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New roofing law requires new NYFD welding certifications.

One year ago a little known new law was adapted that dramatically changed the entire roofing industry. This law prohibits using a popular waterproof roof system -- torched down modified bitumen roof membranes -- on combustible buildings. In New York City such roof systems can now only be installed on fireproof, non-combustible buildings. This law also established testing and certification requirements from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) before a roof contractor can use an open torch on a non-combustible building.

The FDNY now requires that any person using a propane torch on a fireproof building's roof take a course and pass an exam to obtain a Certificate of Fitness. The Fire Department also requires that for any torched-down roof jobs, a second person take a course, pass an exam, obtain a Certificate of Fitness as a Fire Guard (a safety watch person), and be present on the roof whenever the propane torch is in use.

This new requirement to obtain certificates of fitness adds to the strict rules that already exist regarding transporting liquid propane gas (LPG) cylinders. The New York Fire Department Tank Truck Unit now requires that a roof contractor present the two distinct Certificates of Fitness (for use of a propane torch on a roof, and to serve as a fire guard). They will then inspect the vehicle designated to transport the propane cylinders, testing the safety straps, the actual torch to be used, and whether the employee driving for the contractor or supplier is covered under a current workers compensation policy. They will also verify that the vehicle has a 20-pound fire extinguisher (dry chemical preferred), and that the company has a fire extinguisher service contract for testing and filling the fire extinguisher twice each year. The vehicle must also have an emergency triangular kit (used to post around the vehicle, if it breaks down on the streets or highways within New York City). If the vehicle passes the in spection, the FDNY will issue a yellow decal which lists the one month and year expiration date.

This decal must be affixed to the vehicle. The FDNY will also issue a one-year permit to the owner, which also lists the month and year that the permit expires.

Transporting the cylinders themselves comes under other administrative codes related to hazardous materials. No cylinder can weigh more than 100 pounds (or contain more than one and one-half cubic feet of gas), and no vehicle can transport more than 1,000 pounds (10 cylinders) at one time.

There are serious penalties for violating the rule requiring a current permit and vehicle decal when transporting propane cylinders, and for violating the rules regulating the sale and the weight load restrictions when transporting propane gas cylinders.

DPM recommends that all future roof contracts involving torched down roof systems require a hold harmless clause from the contractor if he or his propane supplier has an accident on the premises of the co-op or condo while delivering the propane canisters. There should also be a reevaluation of whether the contractors' level of insurance on the certificate of insurance is adequate, in the event of such an unfortunate accident. Finally, the contractor should clearly be held solely responsible for any fines or penalties caused by not complying with these new laws.

Specifically, the Administrative Code of the City of New York, Department of Buildings' Rules, Title I, Chapter 274264 calls for a penalty of $1,000 for the first offense, and 30-days imprisonment for transporting propane without an F.D.N.Y. permit. The second offense calls for a fine of $10,000.

The Rules in Chapter 27-4254/5 deal with regulating the licensed sale of propane gas cylinders. If violated, the fines range from $1,000 to $5,000 and include imprisonment up to one year.

Finally, if a roof contractor is purchasing and transporting, or having propane delivered across state lines, the driver must obtain a Special Endorsement for Transporting Hazardous Materials to his or her commercial driver's license. This can only be issued by the N.Y.S. Department of Motor Vehicles.
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Title Annotation:New York Fire Department
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jun 21, 2000
Previous Article:Gale & Wentworth achieve rare ISO 9002 recognition.
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