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Fire safety requirements - January 2017

Last summer, in responses to fires in the Mission District, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors legislated new Fire Safety requirements for the New Year. In August of 2016, Supervisor David Campos passed Ordinance 165-16, Fire Safety Requirements for Existing Buildings, while Supervisor Katy Tang passed Ordinance 163-16, Disclosure of Fire Safety Information.

Fire Safety signs from SFAA

Signs are available to purchase only at the SFAA office; contact SFAA for more information.

Supervisor Campos’ Fire Safety Requirements for Existing Buildings

Supervisor Katy Tang’s Disclosure of Fire Safety Information

Between the two ordinances, much will be required of apartment building owners. The most immediate deadline is 1/31/2017:

1. By January 31, 2017, Every building owner that rents one or more units shall provide the Smoke Alarm Disclosure information flyer with Rent Board Appendix to every tenant.

2. Apartment buildings with 3 or more units shall also have the Smoke Alarm Disclosure information flyer with Appendix posted on every floor in a common area.

3. Owners of apartment buildings with 9 or more units shall have their Fire Alarm company or a California licensed technician fill out the Fire Alarm Statement of Compliance form. The Statement of Compliance must be submitted to the SFFD, Bureau of Fire Prevention:

SFFD, Statement of Compliance
698 2nd Street, Room 109
San Francisco, CA 94107

4. In addition to filing the Statement of Compliance, the building owner shall post a copy of the most recently filed Statement of Compliance in at least one conspicuous location in a common area of each floor of the building or, if no such common area(s) exist, the building owner shall provide a copy to each residential tenant in the building. The building owner shall comply with this requirement no later than 60 days from the date of filing of the Statement of Compliance.

**Owners of apartment buildings of 3-8 units shall submit a completed (by their fire alarm company Fire Alarm Statement of Compliance form to the SFFD, Bureau of Fire Prevention by January 31, 2018**

By March 10, 2017, Building owners of 3+ units must:

Disclose building-specific fire safety information to new residents on or before they begin to live in the building and once a year thereafter.

The building owner may use a smaller version (8.5“ X 11”) of the Posted Disclosure Information sign as the first page which includes numbers 1-6 below or the owner may create an alternate Disclosure Information that meets all the requirements below. The disclosure must include:

1. The location of all fire extinguishers in the building, and the dates of last servicing;

2. The location of all emergency exits in the building, and a statement that they must remain unobstructed;

3. The location of all fire escapes in the building, and the dates of last inspection;

4. The location of the building fire alarm system, the date when the building fire alarm system was last inspected and tested as required by Section 907.8.5 of this Code, and confirmation that the building fire alarm system is UL certificated under Section 907.7.4 of this Code, if applicable;

5. The location of all fire escapes in the building, and the dates of last inspection;

6. Wording immediately under the floor plan drawing stating” EXITS SHALL REMAIN UNOBSTRUCTED AT ALL TIMES”

7. a solid header with the text “SAFETY INFORMATION” in contrasting uppercase letters no less than 3/4" in height

8. The phone number of the appropriate contact within the San Francisco Fire Department for reporting suspected violations of this Section 409. (Violation Hotline 415-558-3300)

On a separate page, or on the back of page one, the building owner shall also provide a diagram of the resident’s unit showing the exact locations of all smoke and CO alarms. Below the diagram of the unit, the building owner shall provide information on how to test the alarms and shall provide the date when the alarms were last replaced.

The Disclosure Information may also include any other information that would assist a resident to escape or prevent a fire in the building.


Unit Disclosure Requirements

The location of all smoke alarms in the resident's dwelling unit, instructions on how to confirm that the smoke alarms are in working condition, and a statement of when the smoke alarms were last replaced;

The location of all carbon monoxide detectors in the resident's dwelling unit, instructions on how to confirm that the carbon monoxide detectors are in working condition, and a statement of when the carbon monoxide detectors were last replaced; and

The phone number of the appropriate contact within the San Francisco Fire Department for reporting suspected violations of this Section 409. (SFFD Violation Hotline 415-558-3300)


Additional Disclosure Requirements

The owner of the Apartment House or the owner's agent shall provide:

1. an oral explanation of the Disclosure Information to new residents before the new residents commence occupancy in the building,

2. a written copy of the Disclosure Information to new residents on or before the commencement of occupancy, and

3. a written copy, updated as appropriate, to all building residents on or before January 31 of each year.


Record of Compliance and Residents/Owners Statement

The owner of the Apartment House shall maintain a record of its compliance with this Section 409.2 by requesting that a resident from each dwelling unit execute a statement (the "Resident's Statement") and transmit the Resident's Statement to the owner within 20 business days after the resident has received the Disclosure Information, both upon commencement of occupancy and in each subsequent year. This requirement applies to all buildings with 3 or more dwelling units.

The Resident's Statement shall identify the date that the resident received the Disclosure Information.

If resident fails to complete the Resident's Statement within 20 business days of receiving the Tenant Fire Safety Disclosure Information, the owner shall complete the Owner’s Statement.

The Owner’s Statement confirms the date resident received the Tenant Fire Safety Disclosure Information and that the Resident’s Statement was not received within 20 business days.

Copy of the Owner’s Statement shall be provided to the resident 5 days after its execution.

Copies of Owner's Statement shall be retained for at least two years.


Building Contact Info by 3/10/2017

A sign or sticker shall be affixed at the main point of entry to the Apartment House, or at such other location that the Fire Marshal approves in writing, that contains the phone number of the owner, property manager, or other person who can give the Fire Marshal or other building inspector prompt access to the building to conduct safety inspections.

Letters shall be minimum 3/8” tall. Words and numbers shall contrast with background


Fire Safety Training by 9/10/2017

Buildings of 16+ units must offer a free fire safety training to all residents annually. Materials from the fire safety training must be sent to all residents.

SF Fire Department Website on New Fire Safety Requirements

SF Fire Department Website on New Fire Safety Requirements

**SFAA and the SF Fire Department will be collaborating to host educational classes in 2017 to help property owners comply with the new regulations. The SFFD will be presenting at the January 19, 2016 SFAA Membership Meeting as well as a January Manager’s Luncheon**

Physical Requirements for Posted Signs:

  • All text shall comply with San Francisco Building Code Section 11B – 703.5, including minimum 5/8” font for text unless indicated otherwise.
  • Different contrasting colored symbols indicating the fire extinguishers, emergency exits, fire alarm and fire escapes (if applicable) are recommended, but not required.
  • Black and white signs will be acceptable, provided the symbols on the finished signs are easily distinguishable, and are designated with an appropriate text notation.
  • Symbols used shall be easily distinguishable from each other on floor plan or designate the meaning of each symbol using a “key” on the posted information sign.
  • Floor plan key labels shall be a minimum of 3/16” high in upper and lower case text. Symbols in the plan key shall also have a width, height, or diameter of at least 3/16””.
  • Signs shall comply with standards for informational and directional signs in the California Building Code regarding non-glare surfaces, high contrast between text and symbols and background, and non-decorative type styles.
  • Signs shall be mounted between 40”-70“ above the adjacent finished floor.
  • Signs shall have a background of white, off-white, or warm white with black or dark gray (minimum 75% contrast) text. Floor plan and corridors shall be outlined with a black stroke a minimum of 1/16” width.
  • Corridors on floor plan shall be a minimum of ½” wide. Exit doors along the exit route shall be represented in the direction of opening. All exits to the exterior shall be marked with the word “Exit” in uppercase characters a minimum of 3/16” high.