[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Braintree 12-7-2010 by Ord. No. 10-040 (former Ch. 8.08 of the Town Bylaws, which derived from prior code Ch. 67, adopted ATM 5-8-1989 by Art. 22). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Burglar alarm systems — See Ch. 8.100.
Present requirements relating to fire alarms and fire alarm systems are nonexistent, creating Town-wide problems with Fire Department personnel gaining access to buildings with such fire alarm systems to either reset them or shut off the alarm. The practice of carrying keys for all buildings with alarm systems is no longer practical due to the great numbers of systems. Forced entry is not reasonable unless there are visible signs of fire or other emergency. The need to regulate abuses is due to the numerous number of false alarms from private alarm systems and the growing increase of homeowners' or renters' alarm systems that are connected to the Fire Department's emergency telephones.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- ALARM ACTUATING
- Any device such as a smoke or heat detector, pull station or sprinkler flow switch that causes the alarm to sound.
- AUTOMATIC DEVICE
- A fire protection device that requires no manual operation during activation.
- A. The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or negligence of the user of an alarm system or his employees or agents; or
- B. Any signal or automatic dialing device transmitted to the Braintree Fire Department requesting, or requiring, or resulting in a response on the part of the Braintree Fire Department.
- FIRE ALARM CONTROL PANEL
- The electrical and electronic center of a system that detects alarm conditions, sounds signals, and provides power and supervisory features.
- FIRE ALARM SERVICE COMPANY
- A commercial firm that specializes primarily in the installation and service of fire alarm devices.
- FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- An assembly of equipment and devices, or a single device such as a solid state unit, which plugs directly into a 110 volt AC line, arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention to which the Fire Department is expected to respond. Also, any system which is designed to monitor temperature, smoke, humidity, or any other conditions directly related to the detection of fire or explosion hazards.
- FIRE WATCH
- A Braintree firefighter having knowledge of fire safety rules and regulations and having the ability and knowledge to properly sound an alarm, and one who tours the property being protected in the event of fire.
- MANUAL DEVICE
- A fire alarm pull station or other device that requires manual activation for operation.
- SERVICE INDIVIDUAL
- An individual having extensive knowledge in the repair and maintenance of fire alarm systems, such as an electrician who specialized in signaling systems.
- SIGNALING CIRCUIT
- The electrical circuit that connects and operates all fire alarm system horns, bells, or other devices.
- SINGLE STATION UNIT
- A self-contained fire protection device equipped with all features of a system within a small housing, such as a battery-operated smoke detector (i.e., detector, power supply and signal).
- STANDBY BATTERY
- An emergency power supply in case of loss of commercial power to the fire alarm panel.
- SUPERVISORY CIRCUIT
- Any alarm circuit that passes a small current through a device and detects a fault on that circuit, such as a ground open or short.
- TYPE I SYSTEM
- A total fire alarm system that includes detecting devices, annunciator, signals, power supply and control panel, that sounds the local signals at the structure being protected and trips a master fire alarm box connected to the Braintree Fire Department.
- TYPE II SYSTEM
- The same as Type I, except no direct connection to the Fire Department is required.
The Chief of the Fire Department shall be vested with the authority to inspect all buildings and premises for the purpose of eliminating fire or explosion hazards. If any building or premises contains a condition that, in the judgment of the Chief of the Fire Department, can be classed as fire or explosion hazards, he shall forthwith issue a written order for the elimination of such fire and explosion hazards as may exist.
All special fire alarm signal services which provide direct contact, including telephone, to the Braintree Fire Department shall be regulated by permit under the jurisdiction of the Fire Chief. The fee for such permit shall be $50.
Users of such special fire alarm signal services shall provide access to the Braintree Fire Department only via connections to telephone lines approved by the Fire Chief. In no case shall direct access be provided via the Fire Department emergency telephone numbers.
To regulate the use of Braintree Fire Department emergency telephone lines by unauthorized special fire alarm signal services or by homeowners/renters, the following provides a system of fines to reduce and control false alarms through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or negligence of the user of a fire alarm system which may occur over a twelve-month period:
Any residential building of six or more units, or any business or commercial property which has a fire alarm system or other fire protection system that transmits a signal through a private central station alarm company or directly to the Braintree Fire Department through the Fire Department alarm system, shall provide a secure key box installed in a location accessible to the Fire Department in case of emergency. This key box shall contain keys to fire alarm control panels and other keys necessary to operate or service fire protection systems. The key box shall be a type approved by the Chief of the Braintree Fire Department and shall be located and installed as approved by the Chief. Any building owner violating this section after receiving due notice by the Fire Department shall be subject to a fine of $50.
All fire alarm cables and fire alarm equipment installed in new subdivisions shall be placed underground.
Such installation is to be done at the expense of the developer and the work performed under the supervision of the Fire Chief who shall notify the Planning Board, in writing, upon satisfactory completion of such installation.
For inspections and related services not covered by statutory law, the following fees, based on a Department-certified inspection form, shall apply for those uses listed below:
Lumberyards: $50 per year.
Junk or salvage yards: $50 per year.
Theater inspection: $50 per year.
Inspection of commercial garages: $50 per year.
Gasoline stations: $50 per year.
Review of sprinkler and/or fire protection plans and specifications: $30 per hour.
On-site inspections/fire protection inspections:
Single-family: $25 as prescribed under MGL c. 148; reinspection or call-back visit: $25 each.
Multiple dwelling: $25; additional units: $10 each.
Commercial: $50 per zone of fire protection system.
Reinspection or call-back visit, multiple dwelling or commercial: $25 per zone of fire protection system.
Clinics/HMOs: $50 per licensing certificate of inspection.
Kindergartens: $50 per licensing certificate of inspection.
Private schools: $50 per licensing certificate of inspection.
Reinspection for licensed facilities or those requiring quarterly inspections: $50.
Underground storage tanks, removal or relocation. Any underground storage tank which has been used for keeping or storage of gasoline or hazardous chemicals, as prescribed by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, shall not be removed or relocated unless a permit has been obtained from the Chief of the Braintree Fire Department, i.e., a permit to remove or relocate an underground storage tank under the provisions of MGL c. 21O, § 1, and 527 CMR 9:00 and 502 CMR 3:00, as amended.
Permit fee: $200 (all steel, fiberglass UST and gasoline and heating fuel).
Fuel oil tank under 1,100 gallons removal permit: $25 (heating fuel No. 2 only).
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1.10, Adoption of Code).
General Laws Chapter 21E inquiry and record review: $25 per hour.
All other permits not addressed by statute: $25.
All buildings that are required to be equipped with Type I or Type II fire alarm systems as determined and described by the Massachusetts State Building Code Regulations, Massachusetts Fire Prevention Regulations or Town of Braintree ordinances shall have all fire alarm system devices tested no less than two times each calendar year by a qualified fire alarm service company. Lodging homes having 13 or more tenants shall be equipped with a Type I system. Lodging homes having 12 or fewer tenants shall be equipped with a Type II system. Devices to be tested are all alarms (automatic or manual), signaling, supervisory circuits, standby battery supplies and other system and single station units within the structure installed for the purpose of fire protection. The building owner shall be responsible for maintaining proper written records of the tests, indicating dates, time and signature of the qualified tester, and such records shall be available to be viewed by any public safety representative employed by the Town. The Chief of the Braintree Fire Department, his representative or the Braintree Assistant Superintendent of Fire Alarm Systems shall determine the qualifications of the fire alarm service organization or individual. The owner shall have written proof of a maintenance contract or agreement with a qualified fire alarm company, and such agreement or contract shall indicate that the service company is on twenty-four-hour call and will respond within 24 hours for maintenance or repair of the fire alarm system.
Should a fire alarm system require maintenance or repair, it is the responsibility of the owner or his representative that such system be repaired and placed back into service within 24 hours of the discovery of the fault by the owner, service company, or Braintree public safety official. Notification of such fault to the owner or his representative may be written or verbal.
Should the system provide protection for a structure where a life hazard exists, including, but not limited to, apartments (six units or more), hotels, motels, lodging houses, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, day-care centers or nurseries, it is the responsibility of the owner to have the system in proper operation within the twenty-four-hour period or, at his expense, provide a Braintree firefighter during the nighttime hours or when a life hazard exists. Those failing to comply shall be considered in violation of this chapter. The Chief of the Fire Department shall determine when a life hazard exists. When such condition exists, the Chief of the Fire Department or his representative shall determine when the fire watch will be removed.
Any owner to be found in violation of this chapter shall be fined the sum of no more than $300 per day for each day of violation until the fire alarm system is placed in service to the satisfaction of the Chief of the Fire Department or his representative. All residential structures of five units or fewer are exempted from the requirement to procure a formal maintenance contract. However, it is the responsibility of the owner of such structure to properly maintain and keep in good working order all fire protection and fire alarm devices.
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1.10, Adoption of Code).
The name and emergency telephone number of both the owner and the qualified service organization shall be posted in a conspicuous place, preferably on the fire alarm control panel.