Permitting in New York City: Filing with the FDNY

Stephanie Sanczyk
July 15, 2021

Understanding the details of the permitting process is essential for telecom projects to be delivered on time and on budget. Large-scale cities, like NYC, have their own set of rules and regulations around where and how to design the proposed telecom equipment properly. Depending on the location of the equipment on a building, and before filing for and obtaining a building permit, review and approval by a secondary agency are required. 

In New York City, telecom companies proposing to build a new site, expand, or modify an existing asset where their equipment would be on the exterior of the building at or below 100 feet above ground level, are required to file an application with the New York City Fire Department (“FDNY”). This allows regional safety teams to review the proposed work and ensure that the build is secure for firefighters. When filing, telecom companies are required to share:

  • Detailed build plans reflecting all equipment and appurtenances on the roof allow an FDNY examiner to properly ensure firefighters and first responders can safely land and navigate their way around the roof in the event of a fire.
  • TM-5 application is signed by the property owner, the architect, and the engineer.
  • $420 filing fee.

Further, The NYC Fire Code requires new builds to follow these guidelines:

  • The front wall, and any walls accessible from the building front, require a 6-foot wide x 6-foot long clearance for every 12 feet of perimeter.
  • For every 100 feet of rooftop depth or width, there must be a clear path across the rooftop with a minimum width of 6 feet. The path must completely cross the roof from front to back and side-to-side, and it must also have an unobstructed height of 9 feet.
  • Maintain a 6-foot clearance requirement from any door leading up to the rooftop measured from the door hinge. 
  • Have a 3-foot clearance requirement from any fire escape, measured from the sides in all directions.

Our customers rely on our experience and understanding of the specific FDNY design provisions for a successful filing process. We help our customers navigate, facilitate, coordinate, manage, and direct the process to streamline the critical path and obtain the required approval(s).

Running into roadblocks navigating the complexity of the NYC permitting process? We can help expedite the FDNY review process through their online portal, FDNY Business. Contact us to learn more.


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