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Vacating a Structure or Premises


  • This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will identify the process for safeguarding all vacant buildings and structures through the submission of a Structure/Vacant Premises Application Form and Facility Closure Plan.
  • This SOP will also assign specific responsibilities for property owners, Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), and University Fire Marshal’s Office (UFM).
  • Resources
    • Application to Vacate a Facility Form
    • Facility Closure Plan Template
    • 2020 Fire Code of New York State
    • Responsibilities of the AHJ Contract College State Facilities (AHJCCSF), University Fire Marshal’s Office (UFM) and Unit Facility Director (UFD)


  • The UFD is required to complete and submit the formal Application to Vacate a Structure or Premises to either the AHJCCSF or the UFM for review.
  • It is the responsibility of the UFD to make certain that vacant structures or portions thereof be safeguarded to prevent trespass hazards, representation of an attractive nuisance, and to minimize the potential for increased risks to emergency responders.
  • All submitted documents will initiate a timely formal review by either the AHJCCSF or UFM and applicable documents will be uploaded to the Fire Compliance Document Management System once completed and approved.
  • The AHJCCSF or the UFM will be available to provide guidance as needed and will make the final determination if the structure meets all of the requirements of this document.
  • For all buildings listed in Precinct-29, Semi-Annual Property Maintenance Inspections by the respective Facility Management Representative shall be conducted to determine if conditions of the facility have changed from the date of the original posting, initiate necessary corrections and provide the results of these inspections to either the AHJCCSF or the UFM 
  • FM is responsible to maintain the security of the facility once it officially vacated.


  • Vacating a Facility
    • The UFD shall be responsible to make certain that structures or areas that are vacated meet the requirements of this SOP and will submit the required application to Vacate a Facility
    • Structures or areas that are vacated, but can be occupied, shall not be allowed to remain in this condition past one-hundred and eighty days (180-days) where the structure will need either to be occupied or considered and treated as a Vacant Structure per this SOP.
  • During the one hundred and eighty day (180) transition period, the UFD shall make certain that Monthly Property Maintenance Inspections are being conducted to determine if conditions of the facility have changed, initiate necessary corrections, and provide the results of these inspections to either the AHJCCSF or the UFM.
    • Monthly Semi-Annual NYS Property Maintenance Code (NYSPMC) Inspection Checklist
      • Structures or areas that are vacated, but can still be occupied, shall require that the locks be changed and sign placards are placed on all four (4) sides stating “NO TRESPASSING-AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY”
      • Fire and life safety systems, utilities, etc… can remain in service for…., but ALL MUST be tested, inspected, and maintained in accordance with applicable codes and standards. Systems removed from service shall be conducted in accordance with this SOP.
  • Unsafe Structures
    • If during an inspection it is observed that the existing conditions have deteriorated to the point where the structure constitutes a clear and inimical danger to human life, safety and health, the AHJCCSF or the UFM shall be immediately notified and further actions to properly safeguard the building will be reviewed and pursued
  • Facility Closure Plan is identified within the Application to Vacate a Facility
    • The UFD must submit for review a Facility Closure Plan to either the AHJCCSF or the University Fire Marshal’s Office for each vacated facility

Reoccupying a Vacated Facility

  • The following requirements must be followed prior to reoccupying a vacated space or facility
    • A Licensed Professional in New York State must conduct a full evaluation of the structure, premises, or area to determine if re-occupancy is possible. The Licensed Professional must also conduct a thorough review for compliance with all applicable codes and standards and make an official determination if the new occupancy is a change of use
    • Results of the code compliance evaluation and occupancy classification performed by Facility Engineering must be submitted to either the AHJCCSF or the UFM
    • All fire and life safety systems required for the new occupancy must be placed back in service, modified as required, and must undergo all required tests identified as Acceptance Tests in the applicable codes and standards
    • Results of all fire and life safety system acceptance testing must be made available to either the local, AHJCCSF and the University Fire Marshal’s Office for consideration of issuing the Certificate of Occupancy


  • It will not be the responsibility of the AHJCCSF or the UFM to solve any disputes related to financial obligations associated with the content of this code required SOP.
  • The AHJCCSF and the UFM reserves the right to change the status of any structure, premises or area where the conditions of such have deteriorated to where the change of conditions pose a serious risk to life safety and also reserves the right to issue “Immediate Orders To Remedy” to correct and conditions that pose said risks up to ordering dismantling or demolition