[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Rochester 6-18-1985 by Ord. No. 309 as Art. 1511 of the 1985 Codified Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Rochester Township Fire Prevention Code."
The National Fire Codes of the National Fire Protection Association, 2000 edition, are hereby adopted by reference and incorporated as fully as if set out at length herein. A copy of the National Fire Codes shall be filed in the office of the Township Secretary, and the provisions thereof shall be controlling within the limits of the Township.
No person shall violate any provision of this chapter, or permit or maintain any violation, or refuse to obey any provision thereof, or fail or refuse to comply with any such provision or regulation. Proof of such unlawful act or failure shall be deemed prima facie evidence that such act is that of the owner or other person in control of the premises. Prosecution or lack thereof of either the owner, occupant or the person in charge shall not be deemed to relieve any of the others.
The Fire Prevention Code shall be enforced by the Bureau of Fire Prevention in the fire service of the Township which shall be operated under the supervision of a Chief of the Fire Prevention Bureau who shall hereinafter be referred to as the "Fire Marshal."
The Fire Marshal shall be appointed by the Board of Commissioners of the Township for a term of two years effective January 1, 2002, and every two years thereafter during the reorganization meeting in January of each even year.
The Board of Commissioners shall also appoint a Deputy Fire Marshal for a term of two years effective January 1, 2002, and every two years thereafter during the reorganization meeting in January of each even year.
The Fire Marshal may detail such members of the Fire Department as inspectors as shall from time to time be necessary. The Fire Marshal shall recommend to the Board of Commissioners the employment of technical inspectors who, when such authorization is made, shall be selected through an examination to determine their fitness for the position. Any member of the public shall be eligible to take this examination, and appointments made after the examination shall be for an indefinite time with removal only for cause.
A report of the Bureau of Fire Prevention shall be made annually and transmitted to the Chairperson of the Fire Committee of the Board of Commissioners. It shall contain all proceedings under this chapter with such statistics as the Fire Marshal may wish to include therein. The Fire Marshal shall also recommend any amendments to this chapter which he/she deems necessary and appropriate.
The officers of the Bureau of Fire Prevention shall enforce all laws and ordinances of the Township covering the following:
The prevention of fires.
The storage and use of explosives and flammables.
The installation and maintenance of automatic and other fire alarm systems and fire extinguishing equipment.
The maintenance and regulation of fire escapes.
The means and adequacy of exit in case of fire from factories, schools, hotels, lodging houses, asylums, hospitals, churches, halls, theaters, amphitheaters and all other places in which numbers of persons work, live or congregate, from time to time, for any purpose.
The investigation of the cause, origin and circumstances of fires.
The maintenance of fire cause and loss records.
They shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as are set forth in other sections of this chapter and as may be conferred and imposed from time to time by law.
The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of every fire occurring in the Township by which property has been destroyed or damaged and, so far as possible, shall determine whether the fire is the result of carelessness or design. Such investigation shall begin immediately upon the occurrence of such a fire. The Fire Marshal shall take charge immediately of the physical evidence, shall notify the proper authorities designated by law to pursue the investigation of such matters, and shall further cooperate with the authorities in the collection of evidence and in the prosecution of the case. Every fire shall be reported in writing to the Bureau of Fire Prevention within two days after the occurrence of the same by the Fire Department officer in whose jurisdiction such a fire has occurred. Such report shall be in such form as shall be prescribed by the Fire Marshal and shall contain a statement of all facts relating to the cause, origin and circumstances of such fire, the extent of the damage thereof, and the insurance upon such property, and such other information as may be required, including the injury, death or rescue of persons.
Before permits may be issued as required by the Fire Code adopted in § 76-1, the Fire Marshal or his/her deputies shall inspect and approve the receptacles, processes, vehicles, buildings or storage places to be used for any such purposes.
The Fire Marshal shall inspect or cause to be inspected all premises on a periodic basis and shall make such orders as may be necessary for the enforcement of the laws and ordinances governing the same and for safeguarding of life and property from fire.
Order to remove.
Whenever any inspector, as defined above, finds in any building, or upon any premises or other places, combustible or explosive matter or dangerous accumulations of rubbish or unnecessary accumulation of wastepaper, boxes, shavings or any highly flammable material especially liable to fire, and which is so situated as to endanger property, or finds obstructions to or on fire escapes, stairs, passageways, doors or windows, liable to interfere with the operations of the Fire Department or egress of occupants in case of fire, he/she shall order the same to be removed or remedied, and such order shall forthwith be complied with by the owner or occupant of such premises or buildings, subject to the appeals procedure provided for in this chapter.
Any owner or occupant failing to comply with such order within a reasonable period after the service of such order shall be liable to penalties as hereinafter provided.
The service of any such order may be made upon the occupant of the premises to whom it is directed, either by delivering a copy of the same to such occupant personally or by delivering the same to and leaving it with any person in charge of the premises or, in case no such person is found upon the premises, by affixing a copy thereof in a conspicuous place on the door to the entrance of such premises. Whenever it may be necessary to serve such an order upon the owner of premises, such order may be served either by delivering to and leaving with the person a copy of such order or, if such owner is absent from the jurisdiction of the officer making the order, by mailing such copy by certified mail to the owner's last known post office address.
The Fire Marshal shall compile and keep a record of all fires and of all the facts concerning the same, including injuries, deaths, rescue of persons and statistics as to the extent of such fires and the damage caused thereby, and whether such losses were covered by insurance and, if so, in what amount. Such record shall be made from the reports made monthly by the technical inspectors under the provisions of this chapter. All such records shall be public.
Bulk storage of liquefied petroleum gas as defined in the Fire Prevention Code is hereby prohibited in the R-1, R-2 and R-3 Districts as set out in Chapter 162, Zoning.
In the event that a specific provision of this chapter conflicts with a specific provision of portions of the National Fire Codes, the provisions of this chapter shall prevail.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply equally to both public and private property, and they shall apply to all structures and their occupancies, except as otherwise specified.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the police powers of the Township for the preservation and protection of the public health, peace, safety and welfare, and all the provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed for that purpose.
Whoever violates any provisions of the National Fire Codes hereby adopted or of this chapter; or fails to comply therewith; or violates or fails to comply with any order made thereunder; or builds in violation of any details, statements, specifications or plans submitted or approved thereunder; or operates not in accordance with the provisions of any certificate, permit or approval issued thereunder and from which no appeal has been taken; or fails to comply with such an order as affirmed or modified by the Fire Marshal or by a court of competent jurisdiction within the time fixed herein shall severally for each and every violation and noncompliance, respectively, be fined not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, imprisoned for a term not exceeding 30 days.
The imposition of a penalty for any violation shall not excuse the violation nor shall the violation be permitted to continue. All such persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violations or defects within a reasonable time, and, when not otherwise specified, the application of the above penalty shall not be held to prevent the enforced removal of prohibited conditions. After notification by the Fire Marshal that a violation has occurred, each day a person is in violation shall constitute a separate offense under this chapter.
It is the specific legislative intent of the Commissioners that when any provisions are construed involving the regulation of occupancy of persons in buildings and structures, an owner shall be guilty of a separate offense for each individual person present on the premises in excess of the permitted occupancy as set forth in the National Fire Codes and their regulations, annexes and appendices.