Township of Bethlehem, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Bethlehem 12-19-2011 by Ord. No. 11-11.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Open burning — See Ch. 101.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 131, Fire Prevention, adopted 7-20-2009 by Ord. No. 08-09.

§ 131-1 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning respectively ascribed to them in this section unless from the particular context it clearly appears that some other meaning is intended. Other than the words in this section, those words which are defined in the International Fire Code, 2009 Edition, shall have the same definition as that employed in the International Fire Code, 2009 Edition.
EXISTING
Buildings, facilities, or conditions that are already in existence, constructed or officially authorized prior to the adoption of this code.
NEW
Buildings, renovations, additions, facilities or conditions not in existence prior to the adoption of this code. Such buildings, facilities or conditions shall be regulated by the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code, land development, or new subdivisions under the Municipalities Planning Code.

§ 131-2 Adoption of provisions in the International Fire Code.

The Township of Bethlehem hereby adopts, for the purpose of establishing rules and regulations for regulating and governing the safeguarding of life and property from fire and explosion hazards arising from the storage, handling and use of hazardous substances, materials and devices and from conditions hazardous to life or property in the occupancy of buildings and premises in the Township of Bethlehem, including administration, enforcement and penalties, the following provisions of the International Fire Code, 2009 Edition, or any subsequent edition(s), if any, save and except such portions as are hereinafter deleted, modified, or amended of which three copies have been and are now filed in the office of the Construction Official and the same is hereby adopted and incorporated by reference as fully as if set out at length herein:
Adopted Provisions of International Fire Code
§ 101.1
§ 101.2-1 through § 101.2-3
§ 101.2-5
§ 101.3
§ 102.2-2
§ 103 in its entirety
§ 104.3
§ 104.10 and § 104.10.1
§ 105.6
§ 105.6.1 through § 105.6.46
§ 106.1 through 106.2
§ 107 in its entirety
§ 109.1 through § 109.3 as amended below
§ 110.2
Chapter 3 in its entirety
Chapter 4 in its entirety
§ 503.3 through § 503.4 as amended below
§ 504.2 as amended below
§ 505.1 as amended below
§ 506 in its entirety, § 506.1 as amended below
§ 507.5.4 through § 507.5.5
§ 605 in its entirety
§ 608.1 through 608.8
§ 609.3 through 609.3.4
Chapter 7 in its entirety
§ 806 through § 807 as amended below
§ 901.6 through § 901.9
§ 904.11.5 through § 904.11.6.3
§ 906 in its entirety
§ 912.3
§ 912.3.2 and § 912.3.3
§ 912.4
§ 913.5
§ 1030 in its entirety
§ 1205 through § 1207 in its entirety
Chapter 13 in its entirety
Chapter 15 in its entirety
Chapter 16 in its entirety
Chapter 17 in its entirety
§ 1901 through § 1903 in its entirety
§ 1905 through § 1909 in its entirety
Chapter 24 in its entirety
§ 2505 in its entirety
§ 2507 in its entirety
§ 2508.2
§ 2509 in its entirety
Chapter 26 in its entirety
Chapters 27 through 44 in their entirety
Chapter 47 only as referenced by adopted provisions
Appendixes E through I.

§ 131-3 Amendments to International Fire Code.

In order to complete this chapter, the following information shall be inserted in the International Fire Code, 2009 Edition, or any successor edition(s):
A. 
Insert "Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania ("Township") at the following location: first line, Section 101.1 Title (page 1).
B. 
Section 109.1 is deleted and the following is inserted:
109.1 Unlawful acts. It shall be unlawful for a person, firm or corporation to utilize a building, occupancy, premises or systems regulated by this code, or cause same to be done, in conflict with or in violation of any of the provisions of this code.
C. 
Section 109.3 is deleted and the following is inserted:
109.3 Violation penalties. Persons who shall violate a provision of this code or shall fail to comply with any of the requirements thereof or directive of the Fire Code Official, shall be guilty of a [SPECIFY OFFENSE], punishable by a fine of not more than [AMOUNT] dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding [NUMBER OF DAYS], or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.
D. 
Insert "Summary Offense" at the following location: sixth line, Section 109.3 Violation penalties (page 12).
E. 
Insert "$1,000" at the following location: seventh line, Section 109.3 Violation penalties (page 12).
F. 
Insert "90 days" at the following location: eighth line, Section 109.3 Violation penalties (page 12).
G. 
Insert "$300" and "$1,000," respectively, at the following location: fifth line, Section 111.4 Failure to comply (page 13).
H. 
Section 503.4 is amended as follows: "Existing fire apparatus access roads shall not be obstructed in any manner, including the parking of vehicles. A minimum unobstructed width of 20 feet and height of 13 feet six inches shall be maintained at all times."
I. 
Section 504.2 is deleted and the following is inserted:
504.2 Maintenance of exterior doors and openings. Exterior doors and their function shall not be eliminated without prior approval. Exterior doors that have been rendered nonfunctional and that retain a functional door exterior appearance shall have a sign affixed to the exterior side of the door with the words "THIS DOOR BLOCKED." The sign shall consist of letters having a principal stroke of not less than 3/4 inch (19.1 mm) wide and at least six inches (152 mm) high on a contrasting background.
J. 
In Section 505.1, delete the word "New."
K. 
Section 506.1 is amended as follows: "Where access to or within a commercial or industrial structure or a commercial or industrial area is restricted because of secured openings or where immediate access to a commercial or industrial structure is necessary for lifesaving or fire-fighting purposes, the fire code official is authorized to require a key lock box to be installed in an approved location. The key lock box shall be a lock box listed under UL 1037 and be keyed with a Medeco Biaxial Level 7 key or the equivalent to gain necessary access as required by the fire code official.
[Amended 3-19-2012 by Ord. No. 02-12]
L. 
In Sections 806 and 807, delete the word "New" from titles.
M. 
Chapter 47, Referenced Standards of provisions adopted in § 131-2 of this chapter.
N. 
The geographic limits referred to in certain sections of the International Fire Code, 2009 Edition, are hereby established as follows:
(1) 
Section 3506.2: The storage of flammable cryogenic fluids in stationary containers is prohibited in all zoning districts except General Industrial (GI) and Light Industrial (LI).
(2) 
Section 3404.2.9.6.1: The storage of Class I and Class II liquids in aboveground tanks outside of buildings is prohibited in all zoning districts except General Industrial (GI) and Light Industrial (LI).
(3) 
Section 3406.2.4.4: The storage of Class I and Class II liquids in aboveground tanks is prohibited in all zoning districts except General Industrial (GI) and Light Industrial (LI).
(4) 
Section 3804.2: The storage of liquefied petroleum gas is restricted for the protection of heavily populated or congested areas as follows: prohibited in all zoning districts except General Industrial (GI) and Light Industrial (LI).
O. 
Chapter 33, Explosives and Fireworks, is hereby amended by modifying and amending portions thereof as hereinafter set forth:
(1) 
Statement of purpose. This Part has as its purpose the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the general public through limiting the use of fireworks. Fireworks contain explosives, which can damage property and endanger human life when misused, or used under conditions which create hazards which would not exist but for the presence of such conditions. This chapter will allow for outdoor displays of fireworks to be put on by professional competent pyrotechicians in a safe manner.
(2) 
Definitions.
(a) 
Words employed herein which are defined in the International Fire Code, 2009 Edition, shall have the same definition as that employed in the International Fire Code, 2009 Edition.
(b) 
DISPLAY PROPERTY — The lot, parcel, or tract of real estate on which a permitted outdoor display of fireworks is to be conducted.
(3) 
Incorporation of International Fire Code. Chapter 33, Explosives and Fireworks, of the International Fire Code, 2009 Edition, shall constitute "reasonable rules and regulations for displays of consumer fireworks and display fireworks" as such phrase is employed in the Act of November 30, 2004, P.L. 1598, No. 204, § 5, Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety, Chapter 13A, Fireworks and Explosives, § 1275.2, Supervised public displays permitted; permits, and the provisions thereof are hereby incorporated by reference as if set forth here at length. In the event of any irreconcilable conflict between the provisions of the International Fire Code and this chapter, those provisions which provide greater safety and protection to persons and property, or which is more restrictive on the conduct of outdoor display of fireworks, shall apply.
(4) 
Delegation of authority. The Board of Commissioners hereby delegates to the Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official its authority pursuant to Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety, Chapter 13A, Fireworks and Explosives, § 1275.2, Supervised public displays permitted; permits, to grant permission and issue permits for outdoor displays of fireworks, provided that the permit applicant fully meets the requirements of the International Fire Code, including without limitation the requirements of Chapter 33, Explosives and Fireworks and, in particular, Section 3308, Fireworks Displays thereof, and the additional rules and regulations set forth in this chapter.
(5) 
Permit required for displays. It shall be unlawful, and a violation of this chapter, for any person or entity to conduct an outdoor display of fireworks within the limits of the Township of Bethlehem unless a permit therefore has first been issued by the Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official.
(6) 
Permit applications. All applications for a permit for an outdoor display of fireworks shall be made in writing by use of a Bethlehem Township application form, and submitted to the Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official with all required information, documentation, and plans not later than 45 days prior to the scheduled display. No permit shall be issued for any late application.
(7) 
Permittee to be owner of display property. The applicant and proposed permittee shall be the fee simple title owner of the display property, other than displays conducted on Township property with the permission of the Township.
(8) 
Structures disallowed in display site. The permittee shall ensure that there are no dwellings, buildings, or any other structures (including tents) located within the display site, whether or not the dwelling, building or structure will be unoccupied during the display, and whether or not the dwelling, building, or any other structure provides protection through substantial noncombustible or fire-resistant construction for the occupants. No permit shall be issued for any outdoor display of fireworks where plans submitted to the Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official evidence that there are or will be dwellings, buildings, or any other structures (including tents) located within the display site.
(9) 
Financial responsibility requirements. After the permit application is approved, but before a permit is issued by the Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official, the applicant or operator shall file with the Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official a corporate surety bond in the principal sum of not less than $1,000,000 or a public liability insurance policy for the same amount, for the purpose of the payment of all potential damages to a person or persons or to property by reason of the permitted display or the conduct of any act authorized by the permit, and arising from any acts of the permittee, the operator, and their agents, employees or subcontractors.
(10) 
Location of display site on the display property. The display site shall be situated on the display property at such location as is the greatest distance from the nearest dwelling, building structure (including tents), or public street while still meeting the International Fire Code clearance and separation distance requirements.
(11) 
Revocation of permit; cancellation or discontinuance of display. The permit for any outdoor display of fireworks may be immediately revoked and the display immediately canceled or discontinued at any time deemed necessary by the Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official or any authorized representative of a Bethlehem Township fire company at their sole discretion as a result of any noncompliance with any legal requirements, including without limitation the requirements of this chapter, or due to weather conditions such as drought, extremely low humidity, or wind factors. Any permitted outdoor display of fireworks shall be canceled if wind gusts exceed 25 miles per hour as measured immediately prior to the commencement of the display, and shall be discontinued if wind gusts exceed 25 miles per hour at any time prior to the end of the display. The display may also be ordered discontinued immediately whenever in the sole discretion of the Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official, an authorized representative of a Bethlehem Township fire company, or the operator determines that a hazardous condition exists, and shall not resume until such time as the hazardous condition is corrected to the satisfaction of the person ordering the display discontinued. The permit shall be immediately revoked and the display shall be discontinued in the event of accidental ignition of any form of combustible or flammable material as a result of falling debris from the display.
(12) 
Fire company presence at, and call for emergency medical services to, display property. The permittee shall make arrangements with a Bethlehem Township fire company for the presence at the display property of the Bethlehem Township fire pumper and/or other fire-fighting equipment as determined by such fire company, and a minimum of three firefighters, for a period beginning 30 minutes prior to the display and ending 30 minutes after the display is concluded. All costs related to the provision of fire personnel and apparatus, and calls for emergency medical services and apparatus, shall be paid by the permittee in an amount determined by Bethlehem Township.
(13) 
Traffic control arrangements with the Bethlehem Township Police Department. Not less than 10 business days prior to conducting the display, the permittee shall make arrangements acceptable to the Bethlehem Township Police Department for traffic control. Traffic control shall be conducted by either Bethlehem Township Police Department officers, or special fire police officers of a Bethlehem Township fire company. Traffic control measures shall be sufficient to prevent motorists, whether or not attending the display, from parking, stopping or standing motor vehicles within the right-of-way or shoulder of that portion of any public street abutting the display property, or that portion of any public street in sufficiently close proximity to the display property to be affected by the traffic to be generated thereby as determined by the Bethlehem Township Police Department. The permittee shall submit to the Bethlehem Township Police Department for its review and approval its traffic control plans. Such plans shall include provisions for handling ingress and egress of motor vehicles to and from the display property, interior circulation of vehicles within the display property, and demonstrate adequate parking on the display property. In the event that the permittee anticipates the necessity for additional parking facilities, other than those available on the display property, the permittee may contract with a nearby property owner or owners for overflow parking, provided that either shuttle service from the overflow parking site to the display property is provided; or safe pedestrian pathways are available from the overflow parking to the display property. Such plans shall be sufficiently detailed so as to permit meaningful review by the Bethlehem Township Police Department. All costs related to the provisions of police officers and police vehicles shall be paid by the permittee in an amount determined by Bethlehem Township. The permittee shall not conduct the display unless such traffic control measures and plans have been approved in writing by the Bethlehem Township Police Department.
(14) 
Enforcement of requirements. The Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official and Bethlehem Township police officers are authorized to enforce all legal requirements relating to outdoor displays of fireworks, including the requirements of this chapter, and, in addition to criminal sanctions or civil remedies, he/she may revoke any permit and order the cancellation and/or discontinuance of a display upon any failure of refusal of the permittee to comply with such legal requirements, including without limitation this chapter, or upon any failure or refusal to comply with the orders and directives of the Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official, a Bethlehem Township police officer, or an authorized representative of a Bethlehem Township fire company.
(15) 
Property owners to be notified. The permittee shall notify in writing the owners of all real estate located within 2,000 feet of all boundaries of the display property. The notice shall be mailed by United States certified mail, return receipt requested, to such owners not later than 10 days prior to the date on which the display is to take place, and proof of such mailing shall be delivered to the Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official not later than three days prior to the date on which the display is to take place. The notice shall contain not less than the following information: the name, address and phone number of the permittee and of its contact person responsible for the display; the name, address and phone number of the operator and of its contact person directly responsible for conducting the display; the date, time, and location of the display; and a general statement describing the display. The permittee shall not conduct the display unless such proof of mailing has been delivered to the Bethlehem Township Fire Code Official.
(16) 
Removal of debris and trash from display area. The permittee shall remove all combustible debris and trash from the display areas prior to the commencement of the display.
(17) 
Inspection and approval of discharge site set up. After the discharge site has been completely set up, and prior to the commencement of the display, the permittee shall cause the discharge site to be inspected and approved by an authorized representative of a Bethlehem Township fire company. The permittee shall not conduct the display unless such approval has been obtained.
(18) 
Removal of display debris. In the event that any property owner or occupant notifies the Township, the permittee, or the operator that debris from the display has fallen on such property, the permittee shall remove such debris from such property within 24 hours of notice to the permittee or the operator from the owner, occupant, or the Township.
P. 
For the purposes of the International Fire Code, 2009, Edition the term "Board of Appeals" shall mean the Board of Appeals established under § 303 of the Code of Ordinances known as the Property Maintenance Code, Board of Appeals.

§ 131-4 State laws and regulations.

In all matters that are regulated by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or by regulations of departments or agencies of the commonwealth promulgated by authority of law, such laws or regulations, as the case may be, shall control where requirements thereof are more restrictive than the provisions of this International Fire Code.

§ 131-5 Provisions to be continuation of existing regulations.

The provisions of this code insofar as they are the same as those of ordinances and/or codes in force immediately prior to the adoption hereof are intended as a continuation of such ordinances and/or codes and not as new enactments. The provisions of this code shall not affect any act done or liability incurred prior to the adoption hereof, nor shall they affect any suit or prosecution pending or to be instituted to enforce any right or penalty or punish any offense under the authority of any of the repealed ordinances and/or codes.