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Sprinkler Up: DOB ramps up enforcement of Local Law 26

In October 2004, the City of New York enacted Local Law 26, which governed retroactive compliance with sprinkler, exit signs and photo-luminescent lighting in buildings. All upgrades were required to be complete, including submission of a final report, by July 1, 2019.

In December 2019, the DOB reported they had issued 983 Environmental Control Board violations for buildings in non-compliance with Local Law 26's sprinkler requirements and they recently ramped up enforcement. Buildings that remain in non-compliance of LL26 can face fines up to $25,000. 

Hardships and exceptions

Any hardships or issues that may have prevented a building owner from meeting the required final reports should have been approved by the commissioner for waiver. Following are the two principal exceptions:

  • If the installation of sprinklers in a limited area of a building is not practicable due to structural conditions
  • If a limited portion of the building is an interior landmark designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservations Commission

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Extension of time to achieve compliance

The Department has recently ruled that no further extensions are being considered.  Simply, sprinkler installations must be completed.  Once completed, your building’s final report must be filed with the Department, demonstrating full building compliance and citing any approved exceptions as noted above or grandfathered status such as previous Local Law 5 sprinkler signoff. 

If your building is in violation of Local Law 26, we are here to help. Contact us today and we will assess your building's compliance, identify a compliance path, help compile the required paperwork, and work with your design professional to bring your building to full compliance.

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