Township of Clark, NJ
Union County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 3-19-2007 by Ord. No. 07-03; 1-17-2012 by Ord. No. 12-01 amended in its entirety.]
[Amended 7-7-2014 by Ord. No. 14-18; 2-17-2015 by Ord. No. 15-02]
There will be within the Township of Clark, Department of Public Safety, an Office of Fire Code Enforcement, Division of Fire Prevention and Protection, the Clark Volunteer Fire Department, the head of which shall be known as the "Director." Said official shall report any and all operations of the Fire Code Enforcement Office and the Clark Volunteer Fire Department to the Mayor, Business Administrator and Township Council. Any Command Staff Deputy Chiefs and/or Fire Inspectors employed by the Fire Code Enforcement Office and/or the Clark Volunteer Fire Department shall report directly to the Director. All vehicles and equipment used by the Office shall be under the control of the Director, subject to the final approval of the office of the Mayor and/or his designee.
Pursuant to Section 11 of the Uniform Fire Safety Act (P.L. 1983, c. 383, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-192 et seq.), the Uniform Fire Safety Code (N.J.A.C. 5:70-1 et seq.) established by the State of New Jersey shall be enforced in the Township of Clark, County of Union, State of New Jersey.
The local enforcing agency of this article shall be the Office of Fire Code Enforcement, Division of Fire Prevention and Protection.
A. 
Within the established boundaries of the Township of Clark, County of Union, State of New Jersey, the local enforcing agency shall enforce the Uniform Fire Code in all buildings, structures and premises other than owner-occupied buildings of less than three dwelling units used exclusively for dwelling purposes and buildings, structures and premises owned or operated by interstate agencies or the state.
B. 
The local enforcing agency shall faithfully comply with all the pertinent requirements of the Uniform Fire Safety Act and the Uniform Fire Code.
[Amended 7-7-2014 by Ord. No. 14-18]
A. 
The Division of Fire Prevention and Protection shall be under the supervision and control of the Director.
B. 
The Division of Fire Prevention and Protection shall have at least one paid Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official, who shall be the Director, and such paid inspectors and other employees as may be necessary to properly enforce the Uniform Fire Code.
[Amended 7-7-2014 by Ord. No. 14-18; 2-17-2015 by Ord. No. 15-02]
A. 
The Director shall be appointed by the Mayor with the confirmation of Council and shall serve in accord with the provisions of this article. Once having been so appointed, he shall serve without term so long as he shall continue to discharge the duties of his office efficiently and diligently and shall maintain the qualifications for the position as the same are established presently and may be hereafter established from time to time.
B. 
The Director, once having been appointed, shall report to the Mayor, Township Administrator, and Department of Community Affairs of the State of New Jersey, Division of Fire Safety, for any and all operations of the Code Enforcement Department and the operations of the Division. Inspections, budget and vehicle assignment shall be within his discretion.
C. 
The Director shall have the authority, subject to budgetary appropriations and the prior approval of Mayor and Council, to appoint such inspectors and other employees as may be deemed appropriate for such compensation as may be approved by the governing body of the Township of Clark.
D. 
The Director shall have command authority to the rank of Fire Chief at any fire or emergency calls in the Township of Clark and Union County.
E. 
Director/Fire Chief/Fire Official: Clark Volunteer Fire Department command authority; responsibilities.
(1) 
Command authority. The Director/Fire Chief/Fire Official shall be in supreme command of all functions of the Fire Department, and he/she shall have the right to utilize any equipment, property or personnel that he/she deems necessary for the handling of fire emergencies that are within the legal right of the Township to grant. The Director/Fire Chief/Fire Official shall have the power of appointing an officer at any time in the event an officer position becomes vacant.
(2) 
Responsibilities. The Director/Fire Chief/Fire Official shall be responsible to the Director of Public Safety for the training, efficiency and proper conduct of the Fire Department, the maintenance and repair of all equipment, the reduction of fire hazards, the maintenance of records, and the rendering of reports, as stated hereinafter. The Director/Fire Chief/Fire Official shall:
(a) 
Formulate or cause to be formulated immediately, and be responsible for, the observance of Fire Department Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs) pertaining to signals of alarm, procedure of members in answering alarms, discipline of members at all functions, and any other rules or SOGs for the proper and efficient conduct of the Department. These SOGs shall be posted conspicuously in the fire headquarters. They shall be subject to the approval of the Director of Public Safety annually. They may be amended or added to at any time by the Director/Fire Chief/Fire Official.
(b) 
Keep or cause to be kept accurate records of the service of each member of the Department, showing his/her attendance at or absence from each fire and any notations pertinent to his/her conduct which may properly appear upon the record.
(c) 
Issue or cause to be issued all badges and require an accurate record be kept therefor and shall be responsible for the return of any badges by members leaving the Department for any reason.
(d) 
See that all equipment, apparatus, and other property of the Department are kept in condition for immediate and efficient service.
(e) 
Keep or cause to be kept an accurate inventory record of all equipment and property of the Department, including an analysis of the number and locality of all fires.
(f) 
Report to the Business Administrator all of the activities and general conditions within the Department, including such suggestions or recommendations as he/she may deem proper or necessary.
F. 
Qualifications. As a condition of appointment and continuance in office, the Director shall be certified with the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety, as a Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official. The Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official must have successfully completed Fire Fighter 1 and 2, Incident Management Level 1 and Level 2, and must have served as an active member of the Clark Fire Department and served a term of Deputy Chief or Battalion Chief of the Department. It is important that the individual be a resident of the Township of Clark.
[Amended 4-16-2018 by Ord. No. 18-11]
G. 
Removal. The Director, inspectors and other employees of the agency shall be subject to removal by the Mayor and Council for just cause. Before removal from office, all persons shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard by the Mayor and Council or a hearing officer designated by same.
H. 
Clark Volunteer Fire Department Command Staff/Line Officers appointment; command authority; responsibilities.
[Amended 4-16-2018 by Ord. No. 18-11]
(1) 
Appointment. The Director/Fire Chief/Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official shall appoint the Clark Volunteer Fire Department Command Staff and Line Officers. Once having been so appointed, shall serve without term so long as they shall continue to discharge the duties of the office efficiently and diligently and shall maintain the qualifications for the position as the same are established presently and may be hereafter established from time to time.
(2) 
Command authority; responsibilities. The Command Staff and Line Officers shall have authority within the Clark Volunteer Fire Department at the discretion of the Director/Fire Chief.
I. 
Qualifications. As a condition of appointment and continuance in office, the Command Staff and Line Officers must have successfully completed Fire Fighter 1 and 2, Incident Management Level 1 and Level 2, and must have served as an active member of the Clark Fire Department and served a term of Deputy Chief, Battalion Chief, Captain or Lieutenant.
[Amended 4-16-2018 by Ord. No. 18-11]
J. 
Removal. The Command Staff employees of the agency shall be subject to removal by the Mayor and Council for just cause. Before removal from office, all persons shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard by the Mayor and Council or a hearing officer designated by same.
K. 
In the event a Command Staff or Line Officer appointed position becomes vacant for any reason, the Fire Chief shall appoint a replacement from the current ranks of the Clark Volunteer Fire Department.
[Amended 4-16-2018 by Ord. No. 18-11]
L. 
In the event the Director/Fire Chief/Fire Official appointed position becomes vacant for any reason, the position of Director/Fire Official shall be appointed by the Mayor and Administration of the Township of Clark and will be filled from the current ranks of the Clark Volunteer Fire Department.
M. 
In the event the Director/Fire Chief/Fire Official appointed position becomes vacant for any reason, the position of Fire Chief shall be selected and voted upon from the current ranks of the Clark Volunteer Fire Department.
N. 
The application fees for the permits listed in N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.7 shall be as specified in the Uniform Fire Code.
The application fees for the permits listed in N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.7 shall be as specified in the Uniform Fire Code.
Pursuant to Sections 15 and 17 of the Uniform Fire Safety Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-206 and 52:27D-208, any person aggrieved by any order of the local enforcing agency shall have the right to appeal to the Construction Board of Appeals of Union County.
In addition to the inspection and fees required pursuant to the Uniform Fire Safety Act and the regulations of the Department of Community Affairs, such additional inspections and fees as set forth in § 161-46 shall be required. Occupancies not classified as life-hazard uses by the Act shall be required to pay an annual registration fee as set forth in § 161-47. They will be inspected on an annual schedule.
Permits, classified as follows, shall be required for the uses set forth:
A. 
Type 1 permits:
(1) 
Bonfires;
(2) 
The use of a torch or flame-producing device to remove paint from, or seal membrane roofs on, any building or structure;
(3) 
Tents and temporary tension membrane structures without appurtenances, such as platforms and special electrical equipment, which exceed 900 square feet or 30 feet in any dimension (excluding canopies), whether single or made up of multiple smaller units when used for purposes which would constitute a life-hazard use if found in a building;
(4) 
Individual portable kiosks or displays, when erected in a covered mall for a period of less than 90 days, and when not covered by a Type 2 permit;
(5) 
The use of any open flame or flame-producing device, in connection with any public gathering, for purposes of entertainment, amusement or recreation;
(6) 
Welding or cutting operations, except where the welding or cutting is performed in areas approved for welding by the Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official and is registered as a Type B life-hazard use;
(7) 
The possession or use of explosives or blasting agents, other than model rocketry engines regulated under N.J.A.C. 12:194;
(8) 
Helistops;
(9) 
The occasional use in any building of a multipurpose room, with a maximum permitted occupancy of 100 or more, for amusement, entertainment or mercantile-type purposes;
(10) 
The storage or handling of Class I flammable liquids in closed containers of aggregate amounts of more than 10 gallons, but not more than 660 gallons, inside a building or more than 60 gallons, but not more than 660 gallons, outside a building; or
(11) 
The storage or handling of Class II or III(A) combustible liquids in closed containers of aggregate amounts of more than 25 gallons, but not more than 660 gallons, inside a building or more than 60 gallons, but not more than 660 gallons, outside a building.
B. 
Type 2 permits:
(1) 
Bowling lane resurfacing and bowling pin refinishing involving the use and application of flammable liquids or materials;
(2) 
Fumigation or thermal insecticide fogging;
(3) 
Carnivals and circuses employing mobile enclosed structures used for human occupancy; or
(4) 
The use of a covered mall in any of the following manners:
(a) 
Concession equipment or the like in more than 25% of the common area of the mall;
(b) 
Placing or constructing temporary kiosks, display booths, concession equipment or the like in more than 25% of the common area of the mall;
(c) 
Temporarily using the mall as a place of assembly;
(d) 
Using open flame or flame devices;
(e) 
Displaying liquid- or gas-fuel-powered equipment; or
(f) 
Using liquefied petroleum gas, liquefied natural gas, and compressed flammable gas in containers exceeding a five-pound capacity.
C. 
Type 3 permits:
(1) 
Industrial processing ovens or furnaces operating at approximately atmospheric pressures and temperatures not exceeding 1,400° F., which are heated with oil or gas fuel or which contain flammable vapors from the product being processed;
(2) 
Wrecking yards, junkyards, outdoor used tire storage, waste-material-handling plants, and outside storage of forest products not otherwise classified; or
(3) 
The storage or discharging of fireworks.
D. 
Type 4 permits:
(1) 
Storage or use at normal temperature and pressure of more than 2,000 cubic feet of flammable compressed gas or 6,000 cubic feet of nonflammable compressed gas;
(2) 
The production or sale of cryogenic liquids; the storage or use of more than 10 gallons of liquid oxygen, flammable cryogenic liquids or cryogenic oxidizers; or the storage of more than 500 gallons of nonflammable, nontoxic cryogenic liquids;
(3) 
The storage, handling, and processing of flammable, combustible, and unstable liquids in closed containers and portable tanks in aggregate amounts of more than 660 gallons;
(4) 
The storage or handling of (except medicines, beverages, foodstuffs, cosmetics, and other common consumer items, when packaged according to commonly accepted practices):
(a) 
More than 55 gallons of corrosive liquids;
(b) 
More than 500 pounds of oxidizing materials;
(c) 
More than 10 pounds of organic peroxides;
(d) 
More than 500 pounds of nitromethane;
(e) 
More than 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate;
(f) 
More than one microcurie of radium not contained in a sealed source;
(g) 
More than one millicurie of radium or other radiation material in a sealed source or sources;
(h) 
Any amount of radioactive material for which a specific license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is required; or
(i) 
More than 10 pounds of flammable solids;
(5) 
The melting, casting, heat treating, machining or grinding of more than 10 pounds of magnesium per working day; or
(6) 
Heliports.
E. 
Type 5 permits:
(1) 
Airports.
Permits shall only be issued for uses expressly designed as permitted uses under the zoning ordinances of the Township and upon the payment of the fees therefor.
In addition to the inspections provided pursuant to the Uniform Fire Code and regulations issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, additional inspections shall be required as follows:
A. 
Inspection classifications:
(1) 
Class I:
(a) 
All schools.
(b) 
All churches.
(c) 
All buildings.
(2) 
Class II:
(a) 
All business-use buildings less than 10,000 square feet.
(b) 
All eating establishments with a maximum occupancy load of less than 50 persons.
(c) 
All mercantile uses of less than 12,000 square feet.
(d) 
All factory uses of less than 2,500 feet.
(e) 
All storage uses of less than 2,500 feet.
(3) 
Class III:
(a) 
All mixed-use buildings under 10,000 square feet.
(b) 
All business uses of more than 10,000 square feet but less than 20,000 square feet.
(c) 
All factory uses of more than 2,500 square feet but less than 20,000 square feet.
(d) 
All storage uses of more than 2,500 square feet but less than 20,000 square feet.
(e) 
All multiple dwellings containing from three to 25 units.
(4) 
Class IV:
(a) 
All mixed-use buildings over 10,000 square feet.
(b) 
All business uses exceeding 20,000 square feet.
(c) 
All storage uses exceeding 20,000 square feet.
(d) 
All factory uses exceeding 20,000 square feet.
(5) 
Class V: all multiple dwellings containing 26 units or more.
B. 
Time for inspections. All inspections shall be performed periodically to determine compliance with the provisions of the Uniform Fire Safety Code and this chapter, but no less frequently than as set forth below:
(1) 
Class I through Class V: once every 12 months.
The permit and inspection fees established by the Uniform Fire Safety Code and this chapter shall be as set forth below. The failure to pay any required firesafety inspection fee within 30 days following notice from the Township of such failure to pay shall result in the assessment of a fee twice that initially assessed. Following the expiration of the thirty-day period, the Township Council may, by resolution, approve the amount of the fees, whereupon the same shall become a lien against the property, collectible as provided by law. A copy of the resolution approving the fees shall be certified by the Township Clerk and filed with the Tax Collector of the Township, who shall be responsible for the collection thereof, and a copy of the resolution shall be sent by certified mail to the owner.
A. 
Inspection fees:
Class I
n/c
Class II, per commercial/office/business suite
$75
Class III, per commercial/office/business suite
$150
Class IV, per commercial/office/business suite
$250
Class V, for each individual dwelling unit located on the premises
$10
Smoke detectors, for each unit, for all new homes, condominiums, townhouses and apartments
$50
Inspection, residential, change of ownership
$50
Industrial tank inspections
$250
Failure to pay inspection fee following thirty-day notice
Double the above-listed fee
B. 
Inspection and issuance of permits: $75.
C. 
Permit fees:
Type I
$75
Type II
$200
Type III
$350
Type IV
$500
D. 
Copies of documents:
(1) 
Fire report: $10.
(2) 
Photos: $5 each.
E. 
All nonprofit organizations must take out a permit, but will not be required to pay a fee.
A. 
Determination.
(1) 
A "fire watch" is defined as a temporary measure intended to insure continuous and systematic surveillance of a building or portion thereof by one or more qualified individuals for the purpose of identifying and controlling fire hazards, detecting early signs of an unwanted fire, raising an alarm of fire and notifying the Fire Department.
(2) 
A fire watch may be determined and ordered by the Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official, provided the following circumstances and criteria have been complied with:
(a) 
Fire-protection systems are out of service while the building is occupied;
(b) 
A fire watch is requested by the building owner, tenant or lessee;
(c) 
Work assemblages or events as defined and public and private events where 100 people are in attendance;
(d) 
Where the same is requested by the Clark Police Department due to overcrowding or similar hazards;
(e) 
Circumstances where investigations are required by the Fire Code due to fire, fire alarms, hazards or evacuations; and
(f) 
During building demolition and construction as required by the Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official.
(3) 
A fire watch may include the maintaining of fire lanes, means of ingress, overcrowding and occupancy loads during any building, demolition and reconstruction, as needed, to be determined by the Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official. A fire watch will be ordered in public and privately owned buildings within the Township of Clark and paid for by the building owner, tenant, lessee or, in the event, organization or in any place of assembly or any place where people congregate as defined in the Fire Code. Any qualified individuals used for the purposes of a fire watch shall report directly to the Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official within the Office of Fire Code Enforcement of the Township of Clark, who will report to the administration of the Township of Clark.
B. 
Schedule of fees. All fire watch services not incurred and paid by the Township of Clark shall be at the rate of $50 per hour, with the rate increasing to $75 per hour after eight hours. There shall be a minimum payment of four hours, plus a fifteen-percent administration fee, and $10 per day for the use of the Township Office of Fire Code Enforcement vehicle.
The Division of Fire Prevention and Protection established by § 161-37 of this article shall carry out the periodic inspections of life-hazard uses required by the Uniform Fire Code on behalf of the Commission of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
A. 
In addition to the registrations and permits required by the Uniform Fire Code, all other uses subject to Uniform Fire Code inspections shall register with the Division of Fire Prevention and Protection. These uses shall be inspected once per year, and an annual registration and inspection fee as per § 161-47, as amended, shall be paid.
B. 
Uses requiring registration with the state as life-hazard uses shall not be required to register or pay fees pursuant to this article.
C. 
Vacant buildings that create a fire hazard shall be charged and inspected according to the schedule as set forth herein.
D. 
Signs.
(1) 
The following signs will be ordered to be displayed on buildings, ordered by the Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official.
(a) 
Truss signs, floor or roof: $45.
(b) 
Vacant building signs: $100.
(c) 
Sprinkler connection signs: $75.
(2) 
The Fire Official/Fire Marshal/Fire Code Official may raise the cost/amount as needed. The fee will be paid by the building owner or tenant.