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What is FDNY C-14 and how do I apply for a one?

Laboratory Permits and FDNY Certificate of Fitness (C-14) Supervising Non-Production Chemical Laboratories

The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) requires a permit whenever a lab stores or uses more than one gallon of flammable/combustible liquid or 75 standard cubic feet of flammable gas. The permit is associated with a maximum storage volume for flammable liquids and gases (typically, 15 gallons in most Brooklyn College labs). FDNY requires that permitted labs must be under the supervision of a certificate of fitness holder also called “COF” or “C-14” Supervising Non-Production Chemical Laboratories. When the lab is in operation, including weekends and holidays, a C-14 holder must be on the premises to ensure safe operation. Most labs have multiple C-14 holders to ensure sufficient coverage during lab operations.

Below is the information on how to obtain a C-14 certificate. Read the information carefully and familiarize yourself with the application procedure.

There are two options available to apply for the C-14 certificate:

  1. Apply via the Brooklyn College Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)-assisted C-14 training and certification program.
  2. Through the FDNY-provided program.

Option 1: EHS-Assisted C-14 Training and Certification

Applying for a C-14 through the EHS-assisted C-14 program is restricted to those meeting the eligibility restrictions. The prerequisites for applying via this route are:

  • Be employed by Brooklyn College or paid by Research Foundation of CUNY for work at Brooklyn College.
  • Meet FDNY education and experience criteria.
  • Attend a Brooklyn College Laboratory Safety Training session. Be familiar with safety equipment systems and the college’s Chemical Inventory system.
  • Fill out needed forms.
  • Pass a quiz based on the C-14 study material.

Employment Status

The EHS-assisted C-14 program is restricted to employees or CUNY Research Foundation payees. Brooklyn College IDs state “Faculty” or “Staff” under employment status for employees. Applicants with “Grad Student,” “Research.” or “Research/24” on their ID will need to take an additional step to prove an employer-employee relationship.

Non-employee applicants who satisfy education and experience requirements will need a letter of recommendation from the principal investigator. The letter should mention how the applicant is being paid (e.g., through a Research Foundation grant or any other paid arrangement) to confirm for FDNY that the applicant has an employer-employee relationship with Brooklyn College.

Requirements for Education and Experience

FDNY restricts participants in the EHS-assisted C-14 program to those who meet one of the following:

  • License as a Clinical Laboratory Director from the New York State Department of Health; or
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Dental Surgery (DDS) or Veterinary Medicine (DVM); or
  • Master’s or doctoral degree in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental or health Sciences, medical technology, or chemical, environmental, mechanical, or biomedical engineering, or related field; or
  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental or health sciences, medical technology, or chemical, environmental, mechanical or biomedical engineering, or related field, and two years of post-baccalaureate experience in the operation of chemical laboratories.
  • Step by step C-14 applying procedure for Brooklyn College employees with: Bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D degrees (pdf)
  • For Research Foundation payee (non-Brooklyn College employee) with: Bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D degrees (pdf)

Option 2: FDNY-Provided C-14 Certification

Applicants who do not meet the EHS-assisted C-14 program (e.g. students, employees with related Bachelor’s degree but fewer than two years of post-baccalaureate experience working in chemical laboratories, etc.) may take the C-14 exam at FDNY headquarters at 9 Metrotech in Brooklyn. For study material, requirements, directions, and further information go to Page 1 of C-14 study booklet.

Contact us via e-mail at ehs@brooklyn.cuny.edu or leave us a message at ext. 6229

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