Fire Safety Requirements Building Owners Must Know

The most recent legislation passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors regarding fire and life safety came in 2016. This latest legislation contained several main components, which we will detail below.

Here’s a quick overview of building owner fire safety requirements in San Francisco, CA.

Disclosure of fire safety information
The owner of the property must provide oral explanations of tenant fire safety information before the new resident takes occupancy in the building. There must also be written copies of disclosure information to new residents on or before occupancy begins, and a newly updated copy of all fire safety disclosure information must be provided to existing building residents on or before January 31 of each year.

In addition, Section 409 of the fire safety code requires the owner of an apartment building to maintain a record of their compliance with that section by keeping copies of the disclosure information for at least two years before disposing of them. A failure to maintain these records will result in a violation and the penalties that come with it.

Smoke alarm information
On or before January 31 of each year, owners of a home in which at least one unit is rented or leased are required to provide every tenant with written notice regarding smoke alarm requirements. The fire department will provide the form these building owners must use. The fire department will develop this notice and form in conjunction with the Department of Building Inspection, and the notice will be available in English, Spanish and Chinese on its website.

The building owner must then post the Annual Smoke Alarm Information Notice in at least one clearly obvious location in a common area on every floor of the building (think bulletin boards near mailboxes or in hallways).

Building contact information
Owners of the building are required to place a sign or sticker containing the phone number of the owner, property manager or other such person at the main entry point of the building or in another clearly visible location approved by the fire marshal. The purpose is to make it easier for fire department or building inspection personnel to be able to get prompt access to the building for conducting safety inspections as needed.

Statement of compliance form
The building owner is required by the code to file a Statement of Compliance with the annual testing and inspection requirement with the fire department. The fire department will provide that form. The form should be submitted by January 31 of each odd-numbered year for buildings with nine or more units, and each even-numbered year for buildings with three to eight units.

The building owner must then post a copy of the most recently filed Statement of Compliance for the building in at least one obvious location in a common area on every floor of the building. If these common areas do not exist, the owner must provide copies to every tenant in the building. This must occur within 60 days of the filing of the form.
For more information about building owner fire safety requirements in San Francisco, CA, contact Great Escape Fire Escape Service today.

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