FDNY Lab Compliance
It is unlawful to operate a laboratory or storage room in which flammable liquids, flammable solids, flammable gases, oxidizing materials, explosive materials, unstable or reactive chemicals are used in testing, research, experimental or instructional work, without a permit from the FDNY Fire Commissioner.
If your lab or storage area contains chemicals in quantities that meet or exceed one or more of the following criteria, you must have a permit for that area:
- 128 ounces (1 gallon) or greater of a flammable liquid
- 1 pound or greater of a flammable solid
- 75 SCF flammable gas
- 10 pounds or greater of a Class 3 Oxidizer (ex. nitric acid, fuming)
- 15 gallons or greater of an acid
Certificate of Fitness for the Supervision of Labs
The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) requires that a Certificate of Fitness (C-14) holder be present whenever a laboratory is operating, including evenings and weekends. NYU research labs are subject to announced and unannounced FDNY inspections and the absence of a C-14 holder during an inspection will result in issuance of a Violation Order with possible civil penalties. Thus for safety and compliance, as many lab personnel as possible should obtain a C-14 Certificate of Fitness. Certificates of Fitness should only provide coverage for the laboratories they oversee and have intimate involvement.
Applicants that qualify for the Alternate Issuance Program (AIP) can have their C-14 documentation processed through the department's Designated Coordinator. Individuals who do not qualify are required to go to the FDNY Headquarters in Brooklyn, NY to take the written exam and submit all documentation and payment.
Who can obtain a C-14 through the NYU AIP process?
- NYS Clinical Laboratory Director license
- MD, DDS, or DVM degree
- Masters or Doctoral degree
- Bachelor’s degree and an AIP recommendation letter
from his/her supervisor indicating at least 2 years of
post-baccalaureate experience in a chemical lab
Who must take the C-14 exam at FDNY headquarters?
- Bachelors degree
- less than 2 years post-baccalaureate experience in a
- Recommendation letter is required
Fire Department Headquarters at 9 Metro Tech, Brooklyn N.Y. 11201
Written Exams are conducted Monday through Friday (except legal holidays) 8AM to 2:30PM
Prohibited In Laboratories per Chapter 27 of Fire Code
- Store, handle or use any explosives.
- Store, handle or use any unclassified detonable organic peroxide, detonable pyrophoric material, detonable unstable (reactive) material or detonable water-reactive material.
- Store, handle or use any Class 4 unstable (reactive) material.
- Store, handle or use any Class 4 oxidizing material.
- Store, handle or use below grade any flammable gas.
- Use an open flame for heating or distilling any flammable solid, flammable liquid or flammable gas.
- Store flammable liquids in basements, cellars or other areas below grade.
- Store combustible liquids in basements, cellars or other areas below grade in a manner contrary to FC3404.3.5.1.
Certificate of Fitness for Torch Use of Flammable Gases for Cutting and Welding
Any persons using flammable gases to do torch cutting or welding is required to obtain a Certificate of Fitness (Type G-95) from the FDNY. Information can be obtained by going to the FDNY Website or by calling 718-999-1986
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can assist me with obtaining a certificate of fitness (C-14)?
Each department or school has a Designated Coordinator (DC) who can assist with the C-14 process for AIP quailfied candidates. The DC's are as followed:
If no DC exists for your department the applicant must apply as an "Individual" either online or in person at FDNY Headquarters depending on educational experience and if the exam is required. Application must be notarized to be accepted by FDNY.
My Certificate of Fitness is issued for another institution. Is it valid at NYU?
No. It must be updated to your current employer.
My Certificate of Fitness does not have the address of the building I am working in but is a Certificate of Fitness for NYU. Can I use it for another NYU building?
Yes, your Certificate of Fitness is valid for use in any NYU Building as long as it is issued to NYU.
I have a Certificate of Fitness for another institution but also need one for NYU. Can I have two Certificates of Fitness?
Yes, you will need to apply for a second Certificate of Fitness for NYU.
My home address or work address has changed. Do I need to update?
Yes, all Certificates of Fitness must be up to date with your home information and work information.
I have not received my Certificate of Fitness card. What should I do?
Occasionally there are instances where an individual has applied or completed a renewal and never received the card from FDNY. There are a few common reasons you have not received your card:
- Your home address has changed. Cards are mailed to your home address and if the address does not match it may have been sent to the wrong address or is lost in the mail.
- You applied as an AIP Applicant. FDNY does their best to process applications as quickly as possible but sometimes there are delays in excess of 2 to 3 months.
- Documentation submitted has an issue and is on hold. FDNY may be waiting for you to contact them or provide additional documentation.
- Designated Coordinator has not submitted your application and may be on hold due to missing or incorrect documentation.
To check on the status please first contact your departmental Designated Coordinator (DC). If unable to resolve with the Designated Coordinator please reach out to FDNY's Public Certifcation Unit at (718)-999-1988 or firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the status of your Certificate of Fitness.
Do laboratory curtains need to be certified?
All laboratory curtains must be certified by a Certifcate of Fitness C-15 Holder. A sample of the curtain must be sampled to confirm the material is Inherently Flame Resistant. A copy of the Certificate must be posted in the laboratory by the curtains and are room specific and non-transferrable. Contact RLS@nyu.edu for approved vendors to certify your curtains.