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Most Common FDNY Lab Violations

There are two types of violations that the FDNY issues for unsafe lab conditions. A Violation Order (VO) is an order relating to imminent fire safety hazards (e.g. blocked egress). A re‐inspection will occur on or soon after the correction period that is listed in the violation.

  • If the violations are completely corrected, the FDNY will dismiss the VO
  • If the violations are partially corrected, the reccipient of the violation (generally the lab Principal Investigator) will have to finish correcting all items on or before the date stipulated on the violation.
  • If the violations are not corrected on time, the recepient of the violation can receive a summons.

A Notice of Violation (NOV) is issued for conditions that do not represent an imminent hazard. An NOV must be corrected generally within 30 days. If you receive an NOV, you will not need a re‐inspection. Instead, once you have corrected the condition(s), you must submit proof of correction, such as affidavits or photographs, to the FDNY Enforcement Unit. The correction affidavit form is included in the NOV and can be mailed before the end of the correction period. If you do not correct the violation within 30 days, you must attend an Environmental Control Board (ECB) hearing.

Most Common FDNY Lab Violations

Storage of Chemical and Other Materials

  1. Storage of items at or near the ceiling in violation of the 18" ceiling-clearance rule
  2. Improper segregation and storage of incompatible chemicals
  3. Storage of chemical containers with labels that are defaced, illegible or missing, or labels with chemical formulas or abbreviations in lieu of a full chemical name
  4. Storage of chemicals in containers that are defective or damaged

Storage of Flammable Chemicals

  1. Storage of flammable liquids with a flash point below 100F in refrigerators, freezers or cold rooms that are NOT explosion proof
  2. Storage of flammable liquids in excess of FDNY limits
  3. Peroxide-forming chemical containers that are not labeled as such and disposed of before its expiration date, unless the peroxide-froming chemical has been tested and certified as peroxide "free" according to the FDNY testing schedule.

Compressed Gas Cylinders

  1. Compressed-gas cylinders that are not secured
  2. Storage of uncapped compressed-gas cylinders
  3. Improper segregation of incompatible gasses as well as mixing of full and empty cylinders
  4. Use of cylinders with expired hydrostatic pressure tests
  5. Lack of oxygen sensors in a lab or room that uses gases that can displace oxygen

Means of Egress, Obstructions and Exits

  1. Storage or accumulation of combustible materials in hallways, near doors and exits
  2. Storage of chemicals, combustible materials or bottles and containers on floors
  3. Obstruction of safety showers and eyewash stations

Other

  1. Operation of the laboratory without a person holding a Certificate of Fitness for Supervising Chemical Laboratories present in the lab.
  2. Expired fire extinguishers
  3. Lack of labels on fume hoods indicating an average face velocity between 80 to 120 feet per minute as measured with a sash opening of 12 to 18-inches.