[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Clifton Heights 3-15-1982 by Ord. No. 609 (Ch. 7, Part 1, of the 1988 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Borough of Clifton Heights Fire Code." This chapter adopts the Fire Prevention Code of the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA No. 1, and its incorporated standards and codes as published in the National Fire Codes of the National Fire Protection Association and listed in Annex A of the NFPA Fire Prevention Code, and being particularly the 1980 Edition thereof.
The same are hereby adopted and incorporated as fully as if set out at length herein. Not less than one copy of the adopted issue of the Fire Prevention Code of the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA No. 1, and the adopted standards and codes of the National Fire Codes shall be filed in the office of the Borough Secretary, and the provisions thereof shall be controlling within the limits of the Borough of Clifton Heights.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate this chapter, to permit or maintain such a violation, to refuse to obey any provision thereof, or to fail or refuse to comply with any such provision or regulation, except as variation may be allowed by the action of the Fire Marshal in writing. 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 Chief of the Clifton Heights Fire Department shall be responsible for the enforcement of the Borough Fire Code. The Fire Chief of the Clifton Heights Fire Department may detail such members of the Fire Department as inspectors as shall from time to time be necessary. To assist in the performance of the responsibilities and duties placed upon the Fire Chief of the Clifton Heights Fire Department, a Bureau of Fire Prevention in the Fire Department of the Borough of Clifton Heights is hereby created.
This Bureau shall operate under the supervision of the Fire Chief of the Clifton Heights Fire Department. The Chief of the Fire Department, with the approval of the Borough Council, shall designate a fire official of the Clifton Heights Fire Department as Fire Marshal. The Fire Marshal shall be the administrator of the Bureau of Fire Prevention. The Fire Marshal shall be responsible for the direct administration and enforcement of the Borough Fire Code as may be set forth by the Fire Chief of the Clifton Heights Fire Department. The Fire Marshal shall be appointed on the basis of examination or other method for determining his qualifications. The Chief of the Clifton Heights Fire Department may also designate such number of technical inspectors as shall from time to time be authorized by the Borough Council of the Borough of Clifton Heights. Such technical inspectors shall be selected through an examination to determine their fitness for the position.
It shall be the duty of the officers of the Bureau of Fire Prevention to enforce all laws and ordinances of the Borough of Clifton Heights, covering the following:
The prevention of fires;
The storage and use of explosives and flammables;
The installation and maintenance of automatic 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 Fire Chief of the Clifton Heights Fire Department may delegate any of his powers or duties under this chapter to the Fire Marshal.
It shall be the duty of the Fire Marshal of the Clifton Heights Fire Department to investigate and to recommend to the Borough of Clifton Heights such additional ordinances, or amendments to existing ordinances, as he may deem necessary for safeguarding life and property against fire.
The Fire Chief of the Clifton Heights Fire Department shall prepare instructions for the Fire Marshal and his assistants and forms for their use in the reports required by this chapter.
The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of every fire occurring in the Borough of Clifton Heights 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 investigations 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 five days after the occurrence of the same by the Fire Department officer in whose jurisdiction such a fire has occurred. Such report shall be such form as shall be prescribed by the Fire Marshal of the Clifton Heights Fire Department 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 this chapter, the Fire Marshal or his assistants 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 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.
Whenever any inspector, as defined above, shall find 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 materials especially liable to fire, and which are so situated as to endanger property, or shall find obstruction 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 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 the Borough Fire Code.
Any owner or occupant failing to comply with such order within a reasonable period after the service of the said 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 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 said 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 said person a copy of the said 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 daily from the reports made by the technical inspectors under the provisions of this chapter. All such records shall be public.
The Fire Marshal shall make an annual report of the activities of the Bureau of Fire Prevention and shall transmit this report to the Chief Executive Officer of the Borough of Clifton Heights through the Fire Chief of the Clifton Heights Fire Department. The report shall contain all proceedings under the Borough Fire Code, with such statistics as the Fire Chief may wish to include therein.
The Fire Chief of the Clifton Heights Fire Department or the Fire Marshal shall also recommend any amendments to the Borough Fire Code or this chapter which, in his judgment, shall be desirable.
The provisions of the Borough Fire Code shall apply equally to both public and private property, and it 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 Borough of Clifton Heights for the preservation and protection of the public health, peace, safety, and welfare, and all the provisions of the Borough Fire Code shall be liberally construed for that purpose.
[Amended 8-15-1988 by Ord. No. 682; 9-19-1988 by Ord. No. 681]
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of the Code hereby adopted; or shall fail to comply therewith; or shall violate or fail to comply with any order made thereunder; or shall build in violation of any details, statements, specifications, or plans submitted or approved thereunder; or shall operate not in accordance with the provisions of any certificate, permit or approval issued thereunder, and from which no appeal has been taken; or who shall fail 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 guilty of a summary offense punishable by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $1,000, plus costs, and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 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.
A Board of Appeals is hereby established consisting of three members and three alternate members who shall be appointed by the Fire Marshal by reason of education, experience and knowledge, and are deemed to be competent to sit in judgment on matters concerning the Borough Fire Code and its enforcement. The members shall serve a term of three years, except for the initial appointees, which shall serve as follows: one member and one alternate member for a term of one year; one member and one alternate member for a term of two years; and one member and one alternate member for a term of three years.
The following annex and appendixes of the Fire Prevention Code of the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA No. 1, are hereby included as a part of the Borough Fire Code: Annex A, Appendixes F, G, S, I and J.
[Amended 8-15-1988 by Ord. No. 682]
The following fees shall be established for the permits, certificates, approvals, and other functions performed under this code and shall be payable to the Borough of Clifton Heights. Such fees shall accompany each application for such permit, approval certificate or other fee-related code provision. The certificate of occupancy fee shall be as established from time to time by the Borough Council.