissioner may rehear the charges upon which a member or a probationary member of the uniformed force has been dismissed, or reduced from the rank theretofore held by him or her. Such person or persons shall be required to waive in writing all claim against the city for back pay and shall obtain the mayor’s consent to such rehearing, such consent to be in writing and to state the reasons why such charges should be reheard.
  2. Such application for a rehearing shall be made within one year from the date of the removal or reduction in rank.
  3. If the commissioner shall determine that such member has been illegally or unjustly dismissed or reduced, the commissioner may reinstate such member or restore such member to the rank from which he or she was reduced, as the case may be, and allow such member the whole of his or her time since such dismissal to be applied on his or her time of service in the department, or the commissioner may grant such other or further relief as he or she may determine to be just, or may affirm the dismissal or reduction, as he or she may determine from the evidence.
  4. If the applicant be a probationary member of the department, the commissioner may allow such probationary member the time already served as a probationary member to count as time served, but shall not allow the time between the date of his or her dismissal and restoration to count as service in the department.
  5. Employees of the department, not entitled to a trial before dismissal, and who were given an opportunity to explain charges before they were removed, may apply to the mayor, within one year from the date of the order separating them from the service, for a further opportunity to explain, setting forth the reasons for such action. The mayor, in his or her discretion, may grant such application. The commissioner, thereupon, shall afford a further opportunity to the dismissed employee to explain the charges filed against him or her, on which the removal was based. Thereafter the commissioner, in his or her discretion, may reinstate the dismissed employee or reaffirm the previous removal. Prior to any reinstatement hereunder, such former employee shall file a written statement waiving all claim or claims for back salary and damages of any kind whatsoever.

§ 15-116 Members of force; peace officers.

In the performance of their duties, all officers and members of the uniformed force, other than the chief marshal, deputy chief fire marshals, supervising fire marshals and fire marshals, shall have the powers and perform the duties of peace officers, but their power to make arrests and to serve process in criminal actions shall be restricted to cases arising under laws relating to fires and the extinguishment thereof, and to fire perils.

§ 15-117 Members of force; police officers.

In the performance of their duties, the chief fire marshal, deputy chief fire marshals, supervising fire marshals and fire marshals shall have all the powers and perform all the duties of police officers in the state.

§ 15-118 Exemption from civil arrest and service of subpoenas.

Any officer or uniformed member of the department shall be exempt from arrest on civil process, or, while actually on duty, from service of subpoena from civil courts.

§ 15-119 Reimbursement for loss of property while in performance of duty.

Whenever any member of the uniformed force of the department, while in the actual performance of his or her duty, shall lose or have destroyed any of his or her personal belongings, and shall present satisfactory proof thereof to the commissioner, such member shall be reimbursed to the extent of the loss sustained, at the expense of the city.

§ 15-120 Uniforms and badges; unlawful use prohibited.

  1. It shall be the duty of the commissioner to make suitable regulations under which the officers and members of the department shall be required to wear an appropriate uniform and badge by which the authority and relations of the officers and members in such department may be known. The commissioner shall select the grade of cloth and quality required for such uniforms, but shall not prescribe where or from whom such uniforms or uniform clothing shall be purchased, or the price to be paid therefor. It shall be unlawful for any contractor or agent or employee of any contractor for the making of uniforms for the department to have an office within any building belonging to or under the control of the department.
  2. It shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for a period of not less than sixty days, for a person not enrolled or employed, or appointed by the department, to wear the whole or any part of the uniform or insignia prescribed to be worn by the rules or regulations of the department, or to do any act as firefighter not duly authorized by the commissioner, or to interfere with the property or apparatus of the department in any manner unless by the authority of the commissioner. Any person who shall falsely represent any member of the uniformed force of the department, or who shall maliciously, with intent to deceive, use, or imitate any of the signs, fire caps, badges, signals or devices adopted or used by the department, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars or more than two hundred fifty dollars, and to imprisonment for a term of not less than ten days, or more than three months, such fine when collected to be paid into the general fund of the city established pursuant to section one hundred nine of the charter.

§ 15-121 Termination of service of members of uniformed force because of superannuation.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision c of this section no member of the uniformed force of the department except medical officers, who is or hereafter attains the age of sixty-five years shall continue to serve as a member of such force but shall be retired and placed on the pension rolls of the department, provided however, that any member who is not eligible for retirement at age sixty-five, shall continue to serve as a member only until such time as such member becomes eligible for such pension retirement.
  2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision a of this section or of any other section of law, any member who shall not have completed thirty-five years of creditable city service within the meaning of subdivision h of section 13-304 of the code, prior to attaining the age of sixty-five years may continue to serve as a member until he or she shall have completed such thirty-five years of creditable city service, provided that he or she is capable of performing duty acceptable to the commissioner. This section does not apply to chaplains or medical officers. This section shall apply only to members who are in the department on the first day of December, nineteen hundred seventy-one.
  3. Any member whose retirement has become mandatory under the provisions of subdivision a of this section may, upon approval of the commissioner, request of the board of estimate that he or she be continued as a member of the uniformed force for a period not exceeding two years. The board, where advantageous to the public service, may grant such request for a period not exceeding two years. At the termination of such additional period of service, such board may in like manner permit such member to continue in the public service for successive periods each not exceeding two years. In no event shall a member be continued in public service upon attaining the age of seventy-five years.

§ 15-123 Limited mutual aid agreement with city of Mount Vernon.

  1. Subject to the limitations contained in subdivision b of this section, the commissioner is hereby empowered to enter into a mutual aid agreement with the fire commissioner of the city of Mount Vernon. Such agreement shall authorize the dispatching of fire fighting equipment from the city of New York to the city of Mount Vernon when so requested by the commissioner of the city of Mount Vernon.
  2. The scope of any agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall be limited in that fire fighting equipment dispatched from the city of New York shall only respond to fires or other emergencies occurring in that part of the city of Mount Vernon which contains the bulk oil storage installations located on the boundary line of the city of New York and within the confines of the city of Mount Vernon on either side of Eastchester creek.

§ 15-124 Destruction of buildings to prevent spread of fire.

  1. The commissioner may order any building which is on fire, or any other building near thereto which he or she deems hazardous, or likely to take fire, or to convey the fire to other buildings, to be razed, if, in his or her discretion, such action is necessary to prevent the spread of fire or to prevent the loss of life or property therefrom.
  2. Whenever the razing of a building is thus ordered, it shall be the duty of any member or members of the department, under the direction of the officer in command at such fire, to level and destroy such building by the use of explosives, and it shall be lawful for them to enter and take possession of the same for such purpose. The commissioner may establish one or more depots for the storage and safekeeping of such explosives as may be required and may limit the quantity of any such explosives to be kept at any such depots.
  3. Upon the application of any person interested in any building so razed, or in its contents, to the supreme court in and for the county or any adjoining county in the judicial department within which such building is situated, it shall be the duty of such court to issue a precept for a jury to inquire into and assess the damages which the owners of such building and all persons having an estate or interest therein or in the contents thereof, have respectively sustained by the razing of such building or its contents. Such precept shall be issued, directed, executed, returned and proceeded upon, and the proceedings thereon shall take effect, as nearly as may be, in such manner as is provided in chapter three of title five of the code. After the inquiry and assessment are confirmed by the court, the sums assessed by the jury shall be paid by the city to the respective persons in whose favor the jury shall have assessed the same, in full satisfaction of all demands of such persons, respectively, by reason of the razing of such building or its contents. The court before which such process shall be returnable shall have power to compel the attendance of jurors and witnesses upon any such assessment of damages.

§ 15-125 Preventing spread of harbor fires.

The officers of the department in charge at the scene of a fire occurring on any vessel in the port of New York or in or upon any dock, wharf, pier, warehouse, building or other structure bordering upon or adjacent to such port, may prohibit the approach to such fire or to a vessel, dock, wharf, pier, warehouse or other building or structure in danger therefrom, of any tugboat or other vessel, or of any person; or may remove or cause to be removed and kept away from the vicinity of such fire all tugboats or other vessels. It shall be unlawful for any person in any way to obstruct the operations of the department in connection with any such fire, or to disobey any lawful command of the officers of such department in charge at the scene of such fire, or of the police in cooperating with them. Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to limit the authority of the master or officers of any such vessel on fire or in danger from fire, subject to the general authority of the department to control the operations in protection of the public interest.

§ 15-126 Fire alarm telegraph system.

  1. Protection of. The fire alarm telegraph system shall be operated or used only by the commissioner, or the officers and employees of the department charged with its operation or maintenance or authorized to use it for instruction or drill. Any person, however, may freely operate the same to communicate actual alarms of fire. It shall be unlawful for any person to experiment or tamper with such system for any purpose whatever, or to have or possess any key thereof, without the authority of the commissioner. It shall be unlawful for any person to post, paint, impress, or in any way affix to any pole connected with the fire alarm telegraph, or any box, wire or other appliance connected therewith, any placard, sign, broadside, notice, or announcement of any kind; or to cut, mutilate, alter, mar, deface, cover, obstruct or interfere with the same in any manner whatsoever; or to paint, or cause to be painted, the poles of any other telegraph, or any other poles on the lines thereof, in a color or colors similar to those of poles upon which are fire alarm boxes, or in imitation thereof; or to consent, allow, or be privy to any of such things done for him or her or upon his or her behalf.
  2. Kite-flying. It shall be unlawful for any kite to be flown, raised, or put in any street adjacent to the lines of such telegraph, or to be allowed to become entangled with the wires or apparatus thereof.

§ 15-127 Auxiliary fire alarm systems.

  1. Fire alarm telegraph companies.

   1. Compensation to be paid to city. All persons engaged in the maintenance and operation of auxiliary fire alarm telegraph systems from which rent, profit or compensation is derived, and which are connected with the fire alarm telegraph system maintained by the city, or who, for the benefit of their patrons, are permitted to make any use whatsoever of the service of such fire alarm telegraph system shall pay such reasonable compensation to the city for such privilege and for such period of time as shall be fixed by the board of estimate on the recommendation of the commissioner.

   2. Acquisition by department. The commissioner is authorized and empowered to extend the department’s fire alarm telegraph system whenever in his or her judgment it shall be deemed desirable, by the purchase, lease or license of the whole or a part or parts of the appliance, apparatus, equipment, patents, licenses, franchises, rights, contracts or other property of any kind, of any fire alarm telegraph or fire alarm signal company doing business in the city, at a price to be agreed upon with the persons or corporation owning the same, and every such corporation is hereby authorized to sell, lease or license the same to the city. Such purchase, lease or license shall first be approved by the board of estimate, and if so approved, shall be made through the department of general services.

  1. Private connection with fire alarm telegraph system.

   1. May be required by commissioner. The owners and proprietors of all multiple dwellings, factories, office buildings, warehouses, stores and offices, theatres and music halls, and the authorities or persons having charge of all hospitals and asylums, and of the public schools and other public buildings, churches and other places where large numbers of persons are congregated for purposes of worship, instruction or amusement, and of all piers, bulkheads, wharves, pier sheds, bulkhead sheds or other waterfront structures, shall provide such means of communicating alarms of fire to the department as the commissioner may prescribe. Any person who shall violate, or refuse, or neglect to comply with this provision shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months, or by both; and any such person shall, also, for each offense, be subject to the payment of a penalty in the sum of two hundred fifty dollars, to be recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the commissioner.

   2. Inspection and maintenance. The commissioner shall have the power to enter in person or by his or her duly authorized employees, the buildings or premises which are provided, upon the application of the owners or agents thereof, or which are directed by the commissioner to be provided, with the means of communicating alarms of fire directly to the department, for the purpose of maintaining, repairing, examining or installing the same. The commissioner is authorized to fix and collect reasonable charges for the maintenance and equipment of such special fire alarm service thus provided, and such moneys when collected by the commissioner shall be paid into the general fund.

  1. Interior fire alarms.

   1. Automatic fire alarms. In every hotel, lodging house, public or private hospital or asylum, department store, and public school, there shall be placed and provided, when required by the commissioner, an adequate and reliable electrical or other interior alarm system, to be approved by the commissioner, by means of which alarms of fire or other danger may be instantly communicated to every portion of the building. The fire alarm apparatus and all other appliances placed or kept within any of such buildings for the purpose of preventing or extinguishing fires, or for affording means of escape therefrom in case of fire, shall be kept at all times in good working order and proper condition for immediate use, and any member of the uniformed force or authorized representative of the department may enter any of such buildings, at any time, for the purpose of inspecting such apparatus or appliances.

   2. Building attendants. In every building used or occupied as a hotel, lodging house or public or private hospital or asylum, there shall be employed by the owner or proprietor, or other person having the charge or management thereof, one or more building attendants, whose exclusive duty it shall be to visit every portion of such building at regular and frequent intervals, under rules and regulations to be established by the commissioner, for the purpose of detecting fire, or other sources of danger, and giving timely warning thereof to the inmates of the building. There shall be provided a clock or other device, to be approved by the commissioner, by means of which the movements of such building attendant may be recorded. The commissioner may, however, in his or her discretion, accept an automatic fire alarm system in lieu of such building attendants and time detectors.

   3. Diagrams of means of exit. In any of the buildings referred to in paragraphs one and two of this subdivision, there shall be posted such cards as the commissioner shall direct upon which shall be printed a diagram showing the exits, halls, stairways, elevators and fire escapes of the building, and, in the halls and passageways, such signs as the commissioner shall direct shall be posted indicating the location of the stairs and fire escapes.

§ 15-128 Fire drills.

The commissioner, in cases where provision is not otherwise made by law, is empowered in his or her discretion to require and compel the regular and periodical performance of a fire drill, including instruction and practice in the use of means of exit, alarm systems, and fire prevention or extinguishing methods and equipment, in all buildings, structures, enclosures, vessels, places and premises where numbers of persons work, live or congregate, except multiple dwellings.

§ 15-129 Reporting of department response times.

  1. This section shall be known as and may be cited as the “The Ariel Russo Emergency 9-1-1 Response Time Reporting Act”.
  2. The department shall track the duration of time between a report to a 911 operator to which fire units or ambulances are required to respond and the time when the first fire unit, which shall include ladders and engines only, or the first ambulance unit, arrives on scene in the following categories:

   (1) Average response time to structural fires;

   (2) Average response time to non-structural fires;

   (3) Average response time to non-fire emergencies;

   (4) Average response time to medical emergencies by ambulance units, in total and disaggregated by segment;

   (5) Average response time to medical emergencies by fire units, in total and disaggregated by segment;

   (6) Percentage of response time to Advanced Life Support medical emergencies by Advanced Life support ambulances, in total and disaggregated by segment, in the following categories: (i) less than 6 minutes, (ii) between 6 and 10 minutes, (iii) between 10 and 20 minutes, and (iv) more than 20 minutes; and

   (7) Percentage of response time to structural and non-structural fires by fire units in the following categories: (i) less than 5 minutes, (ii) between 5 and 10 minutes, (iii) between 10 and 20 minutes, and (iv) more than 20 minutes.

  1. The department shall submit a monthly and yearly report to the council and to the mayor that it shall also post on its website, detailing the citywide response times for each category required herein, disaggregated by borough, community district, and division. Each such report shall include the department’s most current definitions of all relevant segments.
  2. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

   Advanced life support unit. The term “advanced life support unit” means an advanced life support ambulance or first responder unit.

   Division. The term “division” means any division as defined by the department.

   Life threatening medical emergency. The term “life threatening medical emergency” means any emergency categorized by the department as a life threatening medical emergency.

§ 15-130 Applicants for firefighter civil service examinations and admission and graduation statistics from the probationary firefighter school.

  1. The department, in consultation with the department of citywide administrative services, shall submit to the council and post on the department’s website, on or before the effective date of the local law that added this section, a report containing the following information:

   1. The total number of applicants for the 2012 open-competitive firefighter civil service examination and promotion to firefighter civil service examination, and the number of applicants who:

      (a) Took the computer-based portion of such examination;

      (b) Achieved a passing score on the computer-based portion of such examination;

      (c) Were invited to take the physical portion of such examination;

      (d) Took or began to take the physical portion of such examination;

      (e) Passed the physical portion of such examination;

      (f) Were invited to participate in the department’s 1.5 mile pre-appointment run testing or substitute cardio-pulmonary testing;

      (g) Were not offered appointment to the probationary firefighter school based on the results of the pre-appointment 1.5 mile run or substitute cardio-pulmonary testing;

      (h) Were offered appointment to each probationary firefighter school class that commenced prior to the effective date of the local law that added this section;

      (i) Accepted appointment to each class identified in subparagraph (h) of this paragraph;

      (j) Participated in the final 1.5 mile run or substitute cardio-pulmonary testing prior to graduating from the probationary firefighter school;

      (k) Failed to graduate from the probationary firefighter school based on the results of the final 1.5 mile run or substitute cardio-pulmonary testing;

      (l) Failed to graduate from each class identified in subparagraph (h) of this paragraph on the grounds that they could not adequately complete the functional skills training or any successor physical training or testing;

      (m) Graduated from each class identified in subparagraph (h) of this paragraph; and

      (n) Did not graduate from each class identified in subparagraph (h) of this paragraph.

   2. The data provided pursuant to paragraph one of this subdivision shall be disaggregated by gender and by race or ethnicity.

  1. On or before March 1 of each year, the department, in consultation with the department of citywide administrative services, shall submit to the council and post on the department’s website a report containing the following information for the preceding calendar year:

   1. The number of applicants for each open-competitive firefighter civil service examination and promotion to firefighter civil service examination administered on or after the effective date of the local law that added this section, and the number of applicants who:

      (a) Took the computer-based portion of such examination;

      (b) Achieved a passing score on the computer-based portion of such examination;

      (c) Were invited to take the physical portion of such examination;

      (d) Took or began to take the physical portion of such examination;

      (e) Passed the physical portion of such examination;

      (f) Were invited to participate in the department’s 1.5 mile pre-appointment run testing or substitute cardio-pulmonary testing;

      (g) Were not offered appointment to the probationary firefighter school based on the results of the pre-appointment 1.5 mile run or substitute cardio-pulmonary testing;

      (h) Were offered appointment to each probationary firefighter school class that commenced after the effective date of the local law that added this section;

      (i) Accepted appointment to each probationary firefighter school class identified in subparagraph (h) of this paragraph;

      (j) Participated in the final 1.5 mile run or substitute cardio-pulmonary testing prior to graduating from the probationary firefighter school;

      (k) Failed to graduate from the probationary firefighter school based on the results of the final 1.5 mile run or substitute cardio-pulmonary testing;

      (l) Failed to graduate from each class identified in subparagraph (h) of this paragraph on the grounds that they could not adequately complete the functional skills training or any successor physical training or testing;

      (m) Graduated from each class identified in subparagraph (h) of this paragraph; and

      (n) Did not graduate from each class identified in subparagraph (h) of this paragraph.

   2. The data provided pursuant to paragraph one of this subdivision shall be reported in total and disaggregated by gender and by race or ethnicity.

  1. The following information shall be provided on March 1 of each year for the preceding calendar year:

   1. The department’s expenditures on recruiting candidates for the open-competitive firefighter civil service examination and promotion to firefighter civil service examination;

   2. A list of the recruiting events in which the department has participated for the open-competitive firefighter civil service examination; and

   3. A list of the preparatory materials for firefighter applicants the department has prepared to help candidates for the open-competitive firefighter civil service examination and promotion to firefighter civil service examination.

§ 15-131 Report on smoke detectors, smoke alarms and fire sprinklers.

  1. No later than April 1 of each year, the department shall submit to the mayor and the council, and post on the department’s website, a report indicating the following:

   (1) Whether a smoke detector or alarm was found at the location of any fire in which there was a civilian fire fatality or life-threatening injury during the preceding calendar year. For each fire in which there was a civilian fire fatality or life-threatening injury where a smoke detector or alarm was found, such report shall indicate the technology used by such smoke detector or alarm and whether such smoke detector or alarm was operational, provided that such information can be ascertained. Such report may also include any other information relevant in determining the role of smoke detectors or alarms in any fire in which there was a civilian fire fatality or life-threatening injury.

   (2) Whether a fire sprinkler was found at the location of any fire greater than a first alarm fire during the preceding calendar year. For each fire greater than a first alarm fire in which a fire sprinkler was found, such report shall indicate whether such sprinkler was operational and activated during such incident, provided that it is possible for the department to obtain such information. For purposes of this subdivision, “first alarm fire” means a fire to which the fire department deploys three or fewer fire engines.

  1. The department shall ascertain from the office of the chief medical examiner the cause of death for any civilian fire fatality, as defined by such office. The report required by subdivision a of this section shall be disaggregated by each type of such cause.

§ 15-132 Residential education and outreach.

  1. The department shall make a good faith effort to directly contact owners and occupants of R-2 multiple dwellings to ensure that appropriate fire safety procedures, resources, and educational materials are in place. These efforts shall include, where appropriate, (i) ensuring compliance with fire code section 401.6 and applicable department rules relating to owners providing notice to occupants of fire safety measures, (ii) providing fire safety and fire prevention educational materials, and (iii) providing relevant training to staff at such dwellings.
  2. Beginning January 31, 2019 and annually thereafter, the department shall electronically submit to the mayor and the speaker of the council and post on its website a report describing the activities taken pursuant to this section during the previous calendar year.

Editor’s note: Pursuant to L.L. 2018/110, § 2, subsection b. of this section will be repealed 5 years after it becomes law.

§ 15-133 Youth education and outreach.

  1. The department, in consultation with the department of education, shall develop and implement a plan for educating both children and parents about fire safety and prevention. Such plan shall include but need not be limited to public service announcements, outreach in public and non-public schools about common fire dangers for children and preventative measures to be taken by parents.
  2. Beginning January 31, 2019 and annually thereafter, the department shall electronically submit to the mayor and the speaker of the council and post on its website a report describing the activities taken pursuant to this section during the previous calendar year.

Editor’s note: Pursuant to L.L. 2018/116, § 2, subsection b. of this section will be repealed 5 years after it becomes law.

§ 15-134 Fire hydrant inspection standards and tracking.

  1. The department shall inspect all fire hydrants maintained by the department of environmental protection at least twice per calendar year, the first inspection occurring by June 30 and the second inspection occurring by December 31.
  2. By March 1 of each year, the department of environmental protection shall post on its website the following information:

   1. The total number of fire hydrants subject to inspection pursuant to paragraph a of this section, aggregated citywide and disaggregated by borough and council district;

   2. The total number of fire hydrant inspections conducted pursuant to paragraph a of this section during the prior calendar year, aggregated citywide and disaggregated by borough and council district;

   3. The total number of fire hydrants found to be inoperable through inspection during the prior calendar year;

   4. The total number of fire hydrants categorized as priority by the fire department found to be inoperable through inspection during the prior calendar year; and

   5. The total number of fire hydrants categorized as priority by the fire department that were found inoperable during the inspection to be conducted by June 30 and the total number of such hydrants that were not made operable by December 31, disaggregated by borough and council district.

§ 15-135 Notice regarding closed doors and fires.

The department shall require owners of multiple dwellings to post a notice in conspicuous locations indicating that those escaping a fire should close all doors behind them.

§ 15-136 Opioid antagonist report.

  1. Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

   De-identified. The term “de-identified” means health information that cannot be used to identify an individual as established in section 164.514 of title 45 of the code of federal regulations.

   Division. The term “division” has the same meaning as defined in section 15-129.

   Opioid antagonist. The term “opioid antagonist” means naloxone, narcan or other medication approved by the New York state department of health and the federal food and drug administration that, when administered, negates or neutralizes in whole or in part the pharmacological effects of an opioid in the human body.

   Patient. The term “patient” shall mean a person receiving emergency medical care and treatment from the department.

   Patient information. The term “patient information” shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 18 of the public health law.

  1. Beginning with the calendar quarter starting on January 1, 2019, the commissioner shall submit to the speaker of the council and the department of health and mental hygiene, within 25 days of the end of each quarter and post to the department’s website five days thereafter, a report compromised of de-identified patient information relating to the administration of opioid antagonists.
  2. Such report shall include:

   1. The number of opioid antagonists the department has available, disaggregated by borough and division;

   2. The number of emergency medical technicians and other first responders employed by the department that are trained to administer opioid antagonists, disaggregated by borough and division;

   3. The number of instances in the quarter that an emergency medical technician or other first responder employed by the department administered an opioid antagonist to a patient, disaggregated by borough, division, and by method of administration, such as syringe injection or nasal atomizer; and

   4. The number, expressed in both absolute terms and as a percentage of all administrations, of instances in which the patient responded to the administration of an opioid antagonist.

  1. The report created pursuant to this section shall be provided within 30 days of the end of the quarter to which the report corresponds. Where necessary, the department may use preliminary data to prepare the required report. If preliminary data is used, the department shall include an acknowledgment that such preliminary data is non-final and subject to change.

§ 15-137 Report on emergency medical services supervisor to emergency medical services station staffing ratios.

  1. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

   Emergency medical services. The term “emergency medical services” means the services provided by the bureau of emergency medical services within the department.

   Emergency medical services division. The term “emergency medical services division” means a collection of several emergency medical services stations, provided that if a division extends to two or more boroughs, the department shall report the information set forth below separately for each such borough.

   Emergency medical services station. The term “emergency medical services station” means a location that houses ambulances, or other emergency vehicles, and emergency medical services staff.

   Emergency medical services unit. The term “emergency medical services unit” means an individual ambulance or other emergency vehicle staffed by department personnel.

  1. No later than January 1, 2019, and at the beginning of each subsequent quarter, the department shall submit to the council a report on emergency medical services divisions and stations.
  2. Such report shall include, but need not be limited to, the following information:

   1. The assigned number of each emergency medical services division and the general geographic area each such division covers;

   2. The assigned number of each emergency medical services station within each emergency medical services division, the geographic area each such emergency medical services station covers, including any formal and commonly known names and the area in square miles, and the number of department personnel assigned to each such emergency medical services station;

   3. The total number of emergency medical services units within each emergency medical services station;

   4. The total number of designated emergency medical services supervising officers for each emergency medical services station within each emergency medical services division; and

   5. For each emergency medical services division, the ratio of emergency medical services supervising officers to emergency medical services stations within each such division.

Editor’s note: Section 2 of L.L. 2019/007 provides that this section is deemed repealed 5 years after it becomes law.

§ 15-138 Annual report on the potential impact of certain rezonings on department services.

  1. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the term “emergency medical services” means the services provided by the bureau of emergency medical services within the department.
  2. No later than February 1 of each year, the department, in consultation with the department of city planning, shall submit to the council a report, as set forth in subdivision c of this section, stating the potential impact of certain rezonings that occurred during the previous fiscal year on the services the department provides, in terms of fire protection and emergency medical services, in areas for which certain rezonings were approved in the previous fiscal year.
  3. Such report shall consider rezonings for which the department provided input in the city environmental quality review process and shall include for such rezonings, but need not be limited to, the following information:

   1. The rezoned area, including the borough, formal and commonly known names of the area, major streets and avenues covered by the rezoning and the total area in square miles covered by the rezoning;

   2. For each such rezoned area, a brief description of the type of rezoning that took place, including any substantial change in zoning district classification; and

   3. For each such rezoned area, the potential impact of such rezoning on the services the department provides, as provided by the department in the city environmental quality review process, in terms of fire protection personnel and staffing, equipment, vehicles and stations, where applicable, with a separate category including information on the impact of such rezoning on the services the department provides in terms of emergency medical services personnel and staffing, equipment, vehicles and station locations, where applicable.

§ 15-139 Online applications for fire alarm plan examinations and inspections.

  1. The department shall make all components of applications for fire alarm plan examinations available for online submission.
  2. The department shall make all components of applications for fire alarm inspections available for online submission.

Editor’s note: Section 2 of L.L. 2019/009 provides: “Subdivision a of section 15-139 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as added by section 1 of this local law, takes effect 180 days after it becomes law, and subdivision b of section 15-139 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as added by section 1 of this local law, takes effect 1 year after it becomes law, except that the fire department may take such measures prior to such date as are necessary for implementation of this local law, including the promulgation of rules.”.

§ 15-140 Emergency evacuation planning for individuals with limited mobility.

By March 1, 2019, the department, in consultation with the office of emergency management and the mayor’s office for people with disabilities, and in conjunction with fire code emergency preparedness requirements for apartment buildings, shall develop a planning checklist to be provided to residents in group R-2 occupancies, including individuals with disabilities or limited mobility, to assist in the development of individualized emergency evacuation plans. Such checklist shall inform residents about the availability of evacuation assistance devices and other means of evacuation, and outline recommended measures that individuals with disabilities or limited mobility can proactively take to prepare to safely evacuate a building in case of emergency, such as identifying neighbors who can provide assistance in an emergency. Such checklist shall be made available on the department’s website and included in the emergency preparedness guides required by the fire code to be distributed to the residents of such buildings.

Chapter 3: Arson Strike Force

§ 15-301 Declaration of policy.

The council finds that within the past several years there have been increasing incidences of arson which have endangered life and property in some areas of the city; that deaths and serious injuries to many persons have resulted therefrom and much property has been destroyed; that extensive areas of burned-out buildings now blight parts of the city; that arson hastens the deterioration of communities; that residents are compelled to flee to other areas; that businesses and commercial enterprises are compelled to close, many never to open again; that fire insurance premiums increase; and that drastic steps are necessary to prevent the spread of this problem to other areas of the city. The council hereby declares that it is imperative that a permanent arson strike force be established that will foster greater cooperation between the various city agencies in the battle to control the arson problem that confronts the city.

§ 15-302 Composition.

The mayor shall appoint an arson strike force which shall be chaired by a representative of the mayor’s office and shall consist of representatives of the department, police department, department of human resources, department of housing preservation and development, department of finance and such supportive staff as is necessary.

§ 15-303 Reports.

The strike force shall submit an annual report in September of each year to the mayor and the council. Such report shall include any findings and recommendations of the strike force.

§ 15-304 Reward for information leading to arson conviction: posting notices.

  1. The city hereby offers a reward of not more than one thousand dollars per conviction to any person or persons giving information leading to the detection, arrest and conviction of any person or persons guilty of arson, attempted arson or conspiracy to commit arson, or felony murder arising in connection with arson.
  2. The offer made herein subject to and limited by availability of funds appropriated therefore and shall be paid only if no other reward is paid by the city for information leading to detections, arrests and convictions arising from the same incident of arson, attempted arson, conspiracy to commit arson or felony murder arising from arson.
  3. The commissioner is authorized to publish the offer made by this section by means of posters or any other appropriate medium. Subject to the approval of the corporation counsel, the commissioner may determine the form in which the offer is to be published.
  4. The commissioner is authorized to place posters containing the offer made by this section on public property.
  5. Subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in subdivisions a and b of this section, the commissioner, in his or her discretion, shall determine the amount payable and certify to the comptroller the name of the person or persons to whom the reward shall be made payable and the amount to be paid. If a reward is to be made payable to more than one person for the same information, the certification may specify that payment is to be made jointly to the persons so named.
  6. The comptroller shall pay such reward as a claim against the city from the funds appropriated therefor by warrant to the person or persons named in such certification.
  7. The offer made by this section shall not be available:

   (1) to any person employed by or having auxiliary status or other membership in any police or fire department or other law enforcement agency in the state; or

   (2) to any person who has obtained the information directly or indirectly from a member of any police or fire department or other law enforcement agency in the state.