YMCA Sprinkler Summons Dismissed

YMCA at 99 Meserole Avenue in Brooklyn. Image: YMCA.

Vestibule lacked connection to the building’s sprinkler system. The YMCA maintains a location at 99 Meserole Avenue in Brooklyn in a building constructed in the mid-1900’s. The YMCA at this location has a gym, locker room, rooms for hosting communal activities and classes as well as living quarters to serve as a Department of Homeless Services shelter. The second, third and fourth floors consist of 102 bedrooms and kitchen areas.

On a September 9, 2016, a Department of Buildings inspector served a summons for failing to have a sprinkler in the front entrance. The inspector cited that the Administrative Code requires that a sprinkler head be located at the front of the building as well as fire and smoke alarm and signal systems. A hearing officer upheld the summons and the YMCA appealed.

On July 6, 2017, the Appeals Board reversed, ruling that the current Code was only applicable to newly constructed buildings. The Certificate of Occupation of the building was dated 1992, which required compliance with the 1968 Building Code.

The 1968 code only requires an automatic sprinkler system to be installed and operable. Here, the entrance that lacked a sprinkler head was a glass enclosure with a door and then another door to the main portion of the building. The vestibule lacked a connection to the rest of the buildings’ sprinkler, fire, and smoke systems, but did not pose a threat and therefore was in compliance with the Building Code.

(CIT) NYC v. YMCA of Greater NY, OATH Appeal No. 1700425 (July 6, 2017). CityAdmin

By: Samantha Albanese (Samantha is a student at New York Law School, Class of 2019)

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