City of Watertown, WI
Jefferson/Dodge County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended by Ord. No. 07-37B; Ord. No. 08-07]
A. 
Outdoor burning prohibited. No person shall cause, allow or permit outdoor burning of refuse, garbage, plant life or other combustible material within the City, except as permitted under Subsection C.
B. 
Incinerators prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate and maintain or cause to be operated and maintained any incinerator within the City, except as permitted under Subsection C.
C. 
Exceptions.
(1) 
Outdoor burning in connection with the preparation of food.
(2) 
The burning of refuse in a properly designed, operated and maintained incinerator, duly licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to be effective for the purpose of air pollution control, or outdoor burning by the City of Watertown pursuant to a permit by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
(3) 
Small outdoor flames for welding, acetylene torches, safety flares, heating tar or similar applications.
(4) 
Any outdoor burning for which a person has obtained a permit from the Watertown Fire Department.
(5) 
A fire set for the purpose of training public or private firefighting personnel.
(6) 
A fire set or required by a public officer for the abatement of nuisances and which is necessary in carrying out public health functions.
D. 
Permit required.
(1) 
The Watertown Fire Department shall issue a permit for outdoor fires:
(a) 
When it can be shown by the applicant that such outdoor burning is necessary and not contrary to the interests of public health; or
(b) 
When the fire is a campfire or a fire used solely for recreational purposes or for ceremonial occasions.
(2) 
No permit shall be issued within one year of the date of a prior revocation of an outdoor fire permit previously obtained by the applicant.
(3) 
This permit shall expire on December 31 of the year issued.
(4) 
This permit does not allow for the installation of a heating source for any building.
(5) 
There shall be no annual permit fee.
E. 
Responsibility of permit holder. The permit holder shall have the following responsibilities:
(1) 
To adhere to all health and fire prevention codes.
(2) 
To have adult (18 years of age or older) supervisory personnel present at the site of the outdoor burning.
(3) 
To comply with the following conditions, which shall be set forth on the permit issued to the applicant:
(a) 
Any fire deemed to be a public health nuisance by the Fire Chief or his or her designee shall be extinguished.
(b) 
This permit shall apply to all manufactured burning rings, fireplaces, fire pits, chimneys or like devices.
(c) 
No manufactured device shall be placed on any combustible surface.
(d) 
The fire must be completely extinguished before the fire location may be left unsupervised.
(e) 
The fire shall be no larger than three feet in diameter, subject to the exceptions listed below.
(f) 
No flammable liquids shall be used to start or support the burning.
(g) 
Only virgin wood and charcoal fuel will be allowed to be burned. "Virgin wood" means wood and other wood products, such as bark, but not to include sawdust, which have had no chemical treatments or finishes applied.
(h) 
Under no circumstances shall plastics, trash, garbage, oils, hydrocarbon fuels, furniture, fabrics, leaves, yard waste, synthetic materials of any kind, pressure-treated wood or wood that has been finished with paints, varnishes, laminates or a similar finish be burned.
(i) 
The fire shall be located at least 10 feet from property lines and at least 20 feet from any building or structure. This does not apply to manufactured devices.
(j) 
A functional extinguishing aid must be present, such as a fire extinguisher, garden hose, etc.
(4) 
Exceptions. A bonfire exceeding the size restrictions set forth in Subsection E(3)(e) will be permitted for churches, organized schools, and civic organizations and only if application for site review has been made and approved by the Watertown Fire Department. Such bonfire shall be no more than 10 feet in diameter or 10 feet by 10 feet square and no more than six feet high and must comply with all other provisions of the permit.
F. 
Emergency provisions. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Fire Chief, in times of extreme dryness or drought, deficiency in the water supply or by reason of any other emergency, is authorized to prohibit the setting of any fires upon any lands within the City by providing published notice of the declared emergency and the scope of the declaration in the local newspaper on the date that the emergency is declared to begin and by providing published notice broadcast through local radio or cable television.
A. 
Hot ashes and other dangerous materials. No person shall deposit hot ashes or cinders or smoldering coals or greasy or oily substances liable to spontaneous ignition into any wood receptacle or place the same within 10 feet of any combustible materials, except in metal or other noncombustible receptacles. Such receptacles, unless resting on a noncombustible floor or on the ground outside the building, shall be placed on noncombustible stands and in every case must be kept at least two feet away from any combustible wall or partition.
B. 
Accumulations of waste materials. Accumulations of wastepaper, hay, grass, straw, weeds, litter or combustible or flammable waste or rubbish of any kind shall not be permitted to remain upon any roof or in any court, yard, vacant lot or open space. All weeds, grass, vines or other growth, when such endangers property, or is liable to be fired, shall be cut down and removed by the owner or occupant of the property it is on.
C. 
Handling readily combustible materials. No person making, using, storing or having in charge or under his control any shavings, excelsior, rubbish, sacks, bags, litter, hay, straw or combustible waste materials shall fail or neglect at the close of each day to cause all such materials which are not compactly baled and stacked in an orderly manner to be removed from the building or stored in suitable vaults or in metal or metal-lined covered receptacles or bins.
D. 
Storage of readily combustible materials.
(1) 
Storage in buildings shall be orderly, shall not be within two feet of the ceiling, and not so located as to endanger exit from the building. Storage in the open shall not be more than 20 feet in height, shall be so located, with respect to adjacent buildings, as not to constitute a hazard, and shall be compact and orderly.
(2) 
No combustible waste, rubbish or refuse shall be placed, kept or stored in any air, elevator or stair shaft, in closets or dark out-of-the-way places, around electric motors or machinery or against steam pipes, within 10 feet from any stove, boiler or furnace, or in any place where oils are used or stored.
(3) 
All roofs shall be kept free from sawdust, shavings and all other combustible waste and rubbish.
(4) 
Wastepaper shall be baled whenever sufficient for one or more bales, or shall be stored in an isolated building or in a metal or metal-lined room, vault or bin with a metal-lined door, or in a metal or metal-lined box with self-closing cover.
(5) 
Excelsior, hay, straw or other packing materials shall be stored as above provided, or destroyed.
(6) 
All combustible materials placed in alleys or areaways shall be in suitable containers.
(7) 
No hay or straw shall be kept or stored either loose or in stacks in the open, within a distance of 40 feet from any chimney or smokestack.
(8) 
Shavings or other combustible materials shall not be used for absorbing volatile liquids.
(9) 
Cloth or paper cuttings shall be cleaned up and removed from the building at the close of each day's work, or shall be stored in a metal or metal-lined box with cover or in a fireproof vault or room.
E. 
Flammable decorative materials. Flammable window draperies, curtains or other decorative materials shall not be hung in any building used for public assembly. Cotton batting, straw, dry vines, leaves, trees or other highly flammable materials shall not be used for decorative purposes in show windows or other parts of stores unless flameproofed; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be held to prohibit the display of saleable goods permitted and offered for sale. Electric light bulbs in stores shall not be decorated with paper or other combustible materials unless such materials shall first have been rendered flameproof. Flameproofing shall be done under the supervision of the Fire Department.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
A. 
No person shall take an open flame or light into any building, barn, vessel, boat or any place where highly flammable, combustible or explosive material is kept, unless such light or flame shall be well secured in a glass globe, wire mesh cage or similar approved device.
B. 
No heating or lighting apparatus or equipment capable of igniting flammable materials of the type stored or handled shall be used in the storage area of any warehouse storing rags, excelsior, hair or other highly flammable or combustible material; nor in the work area of any shop or factory used for the manufacture, repair or renovating of mattresses or bedding; nor in the work areas of any establishment used for the upholstering of furniture.
All chimneys, smokestacks or similar devices for conveying smoke or hot gases to the outer air and the stoves, furnaces, fire boxes or boilers to which they are connected shall be constructed and maintained in such a manner as not to create a fire hazard.
A. 
Every person desiring to use oxyacetylene torches on any premises and in or on any building shall first make application for permission to do so to the Fire Chief. The application for such permission shall set forth the location of the premises where the work is to be done and a description of the work to be done. Before such oxyacetylene torches are used, proper protection of surroundings shall be made by the use of asbestos blankets or other fire-resisting materials. Ashes or sand shall be used for the absorption of oil. A fire extinguisher, pails of water or small garden hose attached to water supply shall be conveniently located close to the cutting operation. Such other precautions shall be taken as may be ordered by the Fire Chief.
B. 
This section shall not apply to business or manufacturing establishments where such oxyacetylene torches are used in connection with regular business or manufacturing operations. They shall use the same precautions to prevent fires as required of persons who must obtain a permit.
Tanks used for storage of volatile liquids not in use for 30 days shall be safeguarded against possible explosion by a method or methods recommended by the Fire Chief.
A. 
No person shall by smoking or attempting to light or to smoke cigarettes, cigars, pipes or tobacco in any manner set fire to any bedding, furniture, curtains, drapes, household fittings or any part of any building whatsoever, and thereby endanger life or property.
B. 
Where conditions are such as to make smoking a hazard in any areas of warehouses, stores, industrial plants, institutions, places of assembly, and in open spaces where combustible materials are stored or handled, the Fire Chief is empowered and authorized to order the owner or occupant in writing to post "No Smoking" signs in each building, structure, room or place in which smoking shall be prohibited. The Fire Chief shall designate specific safe locations, if necessary, in any building, structure or place in which smoking may be permitted.
All doors and openings, external and internal, in all business buildings shall be kept free from goods of any kind, and means of access and free movement shall be provided for the convenient work of the Fire Department.
No person shall deface any of the fire alarm boxes, or appurtenances thereto, or interfere with, cut or damage any of the wires, any indicator, whistle blower, fire alarm box, switchboard, batteries or other equipment of the fire alarm system.
[Added by Ord. No. 88-89]
A. 
The Knox-Box® system. The Knox-Box® key system will be the only key system used by the Watertown Fire Department for gaining access to industrial, institutional and commercial buildings within the City of Watertown. As the system is installed within the City, the individual systems shall be keyed so only one key will be required for all systems within the City.
B. 
Building owners' responsibility. Upon the adoption of this section, it shall be the responsibility of building owners as follows:
(1) 
The building owner or a representative of the building owner shall obtain an authorization form from the Watertown Fire Department, Division of Fire Prevention, which form shall, when completed, provide the following information:
(a) 
A pre-fire plan of the building.
(b) 
The location of the point of entry and the location of the Knox-Box® or boxes.
(2) 
The form shall be submitted together with a check payable to the Knox-Box® Company for the acquisition of the unit or units.
(3) 
The Fire Chief or officer in charge of the Division of Fire Prevention shall review and approve the forms prior to their submission to the Knox-Box® Company. If the Fire Chief or officer in charge of the Division of Fire Prevention is of the opinion that the application needs to be amended, the building owner shall be notified.
[Amended 9-4-2018 by Ord. No. 18-8]
(4) 
Upon receipt of the Knox-Box®, the owner shall be responsible for the installation of the same in the designated location and, upon completion of installation, shall notify the Watertown Fire Department that it has been installed.
C. 
Buildings with fire alarm systems. All industrial, institutional and commercial buildings within the City of Watertown which have a monitored alarm system of any type shall install a Knox-Box® system within 60 days after the alarm system is installed (for new construction) or within 60 days from the adoption of this section (for existing systems).
D. 
New construction without an alarm system. For industrial, institutional or commercial buildings constructed after the adoption of this section, where access to or within the building is difficult because of secured openings or where immediate access is necessary for lifesaving or firefighting purposes, the Chief of the Watertown Fire Department may require a Knox-Box® system installed at accessible locations, approved by the Chief or the Captain in charge of the Division of Fire Prevention.
A. 
Definitions. The following terms, when used in this section, shall have the meanings given:
BULK OR STORAGE PLANT
A bulk or storage plant for the storage of gasoline, naphtha, benzol or other highly flammable products is defined as a storage plant, establishment or facilities with storage tanks or other receptacles or structures constituting a part of one plant with a total aggregate storage capacity, both above and below ground, of more than 3,300 gallons.
FILLING STATIONS
A filling station or retail gasoline or oil station is defined as a plant or establishment for the purpose of selling gasoline, naphtha, benzol or other similar products as are ordinarily handled and sold at filling stations, which plant or establishment has an aggregate storage capacity, including that above and below ground, not exceeding the amount permitted by the rules of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.
B. 
Permit required. Any existing bulk station or storage plant within the City shall not add to its present storage facilities unless, in each case, a permit is authorized by the Common Council on the recommendation of the Fire Chief. Such permit shall only be authorized when the Common Council and the Fire Chief shall be of the opinion that public safety will not be adversely affected by the erection of additional storage. This section shall not apply to the storage and handling of fuel oils.
C. 
Tanks to be diked. All tanks now existing or which may be erected hereafter shall be diked in accordance with the Flammable Liquids Code of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. All tanks shall be maintained and kept in good repair, and the Chief of the Fire Department shall make or cause to be made periodic inspections so as to determine whether or not such dikes are in good repair.
No person shall store or permit to be stored within this City any crude petroleum, benzine, benzol, gasoline, naphtha, ether or other like volatile combustibles or their compound except as hereinafter provided.
A. 
Any person may keep for family use in a building owned or controlled by him not to exceed two gallons of any of the liquids above-mentioned, in a closed, approved metal can painted vermillion red and plainly marked with the name of the oil. A quantity not exceeding one quart of any such liquid may be kept in a glass bottle, plainly labeled with the name of the liquid.
B. 
Any person using for mechanical purposes or dealing in gasoline or other volatile liquid may keep not to exceed five gallons of any such liquid in a closed, approved metal safety can painted vermillion red and plainly marked with the name of the liquid.
C. 
Any person owning, handling or storing automobiles or other machines using gasoline may keep not to exceed 25 gallons of gasoline in each machine, confined in a tank, free from leak, securely capped and protected by all necessary safety appliances.
D. 
All crude oil, benzine, benzol, gasoline, naphtha, ether and all other like volatile liquids or their compounds, except in kind, quantity and manner hereinbefore stated, shall be kept in storage tanks constructed of steel and coated on the outside with tar or other rust-resisting material, outside a building, buried underground to a depth of not less than two feet, and shall be handled only by some pumping system approved by the Fire Chief; or such liquid may be kept in tanks, free from leak, securely capped and protected by all necessary safety appliances, partly or wholly above ground, outside of and at least 20 feet distant from any building or adjoining property, provided that for every such installation a special permit shall be secured from the Chief of the Fire Department.
E. 
No gasoline or other combustible liquids shall be handled except in daylight or by incandescent electric light.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 16.21A, Fire lanes, which immediately followed this section, was repealed by Ord. No. 13-05.
[Added by Ord. No. 05-56]
A. 
Fire hydrants will be spaced no more than 300 feet apart.
B. 
Fire hydrants will not be placed closer than 40 feet to any building.
C. 
Buildings that are equipped with fire suppression systems, either a sprinkler or standpipe system, that require Fire Department support will provide at least two fire hydrants, one of which will be solely for the supply of the fire suppression system. The total number will be determined by the Fire Chief.
D. 
Fire hydrants installed for the supply of a Fire Department connection (FDC) will be located not less than 40 feet and no more than 100 feet from the FDC.
E. 
All streets that terminate in a cul-de-sac will have a fire hydrant installed at the end of the cul-de-sac.
A. 
State code adopted. The provisions of the Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter SPS 307, Explosives and Fireworks, are adopted by reference and made a part of this chapter.
B. 
Permit required. No person shall keep or store within the City any explosive other than gunpowder except pursuant to a permit issued by the Fire Chief. No explosives other than gunpowder shall be stored within the City except in a fireproof vault located at least 100 feet from any other building.
C. 
Place of storage to be disclosed. Any person who shall sell or store explosives shall disclose to the Fire Department, upon request, the place or places where stored. The Fire Chief or his agent shall inspect from time to time all places where explosives are kept or stored.