Dry Cleaning Rules and Regulations Help

Which FDNY Rules and Regulations impact my dry cleaning business?

  •  New York City prohibits Class I solvents to be used in the drying cleaning systems. If you’re dry cleaning business uses a Class II or Class III solvent in your dry cleaning system, you are required to have someone on premise with a Certificate of Fitness (COF) from us. This COF ensures someone associated with your business knows how to use, store, and handle the flammable and/or combustible solvents that you use. If you don’t know what type of solvents your business uses, you can find out this information from the manufacturer.
  • The COF that we issue for these solvents is a C-93 Certificate of Fitness, which must be issued to an individual.
  • This C-93 holder can be you (as the owner of the business), an employee of yours, or an outside individual, as long as this person is authorized to represent your business and agrees to take on the requirements of the C-93 COF.

What activities must be performed by a C-93 COF holder?

  • Monitor your dry cleaning equipment and facilities.
  • Ensure that the equipment and facilities are operated and maintained in accordance with the Fire Code.
  • Instruct or supervise all employees who use the equipment in the proper operation and maintenance of it.
  • Inspect the dry cleaning facility and equipment and also test the equipment. If the C-93 holder is an employee of your dry cleaning facility, the inspection and testing must be done at least once per year. If the C-93 holder is an individual who doesn’t work for you, the inspection must be done monthly.
  • Fill and empty the dry cleaning equipment.
  • Record the results of each inspection, test, filling, and emptying activity and maintain those records on the premises of your business for 3 years.

How do I Apply for a Certificate of Fitness for my business?

  • Take and pass a computer-based exam at FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn. Appointments are not required, but can be scheduled by calling 718-999-1993. Walk-in hours are Monday thru Friday 8:00am to 2:30pm. No test will begin after 2:30pm unless an appointment is scheduled. 
  • Complete an application. COF application forms are available online or in person at FDNY headquarters. You can only take 2 exams per day.
  • Have a government-issued ID. We will accept a driver’s license, passport, or an IDNYC.
  • Provide payment. The C-93 exam costs $25 and can be paid with cash, check, money order, debit card, or credit card. (For credit cards, a 2.49% convenience fee will be added)
  • Obtain a dated and signed letter of recommendation from your employer stating what type of dangerous work you perform (this is only required if an employee of yours is getting the COF rather than yourself as the business owner). If you do not have a recommendation letter, you will receive a temporary letter from us stating that you have passed your exam. This temporary letter is valid for three years, but it is non-renewable and cannot be recognized as an official Certificate of Fitness.
  • Exams are in English only, but a dictionary can be brought with you to take the exam.
  • Test results are given immediately following your exam, along with your COF card (if you passed the exam).
  • The C-93 COF is valid for 3 years. 
  •  C-93 study material can be found at www.nyc.gov/fdny

Are there other safety requirements for operating a dry cleaning business?

  • Filter residue and other waste-containing solvent must be stored in covered metal containers.
  • Tanks, filters, and other equipment must be bonded together and grounded so that they do not conduct electricity which can cause a fire.
  • At least two 2-A:10-B:C portable fire extinguishers must be provided near the doors inside dry cleaning rooms.
  • All fire extinguishers must be located in easy-to-see locations and be readily accessible and immediately available for use.
  • No fire extinguisher is allowed to be placed on floor. They must be installed so that the top of the extinguisher is not more than 5 feet from the floor?
  • All fire extinguishers are required to be inspected monthly. They also need to be maintained by a FDNY approved company at least once per year. 
  • “NO SMOKING” signs must be posted.
  • The name of the dry cleaning solvent approved for use in dry cleaning equipment must be clearly and visibly marked or posted at the fill connection of the equipment.

For More Information:

From 8 AM to 4 PM, you can call 718-999-1988 to clarify the information provided on the C-93 notice of exam. Information can also be found online at www.nyc.gov/fdny

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