Ruling on New York Fire Prevention Law

Issue 25 and Volume 51.

Ruling on New York Fire Prevention Law An important opinion in relation to the enforcement of the new fire prevention law has been given by Acting Corporation Counsel George L. Sterling to Fire Commissioner Joseph Johnson. The corporation counsel holds: “1. That where a law or ordinance, including a section of the building code, definitely prescribes a form of construction or a type of material which shall be used in a given case, you must enforce the provision literally, for you have not the power to vary or modify such a provision. “2. That whenever you are clothed with a general power and directions for its exercise are not definitely prescribed by law or ordinance, the power may only be exercised reasonably and with sound discretion.” The opinion holds incidentally that the mandatory law passed by the last legislature as a result of the Asch building fire requiring factory buildings…

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