[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Laconia 9-6-1990 by Ord. No. 181-90.7. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 4-14-1997 by Ord. No. 03.97.03; 11-27-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-149-06]
The National Fire Protection Association NFPA-1 Fire Code, edition currently adopted by the State of New Hampshire; the National Fire Protection Association NFPA-101 Life Safety Code, edition currently adopted by the State of New Hampshire; the Laconia Fire Department's Prevention Regulations; and the State of New Hampshire Saf-C 6000 State Fire Code are hereby incorporated into this chapter and shall be enforced by the Chief of the Fire Department and his authorized agents. Adoption of amendments or revisions to these codes shall follow the requirements of RSA 674:52, as amended. To that extent, the Fire Prevention Code, the Life Safety Code, or the Fire Alarm System Requirements are incorporated into this chapter and shall have full force and effect.
It shall be the duty of the Chief of the Fire Department to maintain on file with the City Clerk's office all codes, rules, regulations, pamphlets and other related matters adopted by reference by this chapter.
The Chief of the Fire Department, upon written application of a property owner or lawful occupant and upon the approval of the City Manager, shall have the power to modify any of the provisions of the codes, rules and regulations adopted by this chapter with respect to the applicant's property. The Chief of the Fire Department must condition any such modification upon his determination that the strict application of the provision or provisions in question presents practical difficulties, the modification conforms to the spirit of this chapter, the public safety is not compromised and substantial justice is done. The decision to grant any such modification shall be written and signed by the Chief of the Fire Department, filed in the official records of the Fire Department and provided to the applicant.
[Amended 2-14-1994 by Ord. No. 244-94.2]
Whenever the Fire Chief shall disapprove an application or refuse to grant a license or permit applied for or when it is claimed that the Fire Chief has improperly applied a provision of a code, rule or regulation adopted under this chapter, the complaining party may appeal the decision of the Fire Chief to the Building Code Board of Appeals within 30 days after the date of the decision.
Any person who violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or of the codes, rules and regulations adopted by this chapter; violates or fails to comply with any order made thereunder; builds in violation of any detailed statement or specifications or plans submitted and approved thereunder or of any certificate or permit issued thereunder and from which no appeal has been taken; or fails to comply with such an order as affirmed or modified by the City Manager within the time fixed for compliance shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both. Each day or any portion of a day of violation or noncompliance shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable separately.
Editor's Note: Original Section 8, entitled "Application to new and existing conditions," which followed this section, was repealed 2-14-1994 by Ord. No. 244-94.2.
The Chief of the Fire Department or his designee may, at all reasonable hours, enter any building or premises within his jurisdiction, except the interiors of private dwellings, for the purpose of making any inspection or investigation which, under the provisions of this chapter or of the codes, rules and regulations, adopted by this chapter, the Chief of the Fire Department or his designee may deem necessary.
It shall be the duty of the Chief of the Fire Department or his designee to inspect or to cause persons under his supervision to inspect all buildings and premises, except the interiors of private dwellings unless with permission, as often as may be necessary for the purpose of ascertaining and causing to be corrected any conditions liable to cause fire or any violations of the provisions or intent of this chapter or of the codes, rules and regulations adopted by this chapter and to ensure compliance in all places of assembly with all laws, regulations and orders dealing with overcrowding, use of decorative materials, maintenance of exit ways and maintenance of fire alarm and fire detecting systems and fire extinguishing systems and appliances.
The Chief of the Fire Department shall issue, in writing, such permits as are required by the provisions of this chapter or of the codes, rules and regulations adopted by this chapter. The Chief of the Fire Department shall determine the time period for which any such permit shall remain in effect. Such permits shall be displayed on the subject premises and shall be subject to inspection by any officer of the Fire Department.
Before permits are issued, the Chief of the Fire Department shall make or cause to be made such inspections or tests as are necessary to assure that the provisions of this chapter or of the codes, rules and regulations adopted by this chapter are met. Permits of assembly may be issued by floor within a building. One floor may contain more than one room or area of assembly.
Payment of fees.
[Amended 2-14-1994 by Ord. No. 244-94.2]
No permit shall issue until the following designated fees have been paid:
[Amended 4-14-1997 by Ord. No. 03.97.03; 7-10-2006 by Ord. No. 01.2006.01; 7-23-2007 by Ord. No. 09.2007.09]
In the event that a reinspection is necessary, for whatever reason, an additional fee of $50 will be incurred.
The Chief of the Fire Department may require the attendance of a fire fighter at the location of a public assembly, and the charge for the attendance of such fire fighter shall be paid by the person or persons requesting an assembly permit, unless such permit expressly states that no fire fighter is required. The Chief of the Fire Department may require a fire watch for other than public assemblies if he or she determines that it is necessary to minimize a danger to public safety.
[Amended 2-28-1993 by Ord. No. 230-93.02; 2-14-1994 by Ord. No. 244-94.2]
The City Council considers the establishment and maintenance of fire alarm monitoring systems vital to the health and safety of the population and the preservation or property. Therefore, a municipal fire alarm monitoring system is hereby established. The Fire Chief shall prepare and submit to the City Council such specifications for the municipal fire alarm monitoring system as he considers appropriate. Upon receipt of the Fire Chief's recommendations, the City Council shall set a date, time and place for a public hearing and publish notice thereof in a newspaper of general circulation at least seven days prior to the hearing. The City Council shall thereafter adopt such specifications for the municipal fire alarm monitoring system as it considers appropriate.
The municipal fire alarm monitoring system is established pursuant to the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code. The Fire Chief shall have the authority and responsibility to inspect and approve all parts of the municipal fire alarm monitoring system or any privately owned fire alarm monitoring system that is external to any building.
The municipal fire alarm monitoring system shall consist of a city-wide network of interconnected fire alarm boxes, master boxes, wires, alarms, switching devices, monitoring devices and such other items or technological advances as the City Council may prescribe in accordance with this section. This system shall be available for hookup to serve any building or structure within the City of Laconia.
Hookup to either the municipal fire alarm monitoring system or a privately owned fire alarm monitoring system that complies with the specifications adopted by the City Council shall be mandatory for those buildings, structures and uses required to be hooked up to by the National Fire Prevention Association Life Safety Code. All costs of hookup, whether voluntary or mandatory, shall be at the owner's expense.
In addition to costs of hookup to the municipal fire alarm monitoring system, an annual user fee of $200 for residential, $300 for commercial shall be required. Users newly connected shall pay a pro rata amount of $16.66 per month for residential, $25 per month for commercial or a portion of a month until December 31 of the installation year, after which the annual fee shall take effect on January 1.
[Amended 7-23-2007 by Ord. No. 09.2007.09]
[Amended 2-14-1994 by Ord. No. 244-94.2; 4-25-1994 by Ord. No. 250-94.9; 4-14-1997 by Ord. No. 03.97.03; 11-27-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-149-06]
In the event of nonpayment of any fee due under this chapter, the Chief of the Fire Department shall have the right, after sending notice of nonpayment to the user, to disconnect the user from the municipal fire alarm monitoring system and seek recovery of any amounts due from such user by any allowable means, including legal action.
The Fire Department of the City shall take every reasonable precaution to assure that the alarm signals and alarm messages received by the Fire Department are given appropriate attention and are acted upon with dispatch. Nevertheless, neither the Fire Department nor the City shall be liable for any defects in operation of alarm devices, nor for the failure or neglect of any person in connection with the installation and operation of alarm devices or their components, the transmission of alarm signals and prerecorded alarm messages or the receipt or relaying of such signals and messages. In the event that the Fire Department finds it necessary to disconnect an alarm device, neither the Fire Department nor the City shall incur any liability for such action.
[Added 7-10-2006 by Ord. No. 01.2006.01]
New buildings or additions; automatic sprinkler systems required.
An automatic fire sprinkler system shall be installed throughout all levels of all new buildings in the following use groups, assembly, business, educational, day care, health care, mercantile, storage and industrial, if more than 8,000 gross square feet in floor area, or every addition of more than 8,000 gross feet in floor area, and in all use groups, residential, if more than 3,000 square feet, excluding the basement, in floor area. The calculated area for all use groups shall include all usable space, including basements.
[Amended 3-12-2007 by Ord. No. 02.2007.02]
All P.U.D and cluster developments containing 10 or more residential units shall install sprinkler systems in all dwelling units, regardless of size, in compliance with N.F.P.A. Standard No. 13D or 13R. These developments will not be required to install a central fire alarm system or central monitoring system, unless required by state statute. Local smoke detection, in accordance with the State Building Code, will still be required. The alarm for the sprinkler system will be an outside, wall-mounted, electric bell that will be activated by water flow.
[Added 11-27-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-149-06]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former Subsection A(2) through (7) as Subsection A(3) through (8) and for the deletion of former Subsection B, regarding exceptions for P.U.D. and cluster developments.
Said sprinkler system shall be installed in compliance with National Fire Protection Association standards and the State Fire Code; provided, however, that in the case of said addition, such a system of automatic sprinklers shall be installed in said addition only.
Residential Type 3 and 4 buildings that install sprinkler systems will require local alarm monitoring of said sprinklers in the form of an internal bell or alarm that can be heard on all levels of the dwelling, and an external alarm that would alert neighbors of an activation, and will require a system of local smoke detectors (one-hundred-ten volt - interconnected) as required by State Fire and Building Codes.
For purposes of this section, the gross square foot area of a building or addition shall include the sum total of the floor area for all the floor levels, including mezzanines, and basements, measured from outside walls irrespective of the existence of interior fire-resistive walls, floors, and ceilings.
For purposes of this section, the applicable provisions of the National Fire Protection Association shall be as follows:
NFPA 13, standard for the installation of sprinklers.
NFPA 13D, standard for the installation of sprinklers in one- and two-family dwellings.
NFPA 13R, standard for the installation of sprinklers in residential occupancies of more than three dwelling units and up to and including four stories in height.
Two sets of working sprinkler plans and calculations shall be submitted to the Fire Department for approval. The plans shall be prepared and documented by a design professional. One set of plans is to be retained by the Fire Department; the other set, after approval is obtained, will be forwarded to the Code Enforcement Officer for approval.
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued by the Code Enforcement Officer until such time as the sprinkler system has been installed and inspected, and approved by the Fire Department.
[Added 7-10-2006 by Ord. No. 01.2006.01]
Fire Department access to certain buildings.
In order for the Fire Department to conduct operations with efficiency and to limit damage to property in an emergency, it shall be required that certain buildings in the City be equipped with a lock box for storage of keys.
Lock boxes shall be installed and maintained on:
Any multifamily residential structure that has restricted access through locked doors and has a common corridor for access to living units Exemptions are townhouse style condominium units.
Any nonresidential building where a fire detection or suppression system is or has been installed and is monitored by the Fire Department or a private alarm company, or has an audible exterior alarm.
Any building or facility containing a quantity of hazardous materials, which would require compliance with Title III of the Superfund Authorization and Recovery Act (SARA).
All new construction shall comply with this section at the time of construction.
Keys required to be deposited in the lock box shall include: keys to locked points of access in the exterior of the building or facility; locked points of access to common areas, such as hallways, utility rooms, fire protection control rooms, fire alarm equipment, mechanical rooms, electrical rooms, and elevator rooms; and any other areas that may be required by the Fire Chief.
The Fire Chief shall determine the size of the lock box and its mounting location(s). Certain buildings, because of their size in area and configuration, may require additional lock boxes as determined by the Fire Chief.
Fire Department access to gates and fences.
Where a property is protected by a locked fence or gate and where immediate access to the property is necessary for life-saving and fire-fighting purposes, the Fire Chief may require a security padlock to be installed at the location. The padlock shall be a type and size approved by the Fire Chief. The key will be the same as the key used for the lock box installations. In lieu of installing an approved padlock, the owner may install a lock box on or near the gate or fence, as approved by the Fire Chief.
Where gates are operated by security access codes, the system must be designed and function so that an access code, as specified by the Fire Chief, is provided for Fire Department use.
Compliance. All existing buildings covered by this section shall comply within six months from its effective date, and subsequent notification by the Fire Department. All new buildings and buildings under construction shall comply with this requirement prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy. Failure to comply with the section will result in the withholding of the certificate of occupancy.
Noncompliance. Failure to comply with this section in the specified timeframe shall result in a fine of $50 per day for each day of noncompliance. Enforcement shall be through the City Attorney's office.
Definition. The term "building" used herein means any building or structure located within the City of Laconia, whether privately or publicly owned.
Exceptions. The requirements of this section shall not apply to one- and two-family dwellings.
[Added 7-10-2006 by Ord. No. 01.2006.01]
Proper maintenance and operation of a fire alarm system is critical to the safety of the occupants and the protection of the building. False alarms cause a burden on the Fire Department and subsequently the taxpayer. Therefore, false alarms, as defined in this section, will be considered violations of the City of Laconia Ordinances and will be subject to fines and/or service charges.
Any false alarm within a twelve-month period, due solely to owner negligence, such as improper installation, failure to properly disconnect the system, failure to properly maintain system, or negligence by the user of a fire alarm system will result in the following fines and/or service charges:
First offense: no charge; a warning to correct the problem.
Second offense: fine/service charge of $100.
Third offense: fine/service charge of $200.
Any subsequent alarms will result in an additional fine/service charge of $200 per false alarm and the fines/service charges will be cumulative.
Said fine/service charge must be paid within 30 days of notification. Failure to pay this fine/service charge will result in a collection action as allowed by New Hampshire R.S.A.
Failure to properly maintain a fire alarm system is a violation of the City of Laconia Fire Prevention Ordinance and the New Hampshire Fire Prevention and Life Safety Codes and can result in additional action in the appropriate court of law.
[Added 7-10-2006 by Ord. No. 01.2006.01]
An adequate water supply is critical to Fire Department operations. Therefore, all new subdivisions, in excess of four units, all cluster developments or P.U.D.s, and all other type buildings being constructed within the City of Laconia must provide evidence of an adequate water supply for fire-fighting purposes.
The Fire Chief will make the final determination based on NFPA standards as to what is required.
For areas that are not served by the Laconia Water Works, the developer must submit a set of plans indicating how they propose to supply water for fire-fighting purposes. There are three acceptable methods:
Install an underground water cistern; minimum tank capacity of 30,000 gallons, installed in accordance with NFPA and ANSI standards.
Install a dry hydrant, installed in accordance with national standards to an acceptable water supply such as a lake, pond, or man-made pond.
Install automatic fire sprinklers in all properties in the development.
All proposals are subject to the final approval of the Laconia Fire Chief. Specifications for dry hydrants and underground tanks are available from the Laconia Fire Department.
[Added 7-10-2006 by Ord. No. 01.2006.01; amended 3-12-2007 by Ord. No. 02.2007.02]
Any new dead-end roadway, street, or public way that is in excess of 1,000 feet in length measured to the furthest front lot line will require special fire protection measures in the form of automatic sprinkler systems. Any dwelling or building that is built on said lot located past the one-thousand-foot point that has a drive in excess of 200 feet will be required to have a complete automatic sprinkler system installed prior to occupancy. The length of private driveways shall be calculated by adding the length of the dead-end public road and the private driveway; if the combined length exceeds 1,000 feet, then a sprinkler system will be required in the building. For purposes of this section, connected dead-end streets that are contiguous to dead-end streets will be measured from the origination from the first dead-end street.
[Amended 7-14-1997 by Ord. No. 09.97.09; 4-11-2005 by Ord. No. 04.2005.04]
Whenever the City of Laconia shall provide emergency medical treatment or transportation, the person receiving such treatment or transportation shall pay the fees as established annually by the Lakes Region General Hospital/Laconia Fire Department partnership and approved by the Laconia City Council.