Laboratory Safety

How do I renew my laboratory certificate of fitness from the Fire Department?

Certificates may be renewed, from 60 days before the expiration date to one year after the expiration date, by mail or in person at the FDNY Bureau of Fire Prevention in Brooklyn. Certificates expired for more than one year cannot be renewed.

Avoid Penalties, Renew on Time

Below are the mail-in instructions:

  • Mail-in payments can be made by check or money order payable to the New York City Fire Department. The fee is $15 for a C-14. Late fees of $25 in addition to the renewal fee will be assessed if renewing the certificate after 91 days, but before one year, from the date of expiration.
  • Attach one of the following: renewal coupon (received in mail from FDNY), part B of the expired certificate of fitness (attached at bottom of the paper copy of the certificate), or a copy of the certificate.
  • If there are any changes in address, name, etc., attach a completed copy of a certificate of fitness application (A-20) and a letter from the department.
  • Attach a signed renewal form to certify that the new C-14 study materials have been reviewed.

All correspondence should be sent to:

NYC Fire Department
9 Metrotech Center 
Cashier's Office 1S-5
Brooklyn, New York 11201-3857

For further information concerning renewals of certificates of fitness, call (718) 999-0368.

How do I update new employer information or a new work address on my FDNY certificate of fitness C-14 card?

The FDNY requires the C-14 holder to provide personal supervision to your laboratory that is specifically assigned on your C-14. Whenever you move, you are required by the FDNY to update the employer and/or work address on your C-14 as follows:

Online: Follow this FDNY guidance document to create and track your request online. You will need to supply a letter of recommendation signed by your current supervisor on college letter head ( FDNY sample letter).

By Mail:

  1. Complete the application (A-20): Fill in the latest information on the application.
  2. Attach a letter from your principal investigator or supervisor indicating your new employer and/or new work address. Make sure the letter is printed on department letterhead and signed by your principal investigator or supervisor. A sample letter is available  here.
  3. Attach a $5 check or money order payable to New York City Fire Department to cover the change fee for issuing a new card.
  4. Attach a copy of your current certificate.
  5. All correspondence must be mailed to the FDNY at:
    New York City Fire Department
    9 Metro Tech Center
    Cashier Office
    Brooklyn, NY 11201-3857

Who certifies laboratory chemical hoods?

EHS inspects and certifies chemical hoods on an annual basis, or upon request if laboratory personnel believe a chemical hood is not functioning properly. If a chemical hood fails the inspection, EHS will contact Facilities Management and Campus Operations to repair the chemical hood, as well as perform follow-up inspections and re-certification once repairs are completed.

How do I submit a health and safety door sign request?

If the laboratory does not have the door sign or it needs to be updated, please contact your Safety Advisor.

What is a laboratory certificate of fitness?

A laboratory certificate of fitness is issued by the New York City Fire Department to laboratory users. The certificate of fitness ensures personnel qualified to act during a fire emergency are available inside laboratories while it is operating. See the laboratory certificate of fitness page for more information.

Who needs a laboratory certificate of fitness?

At any time a laboratory is in operation, a certificate of fitness holder must be present. If someone works over the weekend, that person must have a certificate of fitness. If the certificate of fitness holder leaves for lunch, all lab operations must cease if no certificate of fitness holder is present. For these reasons Environmental Health and Safety recommends every person working in a laboratory maintain a certificate of fitness. See the laboratory certificate of fitness page for more information.

How do I discard old refrigerators and freezers?

Submit a work order to Facilities Management and Campus Operations: (212) 746-2288 for removal. Prior to discarding, all contents must be removed from the refrigerator or freezer and, if contaminated, the refrigerator or freezer must be disinfected before Engineering and Maintenance can remove it. Facilities Management and Campus Operations will drain the pump oils and refrigerants prior to discarding.

How do I discard old electronic laboratory equipment?

To discard old electronic laboratory equipment, submit a work order to Facilities Management and Campus Operations for removal. Prior to discarding, all contents must be removed from the laboratory equipment and, if contaminated, the equipment needs to be disinfected before Engineering and Maintenance can remove it. Electronic laboratory equipment will be recycled in accordance with the college's PDF icon Surplus Electronics Recycling Procedure.

What is considered electronic laboratory equipment?

Electronic laboratory equipment is any type of laboratory equipment which contains electronic components (e.g., circuit boards). Electronic components like circuit boards contain high levels of toxic heavy metals (e.g., lead, silver) which must be recycled to prevent environment pollution. The college's PDF icon Surplus Electronics Recycling Procedure provides further information on the recycling of electronic laboratory equipment.

What fire-retardant standards should be used when purchasing laboratory furniture for WCMC?

For laboratory use, Cal117 or NFPA 260 is acceptable.

Where can I get a lab coat?

Lab coats may be purchased from various sources. More information is available PDF icon here.

How do I know I am wearing the minimum Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required before entering a laboratory space?

Review the access restriction section of the HSDS posted at the entrance of the laboratory, which will describe the minimum PPE requirement for entering the space. If there is no PPE requirement listed, you can enter unless instructed otherwise.

What I need do to change my residential address on my C-14 card when I’ve moved?

In order to receive the renewal notice and be able to renew your C-14 on time, it is important that you inform the Fire Department whenever you move or change your home address.

Below are the requirements:

  • a cover letter to indicate the new residential or mailing address information
  • a completed copy of a certificate of fitness application (A-20)
  • a copy of your C-14 certificate
  • a $5 duplicating fee to get a new card

All correspondence should be sent to:
Cashier's Office
Bureau of Fire Prevention
9 MetroTech
East Brooklyn, NY 11201-3857

I'm filling out a grant application. It asks if I will be working with select agents. What is meant by "select agents"?

Select agents are infectious agents and toxins that can be weaponized and used as bioterrorism agents. A list of agents and biological toxins that fall under this regulation can be found at

Are laboratories permitted in spaces that utilize recirculated building air?

NYC building codes prohibit the recirculation of air from non-production labs that utilize hazardous chemicals or radioactive materials. In addition, air pressure in rooms where these materials are used must be maintained below adjacent spaces so that hazardous gases do not flow into adjoining rooms. These building codes include: NYC building code sections 419 and 420, NYC mechanical code 407 and NFPA 8.3.1.

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Room LA-0020
New York, NY 10065 Phone: (646) 962-7233 Fax: (646) 962-0288

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