This will tell you most
of what you need to know to get your C of F, or Certificate of Fitness, and
will also help you find more info, should you have further questions.
Certificate of Fitness
examinations are conducted Monday through Friday excepting legal holidays
from 8:30 AM until 2:30 PM.
you go, get these things together:
1. A letter of recommendation from
your employer. The format for the letter is on the website, and must be
on your employer’s letterhead. If you aren’t currently employed, you can
still take the test, but won’t be ISSUED a certificate until you have a job
and employer recommendation letter.
2. A rough diagram of your building,
showing the locations of the standpipes and/or sprinklers involved. It’s
good to also bring some #2 pencils and a pen.
Take those two items,
along with your driver’s license or other state-issued picture ID to 9 Metro
Tech Center, in downtown Brooklyn (A, C or F train to Jay Street/Borough
Hall; many other trains also stop nearby). Enter the facility through the
Flatbush Avenue entrance.
You will need your
picture ID to get into the building, and will go through a machine similar
to those at airports. Don’t leave home or work with the tools on your belt
that a super often wears: it may cause problems. If you have anything on you
or in your bag that has a knife, such as a multi-tool, you will be turned
away – be sure to leave them at home.
After getting inside 9
Metro Tech, you’ll see that the system of numbers and counter windows is
similar to those at your local Department of Motor Vehicles. You’ll stop at
the desk, where you’ll be given a number and forms to fill out: a “Certificate
of Fitness Application”, (which asks for your personal info – name,
address, SS#, date of birth, color hair and eyes, etc.) and a “Sprinkler/Standpipe
Preapplication Questionnaire”, (which asks for information on your
building -- type(s) of sprinkler or standpipe systems, how the water is
supplied, where the riser control valves are located, etc, how many pumps,
if any, and location(s)).
These are all questions
about your building’s system designed to demonstrate that you’re familiar
with the system you will be charged with supervising, inspecting and/or
If you need study
materials you can ask for them and study right there, but it’s better to get
the materials you need online at
http://nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/c_of_f/coff.shtml long before you go, and
study it until you’re ready to be tested. You can download a PDF file of the
particular information you need to study and print it out. You can also
download and fill out the “Certificate of Fitness Application” and the
Sprinkler/Standpipe Preapplication Questionnaire” referred to above.
You will either be issued
another number, or be told to have a seat until your number comes up again
to get your picture taken for the certificate at another window. After that,
you’ll wait again for your number to come up, whereupon you’ll go to pay
your fee of 25 dollars at yet another window. You can pay using cash, check
or money order.
After paying you will go
straight into the test room, where your paperwork will be inspected by an
employee, and you’ll be assigned to a touch screen computer terminal. When
you’re ready your test will begin. You will not be allowed to leave the test
room for any reason until you test is completed, so be sure your phone calls
and bathroom breaks are finished before you start. There is a set amount of
time (200 minutes) to complete the test. If you haven’t run out of time you
can go back and re-check your answers. If you’re not finished you will
nevertheless have to stop at the end of the allotted time.
Questions are all
multiple choice; only one answer is the correct one. There are 40 questions,
and you must get at least 70% correct to pass. If you do not pass, you can
come back again to retake it after a week goes by. You’ll pay another 25
Whether you pass or fail,
you will be informed of that on screen before you leave the terminal. If you
pass, you can wait by the desk for your certificate, which will be issued
almost immediately. It’s credit card size, with your issue date, expiration
date, picture, signature, work address and home address. Also on the face of
the card is the category of certificate, along with the type, description,
and certificate number.
If you fail the test, you
will also wait by the desk for your papers, which you will bring with you
next time. Most of the time it’s only a few minutes to wait, pass or fail.
Your certificate must be
renewed on a timely basis (most if not all are good for 3 years from date of
issuance), and you should be issued a renewal reminder letter before your
expiration date. But don’t wait, keep it somewhere handy and remind
yourself; you can renew it up to 60 days before it comes due, but if it’s
more than 90 days past due, a late fee will be assessed, and if more than a
year past due, you will probably have to retake the test.
If you have online
access, go to the website shown above and familiarize yourself further with
the procedures. You’ll be even better prepared for an already relatively
Prepare yourself also
with a good attitude check before going. You’ll have easier going if you can
deal, with humor and patience, with city employees. It’s not always easy and
many of them, sad to say, don’t try to make it any easier for you.
If you have questions
still unanswered, email the COF Unit at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call them at