156-e. College fire safety. 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, the office of fire prevention and control of the division of homeland security and emergency services, by and through the state fire administrator or their duly authorized officers and employees, shall have the responsibility to annually inspect buildings under the jurisdiction of public colleges and independent colleges, as these terms are defined in section eight hundred seven-b of the education law, for compliance with and violations of the uniform fire prevention and building code; or any other applicable code, rule or regulation pertaining to fire safety. Buildings subject to inspection are all buildings under the jurisdiction of such colleges used for classroom, dormitory, fraternity, sorority, laboratory, physical education, dining, recreational or other purposes.
2. a. The office of fire prevention and control shall have the power to issue a notice of violation and orders requiring the remedying of any condition found to exist in, on or about any such building which violates the uniform fire prevention and building code, or any other code, rule or regulation pertaining to fire safety, fire safety equipment and fire safety devices. Such office is further authorized to promulgate regulations regarding the issuance of violations, compliance with orders, and providing for time for compliance, reinspection procedures, and issuance of certificates of conformance.
b. Where any college authority in general charge of the operation of any public or independent college buildings is served personally or by registered or certified mail with an order of the office of fire prevention and control to remedy any violation and fails to comply with such order immediately or within such other time as specified in the order, the office of fire prevention and control may avail itself of any or all of the following remedies: (1) assess a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars per day until the violation is corrected; (2) order immediate closure of the building, buildings or parts thereof where a violation exists that poses an imminent threat to public health and safety; (3) refer violations to the appropriate local government authorities for enforcement pursuant to article eighteen of this chapter.
c. The office of fire prevention and control is authorized to commence necessary proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction seeking enforcement of any of its orders and payment of assessed penalties.
3. a. Except as provided herein, any county, city, town or village, pursuant to resolution of their respective legislative bodies, may apply to the office of fire prevention and control for delegation of all or part of the duties, rights and powers conferred upon the office of fire prevention and control by this section and section eight hundred seven-b of the education law. Upon acceptable demonstration of adequate capability, resources and commitment on the part of the applicant local government, the office of fire prevention and control may make such delegation, in which case the local government shall also have all of the rights, duties and powers provided to local governments in article eighteen of this chapter and in any city charter or code. The authority granted in this section to assess civil penalties and order closure of buildings shall not be delegated to the local government. Such powers shall continue in the office of fire prevention and control which may exercise them in the case of violations, on its own volition or at the request of the delegee local government. The delegation shall expire after three years, and may be renewed at the discretion of the office of fire prevention and control. All inspection reports conducted pursuant to a delegation of authority shall be promptly filed with the office of fire prevention and control. In the event any such report is not filed or reasonable grounds exist to believe that inspections or enforcement are inadequate or ineffective, the office of fire prevention and control may revoke the delegation or continue it subject to terms and conditions specified by the office of fire prevention and control.
b. The authorities in a city having a population of one million or more shall exercise all of the rights, powers and duties pertaining to inspection of independent and public college buildings and enforcement provided in this section and section eight hundred seven-b of the education law, without impairing any existing authority of such city. A copy of all inspection reports shall be filed with the office of fire prevention and control by the authorities conducting inspections.
Last modified: February 3, 2019