Testimony of The Real Estate Board of New York Before the New York City Council Fire and Emergency Management Committee on Intro 1841-2020

Zachary Steinberg

Vice President Policy & Planning

June 10, 2020

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The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is the City’s leading real estate trade association representing commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers, salespeople, and other organizations and individuals active in New York City real estate. REBNY thanks the Council for the opportunity to testify on legislation that requires the New York Fire Department (FDNY) to create a report on its fire alarm inspection unit.

BILL: Intro 1841-2020

SUBJECT: A Local Law in relation to requiring the fire department to report on the department’s fire alarm inspection unit.

SPONSORS: Council Members Borelli and Powers

Int 1841 would require FDNY to report on the staffing level of its fire alarm inspection unit and the number of fire alarm inspections conducted disaggregated by borough and inspection type. In addition, the bill requires FDNY to report on the average time to schedule an inspection after receiving an application, the average time between receipt of the application for an inspection and the date of the inspection, as well as the time it takes to process supporting documents.  

Fire prevention systems are essential to public safety, and REBNY appreciates the critical role FDNY plays in reviewing, approving, and inspecting the operation of these systems. At the same time, we support the Council's call for collecting and publishing data on the fire prevention unit's operations as our members routinely experience significant delays in their projects as a result of significant wait times for the FDNY to review plans and conduct inspections. Disclosing more information about the unit's staffing, workload, and processing time will help FDNY, the Council, and the public identify ways to improve operations, reducing the amount of time it takes to process these application and inspections.

Thank you for the consideration of these points.