Township of Whitpain, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Whitpain 12-5-2006 by Ord. No. 89-1.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Public fire protection — See Ch. 13.
Alarm devices — See Ch. 63.
Building construction — See Ch. 71.
Fire insurance claims — See Ch. 90.
Burning of garbage — See Ch. 93, Art. II.
Chapters subject to fee schedule — See Ch. A166.
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 89, Fire Prevention, which consisted of Art. I, Basic Fire Prevention Standards, adopted 1-20-1992 by Ord. No. 70-7, as amended, and Art. II, Standards Pertaining to Aircraft Hangars, adopted 9-6-1985 by Ord. No. 22-17, as amended.

§ 89-1 Adoption of 2009 International Code Council International Fire Code.

[Amended 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 89-2]
There is hereby adopted by the Township of Whitpain for the purposes of prescribing regulations governing fire and life preservation that certain code known as the "2009 International Code Council International Fire Code," being particularly the first printing thereof and the whole thereof, save and except such portions as are hereinafter deleted, modified and amended by § 89-2 of this article, as well as Ordinance No. 89-2, of which code not less than three copies have and now are filed in the office of the Secretary of the Township of Whitpain, and the same are hereby adopted and incorporated as if set out at length herein, and the date on which this article shall take effect the provisions thereof shall be controlling within the limits of the Township of Whitpain.

§ 89-2 Amendments and modifications.

[Amended 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 89-2]
There is hereby added to the 2009 International Code Council International Fire Code the following modifications. Changes from the International Code Council International Fire Code 2009 to the Fire Prevention Code of Whitpain Township are as follows:
A. 
Section 100.1 insert "Township of Whitpain."
B. 
Section 102.0, Applicability, Subsection 102 4, Application of building code, shall be revised and amended to read as follows:
102.4 Application of Building Code: The design and construction of new structures to provide egress facilities, fire protection and built-in fire protection equipment shall be controlled by the Whitpain Township Building Code; and any alterations, additions or changes in structures required by this code which are within the scope of the Whitpain Township Building Code shall be made in accordance therewith.
C. 
Section 104.0, General Authority and Responsibility, Subsection 104.1, General, shall be revised and amended to read as follows:
104.1 General: It shall be the duty and responsibility of the duly appointed Fire Marshal to enforce the provisions of the Fire Prevention Code as herein set forth. The designated enforcement officer of this code is herein referred to as the "fire official."
D. 
Section F-108.0, Board of Appeals, A new section, F-108.4, Fee Schedule, shall be provided as follows:
F-108.4 Fee schedule: An appeal fee shall be set in accordance with the Fee Schedule resolution adopted by the Board of Supervisors. An appeal fee shall accompany application for appeal.
E. 
Section 109.0, Violations, Subsections 109.2, 109.2.1, 109.2.2 and 109.3 shall be revised and amended to read as follows:
109.2 Notice of violation: Whenever the fire official observes an apparent or actual violation of a provision of this code or other codes or ordinances under the fire official's jurisdiction, the fire official shall prepare a written notice of violation. This notice may be by citation or may be a written violation notice describing the condition deemed unsafe and specifying time limits for the required repairs or improvements to be made to render the building, structure or premises safe and secure.
109.2.1 Service: If the fire official elects to proceed by citation, the citation shall be served as provided by the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. If the fire official elects to proceed by written notice of violation of this code, written notice shall be served upon the owner, a duly authorized agent, or upon the occupant or other person responsible for the conditions under violation. Such notice of violation shall be served in any of the foregoing manners: by delivering a copy of the same to such person or persons by ordinary mail to the last named post office address; by delivering in person or by delivering it to and leaving it in the possession of any person in charge of the premises; or by affixing a copy thereof in a conspicuous place at the entrance door or avenue of access; and such procedure shall be deemed the equivalent of personal notice.
109.2.2 Compliance with orders and notices: If the notice of violation is not complied with within the time specified by the fire official, the fire official shall serve a citation upon the violator and/or request the Township Solicitor to institute the appropriate legal proceeding to restrain, correct or abate such violation or to require removal or termination of the unlawful use of the building or structure in violation of the provisions of this code or of any order or direction made pursuant thereto. The Police Department of Whitpain Township shall be required by the fire official to make arrest for any offense against this code of orders of the fire official affecting the immediate safety of the public.
109.3 Violation Penalties: Any person who shall violate a provision of this code or who shall fail to comply with any of the requirements thereof or who shall use, erect, construct, alter or repair a building or structure in violation of any approved plan or of a directive of the fire official or of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this code or who shall violate an order of the fire official shall be liable upon summary conviction to fines and penalties not exceeding $1,000. Such fines and penalties may be collected by suit or summary proceeding brought in the name of the Township of Whitpain before any District Justice or recovered as debts of a like amount are now by law recoverable. Upon judgment against any person by summary conviction, or proceeding by summons on a default of the payment of the fine or penalty imposed and the costs, the defendant may be sentenced and committed to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 days. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
F. 
Section 110.0, Unsafe Buildings, Subsection 110.2, Evacuations, shall be revised and amended to read as follows:
110.2 Evacuation: Any person who refuses to leave, interferes with the evacuation of other occupants or continues any operation after having been given an evacuation order, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be deemed guilty of a summary offense.
G. 
Section 202.0, General Definitions, the definition of Fire Code Official shall be amended to read as follows:
Fire Code Official: The officer or other designated authority charged with administration and enforcement of this code or a duly authorized representative.
H. 
Section 307.0, Open Burning and Recreational Fires, Subsection 307.1, General, shall be revised and amended to read as follows; Subsections 307.1.1, 307.2, 307.2.1, 307.3, 307.4, 307.4.1, 307.4.2, 307.4.3 and 307.5 shall be deleted and replaced with the following:
[Amended 9-18-2012 by Ord. No. 89-3]
307.1 General. Except as hereinafter provided, no person, firm, corporation, business entity, industry or other association shall cause, allow, permit, conduct or maintain outdoor burning of any kind.
The burning of any solid waste, recyclable materials or leaf waste, as defined in § 93-18 of the Whitpain Township Code, shall be expressly prohibited at all times.
307.2 Exceptions.
1.
Control fire. A control fire is:
a.
A fire set to prevent or abate a fire hazard.
b.
A fire set for the prevention and/or control of disease or pests/vermin.
2.
Fire companies. Burning shall be permitted for the purpose of instructing personnel in fire fighting and for exhibitions. Such activity shall meet current Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania State Fire Academy and National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) standards for this type activity.
3.
Cooking. Burning of coals or small, contained fires for the purpose of cooking or preparing food for human consumption is permitted when:
a.
The cooking unit is located no less than 15 feet from any combustible materials.
b.
Cooking units are not located on balconies or porches of apartment units exceeding one story above ground level.
c.
Such activity is conducted in a safe manner and is not prohibited by any other regulation or statute.
4.
Recreational. After obtaining a permit from the fire code official in accordance with Section 105.6, burning shall be permitted for recreational and ceremonial purposes (i.e., bonfires and campfires) if such burning is conducted in a safe manner in a place where open fires are otherwise permitted and such burning is under the direct supervision of an adult until such burning is completely extinguished. A bonfire shall not be conducted within 50 feet of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbecue pit. A recreational fire shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with manufacturer's instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
5.
Farming. Subsequent to proper notification, in advance, to the Fire Marshal or his designate, open burning shall be permitted in conjunction with the production of agricultural commodities in their unmanufactured state on the premises of a farm operation.
307.3 Hazardous conditions.
1.
Suspensions. Except for cooking, as set forth in 307.2.3, no outdoor burning shall be permitted during any period of strong winds, drought or weather inversion (i.e., hazardous air quality conditions) or during/in any other situation deemed hazardous or objectionable by the Fire Marshal, his designate or a law enforcement officer.
2.
Cancellations. If such hazardous or objectionable conditions develop during a day when burning is being conducted, such burning may be canceled by the Fire Marshal, or his designate, and a law enforcement officer. Upon notification that hazardous conditions have developed and all burning is to be canceled, residents conducting burning shall, as soon as possible following such notification, fully extinguish all active fires, including embers thereof.
3.
Bonfires, recreational fires and use of portable outdoor fireplaces shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.
I. 
Section 503.0, Fire Apparatus Access Roads, Subsection 503.3 shall be revised and amended to read as follows,
503.3 Posting of "No Parking" signs by Fire Marshal. Whenever the Fire Marshal shall determine that the parking of motor vehicles or other obstruction upon any public or private street, lane, alley or driveway or upon any shopping center, educational institution, apartment complex or similar occupancy is liable to interfere with the operations of the Fire Department or seriously hamper egress of occupants from a building in case of fire, he shall post signs reading "NO PARKING BY ORDER OF THE FIRE MARSHAL" on each street, lane, alley or driveway or upon such shopping center, educational institution, apartment complex or similar occupancy.
The Fire Marshal is hereby given authority to adopt and enforce temporary parking regulations to cover emergencies or conditions on any public or private street, lane, alley or driveway or on any shopping center, educational institution, apartment or complex or similar occupancy if the Fire Marshal shall determine that the parking of motor vehicles is liable to interfere with the operations of the Fire Department or seriously hamper the egress of occupants from a building in case of fire. In exercising the authority provided by this section, the Fire Marshal shall post signs reading "NO PARKING TEMPORARY FIRE REGULATION - BY ORDER OF THE FIRE MARSHAL" on such street, lane, alley or driveway or on such shopping center, educational institution, apartment complex or similar occupancy.
Whenever the Fire Marshal shall determine that "NO PARKING BY ORDER OF THE FIRE MARSHAL" signs on any public or private street, lane, alley or driveway or on any shopping center, educational institution, apartment complex or similar occupancy will not clearly indicate the area in which parking is prohibited, he is authorized to establishe fire lanes by painting lines four inches in width on the roadway surface indicating the area in which parking is prohibited. In addition, he shall paint the words "Fire Lane" in letters three feet in height on the roadway surface at intervals he deems necessary.
Whenever the Fire Marshal shall determine that the parking of motor vehicles upon any public or private street, lane, alley or driveway or on any shopping center, educational institution, apartment complex or similar occupancy is liable to interfere with the operations of the Fire Department or seriously hamper the egress of occupants from buildings in case of fire, he is hereby authorized to establish fire lanes by ordering the painting of lines four inches in width on the roadway surface indicating the area in which parking is prohibited without posting signs reading "NO PARKING BY ORDER OF THE FIRE MARSHAL" on such street, lane, alley or driveway or on such shopping center, educational institution, apartment complex or similar occupancy. The Fire Marshal shall paint the words "Fire Lane" in letters three feet in height on the roadway surface at intervals he deems necessary within the prohibited parking area.
Any person parking a motor vehicle in disregard of any sign or fire lane erected by the Fire Marshal as provided herein shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter and subject to the fines and penalties hereinafter specified.
J. 
Section 505.0, Premises Identification, Subsection 505.1, Address Numbers, shall be revised to read as follows; Subsections 505.2 and 505.3 below shall be added to Section 505.0; and existing Subsection 505.2, Street or Road Signs, shall be renumbered 505.4:
[Added 9-18-2012 by Ord. No. 89-3[1]]
505.1 Address numbers:New and existing buildings shall have approved address numbers, building numbers or approved building identification placed in a position that is plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property. These numbers shall contrast with their background. Address numbers shall be Arabic numbers or alphabetical letters. Numbers shall be a minimum of four inches (101.6 mm) high with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inch (12.7 mm). Where access is by means of a private road and the building cannot be viewed from the public way, a monument, pole or other sign or means shall be used to identify the structure.
505.2 "Man door" labeling: All buildings in use groups A, B, E, F, H, I, M, U and S, shall have all "man doors" labeled in accordance with the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, recommended practice 2007-3. The labeling of the doors must be approved by the Fire Marshal prior to completing the labeling. The doors shall be labeled into quadrants using A, B, C and D as the actual side of the building. The front or address side of the building is usually considered the "A" side, although this will be determined by the Fire Marshal. The remainder of the building is labeled starting in a clockwise motion from side A. The labeling/lettering must be easily readable from the street and must be of a contrasting color to the building.
505.3 "Main entranceway" labeling: All buildings in use groups A, B, E, F, H, I, M, U and S, as required by the Fire Code Official, shall have all doors not used as "main entranceways" labeled with the business name and street address. The labeling of the doors must be approved by the Fire Marshal prior to completing the labeling. The labeling/lettering must be easily readable from the street and must be of a contrasting color to the building.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of former Subsections J through Q as Subsections K through R, respectively.
K. 
Section 507.0, Fire Hydrant Systems, Subsection 507.5.3, Private fire service mains and water tanks, shall be revised and amended to read as follows:
507.5.3 Private fire service mains and water tanks: Private fire service mains and water tanks shall be periodically inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with NFPA 25 at the following intervals:
1.
Private fire hydrants (all types): inspection annually and after each operation; flow test and maintenance, annually. A copy of the written inspection report shall be forwarded to the Whitpain Township Fire Marshal.
2.
Fire service main piping: inspection of exposed, annually; flow test every five years.
3.
Fire service main piping strainers: inspection and maintenance after each use.
4.
All privately owned and maintained fire hydrants shall have the body and caps painted yellow. All bonnets (domes) will be painted to meet the following color scheme, four- and six-inch mains shall have red bonnets, eight- to 12-inch mains shall have green bonnets and sixteen-inch and larger mains shall have blue bonnets.
L. 
Section 903.0, Automatic Sprinkler Systems, Subsection 903.3.6, Hose Threads, shall be revised and amended to read as follows:
903.3.6 Hose threads: All Fire Department connections shall be installed in accordance with the Whitpain building code and shall be five-inch, Stortz connections with thirty-degree elbow equipment with cap and chain or other type cap approved by the fire official. Fire Department connections shall be located approximately 18 to 42 inches above ground level or as otherwise directed by the fire official.
M. 
Subsection 907.4, Manual Fire Alarm Boxes, Subsection 907.4 4, Signs, shall be revised and amended to read as follows:
907.4.4 Manual fire alarm boxes: All signs required to identify fire protection equipment and equipment locations shall be constructed of durable materials, permanently installed and readily visible. Letters and numbers shall contrast with the sign background and have an appropriate width-to-height ratio to permit the sign to read easily. All manual fire alarm boxes shall be clearly marked with the following designation: Pull Alarm then call 911.
N. 
Section 1007.0, Accessible Means of Egress, shall be revised and amended to provide a new subsection, 1007.9, Elevator Signs:
1007.9 Elevator signs: Each elevator lobby on each floor of a building shall be equipped with a sign, at least four inches by four inches in size, above the call buttons that shall read as follows: "In the event of fire, do not use the elevators, use the closest stairway." Emergency elevator keys must be maintained on the lowest level of Fire Department access.
O. 
Section 3304.0, Explosive Materials Storage and Handling, Subsection 3304.1, General, shall be revised and amended to read as follows; all other subsections shall be deleted.
3304.1 Storage: The storage of explosive materials and blasting agents is prohibited within Whitpain Township with the exception of the purpose of public safety or the preservation of life.
P. 
Section 3307.0, Blasting, Subsection 3307.4, Restricted hours, shall be revised and amended to read as follows:
3307.4 Restricted hours: All blasting operations shall be conducted during daylight hours by persons who are licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The fire official shall be notified prior to the first blast of each day, and all such blasts shall be supervised by the fire official. In the event explosives or explosive material is needed to be used for the preservation of life or the need for public safety, the fire official may relax these requirements and grant verbal approval.
Q. 
Section 3401.0, General, Subsection F-3401.1, Scope and Application, shall be revised and amended to read as follows:
3401.1 Scope and Application: The provisions of this chapter, the mechanical code and NFPA 30 and 30A shall apply to the transportation, storage, handling and processing of flammable and combustible liquids in addition to the requirements of Chapter 27. The provisions of this chapter shall also apply to all service stations where flammable and combustible fuels are stored and dispensed to motor vehicles and all buildings used for the storage or servicing of motor vehicles.
R. 
Sections 3404.2, Tank Storage, shall be deleted in their entirety. A new section, Section 3404.2, Tank Storage, shall provide as follows:
Section 3404.2 Underground storage tanks and aboveground storage tanks: The storage of flammable and combustible liquids shall be in compliance with the regulations set forth in the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Law (Tank Law), Act 32 of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Environmental Protection Agency's Underground Storage Tank (U.S.T.) regulations as codified in Part 280 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the Pennsylvania State Police Regulations for the Storage, Handling and Use of Flammable and Combustible Liquids.

§ 89-3 Fee schedule.

The Board of Supervisors shall adopt a fee schedule by resolution of the Board establishing fees for permits and inspection consistent with and occurring as a result of this article and its compliance and enforcement.

§ 89-4 Construal of provisions.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding pending in any court, or any rights acquired or liability incurred, or any permit issued, or any cause or causes of action existing prior to this article.

§ 89-5 Fire Marshal.

[Amended 6-1-2010 by Ord. No. 89-2]
The position of Fire Marshal of Whitpain Township shall be defined, and his or her powers, duties and responsibilities shall be as follows:
A. 
General duties and responsibilities. The Fire Marshal shall have the power and responsibility of carrying out the provisions of this article. The Fire Marshal shall be answerable to the Board of Supervisors through the Township Manager.
B. 
Enforcement responsibilities. The Fire Marshal and/or Deputy Fire Marshal shall have the power and responsibility of enforcing all laws, ordinances and regulations with respect to:
(1) 
The prevention of fires.
(2) 
The enforcement of the adopted Fire Prevention Code.
(3) 
The investigation of the cause, origin and circumstances of fires.
(4) 
The distribution and/or sale of all reports of fires and fire-related incidents occurring within the Township. These reports, for which a fee shall be charged as set forth in the then current fee schedule, shall be sold only to authorized persons or agencies.

§ 89-6 Adoption of standards.

There is hereby adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Whitpain Township for the purpose of prescribing regulations governing the construction and protection of public airplane hangars from fire, that certain standard known as "National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard No. 409, Pertaining to Airplane Hangars, Latest Edition," and the whole thereof, of which standard not fewer than three copies are now and will remain filed in the office of the Township Manager of Whitpain Township, and the same is hereby adopted and incorporated as though set forth at length herein, and from the date on which this article shall take effect, the provisions thereof shall be controlling within the limits of Whitpain Township.