N.Y. Multiple Dwelling Law Section 66
Lodging houses


1.

It shall be unlawful to occupy any lodging house unless such dwelling conforms to the provisions of the specific sections enumerated in section twenty-five to the extent required therein, including the provisions of this section, and to all other applicable provisions of this chapter.

2.

a. No wood or other combustible facing shall be permitted on the walls, partitions or ceilings of entrance halls or other public halls or stairs, except a flat baseboard ten inches or less in height. The stair string, handrails, soffits, fascias, railings, balustrades and newel posts shall be constructed of hard incombustible material and shall be of such sizes and secured in such manner as approved by the department.

b.

The walls and ceilings of all entrance halls, stair halls and other public halls and stairs shall be fire-retarded on the hall or stair side with half-inch plaster board covered with twenty-six gauge metal or other materials approved by the department.

c.

Except partitions forming existing cubicles, flat baseboards not more than ten inches high and door and window assemblies not otherwise required to be fire-retarded, all wood partitions and all combustible coverings on walls or partitions throughout the portion of the dwelling used for lodging-house purposes shall be protected with incombustible material approved by the department.

d.

The cellar ceiling and the ceiling of every story shall be fire-retarded. The department may accept an existing ceiling if it is in good condition and plastered, or covered with metal or with half-inch plaster board covered with metal, or other materials approved by the department, except that the ceiling over and the floor beneath any furnace, stove, boiler or hot-water heater shall be fire-retarded and such fire-retarding shall extend for a distance of at least four feet beyond the sides and rear and eight feet in front of such furnace, stove or heater. Metal breechings and flues connected to such devices shall be made secure and be protected in conformity with regulations adopted by the department.

e.

Every window not opening to the outer air in an entrance, stair or other public hall shall be removed, and the opening closed and fire-retarded, except that interior windows or similar openings in partitions forming the enclosure of entrance, stair or other public halls may be retained if they are used in the operation and maintenance of the lodging house and are protected by automatic fire windows.

f.

There shall be one or more completely enclosed compartments remote from any stairway for the storage of mattresses, linens, brooms, mops and other paraphernalia incidental to the occupancy and maintenance of the lodging house, and such paraphernalia shall be stored in no other portion of such dwelling. The partitions forming each such compartment shall be fire-retarded and shall be provided with a fireproof door and door assembly with the door self-closing. Each such compartment shall be ventilated in accordance with regulations adopted by the department. Any space which is used for the storage of mattresses, in addition to conforming to the other provisions of this section, shall be provided with a window ten square feet or more in area, and such window shall open upon a street or yard.

g.

There shall be provided on each lodging-house story one or more containers of metal or other hard incombustible material, with self-closing lids, in which all scrap and refuse of a combustible nature shall be placed until its disposal.

h.

Insecticides and other fluids containing inflammable, volatile or combustible material shall be stored in a completely enclosed fire-retarded room or compartment, ventilated in accordance with regulations adopted by the department, and only under authority of a permit from the fire department.

3.

a. In non-fireproof lodging houses there shall be in all dormitories, entrance and other public halls, stairs, storage rooms, cellars and other parts of the dwelling an automatic wet-pipe sprinkler system, installed and maintained in conformity with regulations adopted by the department. In connection with such sprinkler system there shall be an automatic closed-circuit alarm system so arranged and installed as to give warning, at a recognized central station satisfactory to the fire department, of the closure of any valve controlling water supply to any of the sprinklers and of the operation of any sprinkler head. Such alarm system shall also be so installed and maintained that when a sprinkler operates an alarm bell satisfactory to the fire department, eight inches in diameter or at least capable of being heard clearly throughout the room, will sound in each dormitory and in the office of the lodging house, and that such alarm system can also be operated manually. Such sprinkler and alarm systems shall have supervisory and maintenance service satisfactory to the department and the fire department respectively. Any existing fire alarm or sprinkler system which can be altered or adapted to meet the requirements of this paragraph may be so used instead of a completely new system.

b.

In fireproof lodging houses all dormitories, entrance and other public halls, stairs, storage rooms, cellars and other parts of the dwelling shall either be equipped with a combined sprinkler and fire alarm system as required for the lodging houses provided for in paragraph a or be equipped throughout with an automatic, thermostatic, closed-circuit fire alarm system. Such alarm system shall be so arranged and installed that it can also be operated manually and that it will give warning, at a recognized central station satisfactory to the fire department, of the operation of any part of the alarm system. Such alarm system shall also be so installed and maintained as to actuate an alarm bell satisfactory to the fire department and at least eight inches in diameter in each dormitory in the dwelling and in the lodging-house office when the alarm system operates. Such alarm system shall have supervisory and maintenance service satisfactory to the fire department.

4.

a. There shall be at least two means of unobstructed egress from each lodging-house story, which shall be remote from each other. The first means of egress shall be to a street either directly or by an enclosed stair having unobstructed, direct access thereto. If the story is above the entrance story, the second means of egress shall be by an outside fire-escape constructed in accordance with the provisions of section fifty-three or by an additional enclosed stair. Such second means of egress shall be accessible without passing through the first means of egress.

b.

All doors opening upon entrance halls, stair halls, other public halls or stairs or elevator, dumbwaiter or other shafts, and the door assemblies, shall be fireproof with the doors made self-closing by a device approved by the department, and such doors shall not be held open by any device whatever. All openings on the course of a fire-escape shall be provided with such doors and assemblies or with fireproof windows and assemblies, with the windows self-closing and glazed with wire glass, such doors or windows and their assemblies to be acceptable to the department.

c.

There shall be unobstructed aisles providing access to all required means of egress in all dormitories. Main aisles, approved as such by the department to provide adequate approaches to the required means of egress, shall be three feet or more in width, except that no aisle need be more than two feet six inches wide if it is intersected at intervals of not more than fifty feet by crossover aisles at least three feet wide leading to other aisles or to an approved means of egress.

d.

Every required means of egress from the lodging-house part of the dwelling shall be indicated by a sign reading “EXIT” in red letters at least eight inches high on a white background illuminated at all times during the day and night by a light of at least twenty-five watts or equivalent illumination. Such light shall be maintained in a keyless socket. On all lodging-house stories where doors, openings, passageways or aisles are not visible from all portions of such stories, and in other parts of the dwelling which may be used in entering or leaving the lodging-house part and in which a similar need exists, signs with easily readable letters as least eight inches in height, and continuously and sufficiently illuminated by artificial light at all times when the natural light is not sufficient to make them easily readable, shall be maintained in conspicuous locations, indicating the direction of travel to the nearest means of egress. At least one such sign shall be easily visible from the doorway of each cubicle.

e.

Access from the public hall at the top story to the roof shall be provided by means of a bulkhead or a scuttle acceptable to the department. Every such scuttle and the stair or ladder leading thereto shall be located within the stair enclosure.

5.

The number of persons accommodated on any story in a lodging house shall not be greater than the sum of the following components.

a.

Twenty-two persons for each full multiple of twenty-two inches in the smallest clear width of each means of egress approved by the department, other than a fire-escape.

b.

Twenty persons for each lawful fire-escape accessible from such story if it is above the entrance story.

6.

Existing cubicles complying with all other provisions of this section may be maintained, provided the top of the enclosure of every cubicle is at least two feet from the ceiling. Any rearrangement of existing cubicles that may be made necessary by the provisions of this section shall be lawful. Cubicles authorized by this section shall not be considered rooms or alcoves but parts of the rooms in which they are constructed.

7.

The department shall cause all lodging houses to be inspected at intervals of three months or less. All sections and parts of every lodging house shall also be inspected by a clerk or watchman in the employ of the owner at least once in every two hours.

8.

a. The department shall have power to make supplementary regulations relating to fire-escapes, protection from fire, and the installation of sprinkler systems in lodging houses and the fire department shall have power to make such regulations relating to fire alarms therein.

b.

Nothing in this section shall be deemed to abrogate any powers or duties vested in the fire commissioner or the fire department of the city of New York by chapter nineteen of the administrative code of the said city.

Source: Section 66 — Lodging houses, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/MDW/66 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Jun. 15, 2024).

Accessed:
Jun. 15, 2024

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 66’s source at nysenate​.gov

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