City of Rochester, NH
Strafford County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City of Rochester as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 16.
Building construction and property maintenance — See Ch. 40.
Nuisances — See Ch. 149.
[Adopted 6-6-1995 as Ch. 22 of the 1995 Code; amended 6-6-2006; 8-7-2018]
[Amended 3-5-2019]
Upon appointment, the Fire Chief shall within six months establish residence within the City's boundaries. The Fire Chief shall work under the direct supervision of the City Manager in accordance with the provisions of Section 18 of the Rochester City Charter. The Fire Chief shall manage the Fire Department and consult with and advise the City Manager on all matters pertaining to the equipment and control of the Fire Department. Subject to the approval of the City Manager, the Fire Chief shall make rules and regulations for the internal operation of the Fire Department as he/she deems necessary and shall keep the same posted in the fire station and other buildings of the Department.
The Assistant Chief shall be senior in rank to the Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal and in the absence of the Chief shall perform all the duties and have the powers of the Chief. In the absence of the Fire Chief and Assistant Fire Chief, the Fire Chief shall designate an Acting Chief who shall perform all the duties and accept all the responsibilities of the Fire Chief per RSA 154:5 and 154:7 until such time as the Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief returns and assumes his/her duties.
The Fire Chief or his/her designee shall be notified by dispatch whenever an apparatus responds to an incident outside of the City. The Chief shall notify the City Manager whenever practical and convenient when an apparatus is to be outside the City for extended periods or other circumstances determined by the Chief.
[Adopted 6-6-1995 as Ch. 23 of the 1995 Code]
The rules and regulations of the State Fire Marshal as they are now constituted and as they are from time to time amended are hereby adopted as and for the Fire Safety Rules and Regulations of the City of Rochester. The full text of such rules and regulations may be obtained by any person at the office of the Chief of the Fire Department of the City of Rochester.
The words "officer" and/or "local authorities" wherever used in the rules and regulations of the State Fire Marshal adopted in the foregoing section shall be deemed to refer to the Chief of the Rochester Fire Department.
[Amended 2-8-2000]
When installing one-hundred-twenty-volt hard-wired smoke detectors in any type occupancy, the smoke detector shall be wired to a lighting circuit.
No person shall kindle, light, or otherwise start an outdoor fire in the City of Rochester for any purpose whatsoever without first having obtained a written permit, without cost, from the Chief of the Rochester Fire Department. All such permits shall be in writing and in such form as the Chief of the Rochester Fire Department shall prescribe and shall set forth any conditions or restrictions which, in the opinion of the Fire Chief, shall be reasonably necessary and prudent to ensure the safe performance of permitted activities.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also § 149-1, Burning of refuse and garbage.
A. 
For purposes of rapid entry in cases of emergencies or required access to buildings after hours, any new construction on the following type occupancies occurring after the date of the adoption of this article will require a Knox-Box® to be installed on such premises:
(1) 
Assembly.
(2) 
Educational.
(3) 
Mercantile.
(4) 
Business.
(5) 
Industrial.
(6) 
Apartment complex.
B. 
The Fire Chief shall have authority to require any other type of building, not listed above, to install a Knox-Box® to meet rapid entry requirements, if in his/her discretion public safety considerations require such installation.
[Amended 1-2-2007]
The purpose of this system is to provide minimum standards to ensure a reasonable degree of reliability for emergency services communications from within certain buildings and structures within the City to and from emergency communications centers. It is the responsibility of the emergency service provider to get the signal to and from the building site.
A. 
Applicability. The provisions of this section shall apply to:
(1) 
New buildings greater than 50,000 square feet;
(2) 
Existing buildings over 50,000 square feet when modifications, alterations or repairs exceed 50% of the value of the existing building(s) and are made within any twelve-month period or the usable floor area is expanded or enlarged by more than 50%; and
(3) 
All sublevels, regardless of the occupancy, over 10,000 square feet.
B. 
Radio coverage.
(1) 
Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall erect, construct or modify any building or structure or any part thereof, or cause the same to be done, which fails to support adequate radio coverage for firefighters and police officers.
(2) 
The City's Fire Department, with consideration of the appropriate emergency services department, shall determine the frequency range or ranges that must be supported.
[Amended 3-5-2019]
(3) 
For the purposes of this section, adequate radio coverage shall constitute a successful communications test between the equipment in the building and the communications center for all appropriate emergency service providers for the building.
C. 
Inbound into the building.
(1) 
A minimum average in-building field strength of 2.25 microvolts (-100 dbm) for analog and five microvolts (-93 dbm) for digital systems throughout 85% of the area of each floor of the building when transmitted from the City's police dispatch center and the appropriate emergency service dispatch centers which are providing fire and emergency medical protection services to the building.
(2) 
If the field strength outside the building where the receive antenna system for the in-building system is located is less than -100 dbm for analog or -93 dbm for digital systems, then the minimum required in-building field strength shall equal the field strength being delivered to the receive antenna of the building.
(3) 
As used in this section, 85% coverage or reliability means the radio will transmit 85% of the time at the field strength and levels as defined in this section.
D. 
Outbound from the building.
(1) 
A minimum average signal strength of 112 microvolts (-6 dbm) for analog and five microvolts (+1 dbm) for digital systems as received by the City's police dispatch center and the appropriate emergency service dispatch centers which are providing fire and emergency medical protection services to the building.
(2) 
FCC authorization. If amplification is used in the system, all FCC authorizations must be obtained prior to use of the system. A copy of these authorizations shall be provided to the City's Fire Department.
E. 
Enhanced amplification systems.
(1) 
Where buildings and structures are required to provide amenities to achieve adequate signal strength, they shall be equipped with any of the following to achieve the required adequate radio coverage: radiating cable system(s), internal multiple antenna system(s) with an acceptable frequency range and an amplification system(s) as needed, voting receiver system(s) as needed, or any other City-approved system(s).
(2) 
If any part of the installed system or systems contains an electrically powered component, the system shall be capable of operation on an independent battery or generator system for a period of at least eight hours without external power input or maintenance. The battery system shall automatically charge in the presence of external power.
(3) 
Amplification equipment must have adequate environmental controls to meet the heating, ventilation, cooling and humidity requirements of the equipment that will be utilized to meet the requirements of this section. The area where the amplification equipment is located must be free of hazardous materials such as fuels, asbestos, etc. All communications equipment, including amplification systems, cable and antenna systems, shall be grounded with a single point ground system of five ohms or less. The ground system must include an internal tie point within three feet of the amplification equipment. System transient suppression for the telephone circuits, AC power, radio frequency (RF) cabling and grounding protection are required as needed.
[Amended 3-5-2019]
(4) 
The following information shall be provided to the Fire Department by the builder:
(a) 
A blueprint showing the location of the amplification equipment and associated antenna systems which includes a view showing building access to the equipment; and
(b) 
Schematic drawings of the electrical, backup power, antenna system and any other associated equipment relative to the amplification equipment, including panel locations and labeling.
F. 
Testing procedures; method to conducts tests. Tests shall be made using frequencies close to the frequencies used by the police and appropriate emergency services. If testing is done on the actual frequencies, then this testing must be coordinated within the City's Fire Department. All testing must be done on frequencies authorized by the FCC. A valid FCC license will be required if testing is done on frequencies different from the police, fire or emergency medical frequencies.
G. 
Measurements shall be made using the following guidelines:
(1) 
With a service monitor using a unity gain antenna on a small ground plane;
(2) 
Measurements shall be made with the antenna held in a vertical position at three to four feet above the floor;
(3) 
A calibrated service monitor (with a factory calibration dated within 24 months) may be used to do the test;
(4) 
The telecommunications unit representative for the City may also make simultaneous measurements to verify that the equipment is making accurate measurements. A variance of three db between the instruments will be allowed; and
(5) 
If measurements in one location are varying, then average measurements must be used.
(a) 
All testing shall be done in the presence of a Fire Department representative at no expense to the City or appropriate emergency services department.
(b) 
Signal strength, both inbound and outbound as defined above, shall be measured on each and every floor above and below ground, including stairwells, basements, penthouse facilities and parking areas of the structure. The structure shall be divided into fifty-foot grids and the measurements shall be taken at the center of each grid.
H. 
Annual tests. Annual tests will be conducted by the City's telecommunications unit or appropriate emergency services department. If communications appear to have degraded or if the tests fail to demonstrate adequate system performance, the owner of the building or structure is required to remedy the problem and restore the system in a manner consistent with the original approval criteria. The re-testing will be done at no expense to the City or the appropriate emergency services department as required in the original testing procedures.
I. 
Field testing. Police and fire personnel, after providing reasonable notice to the owner or his/her representative, shall have the right to enter onto the property to conduct field testing to be certain the required level of radio coverage is present. Certificates of occupancy may be denied for new and existing buildings for failure to comply with these requirements.
[Amended 3-7-2006; 3-3-2015; 3-5-2019]
The authority having jurisdiction for the administration and enforcement of this article shall be the Fire Chief of the City of Rochester.
A. 
The fee schedule under this article shall be as follows:
(1) 
Tank removal: twenty-five dollars ($25.).
(2) 
Blasting: twenty-five dollars ($25.).
(3) 
Incident report: five dollars ($5.)
(4) 
Fire Marshal's investigation report: twenty-five dollars ($25.).
(5) 
Photographs (fire scene): fifteen dollars ($15.).
(6) 
CD photos (fire scene): fifteen dollars ($15.).
(7) 
Fire alarm system plan review: one dollar ($1.) per device or fifty dollars ($50.) minimum.
(8) 
Sprinkler system plan review: one dollar ($1.) per device or fifty dollars ($50.) minimum.
(9) 
Commercial hood fire suppression: one dollar ($1.) per device or fifty dollars ($50.) minimum.
(10) 
Clean agent: one dollar ($1.) per device or fifty dollars ($50.) minimum.
(11) 
Initial inspection: free of charge.
(12) 
Reinspections (sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, commercial hood fire suppression, clean agent): fifty dollars ($50.) per person with one hundred dollars ($100.) minimum.
(13) 
Listed agent: twenty-five dollars ($25.) per year, per restriction.
(14) 
False alarm, fire alarm activation: one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175.) after two consecutive, per calendar year.
B. 
The fine for working without a permit or license is one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175.).
[Amended 6-6-2006]
All factories, hotels, tenement houses, public halls, schoolhouses and other buildings used as places of public resort in the City shall be provided with ample means of escape in case of a fire and adequate facilities for entrance and exits on all occasions, and be so erected as not to endanger the health and safety of persons who occupy them.
[Amended 6-6-2006]
Before construction on commercial buildings, a residential street or a private street with two or more duplexes or single-family dwellings may begin, Fire Department access roads shall be designed and maintained to support the imposed loads of fire apparatus and shall be provided with a surface suitable for all-weather driving capabilities.
[Amended 6-6-2006]
The Chief or his/her designee shall examine or cause to be examined, at regular intervals, all places where combustible material may be collected or deposited and cause the same to be removed by the tenants, occupants or owners of such place, at their expense, whenever, in the opinion of the Fire Chief, such removal is necessary for the security of the City against fires. A record of all such inspections shall be kept by the Chief or his/her designee.
[Amended 6-6-2006; 5-2-2017]
Any person, persons, firm, corporation or partnership who or which shall violate any provision of this article shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.) or not more than five hundred dollars ($500.). Each day that the violation continues to exist shall constitute a separate offense. The owner of record of any property upon which a violation of this article occurs shall be held strictly liable for any violation occurring on his/her or its property and shall be guilty of a violation in the same manner as stated above.
[Amended 3-6-2007]
In addition to sprinkler requirements for structures under the provisions of the applicable NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) code and/or any other applicable law or regulation, all newly constructed duplexes, triplexes and single-family dwelling unit combination structures that are attached to each other shall be sprinklered in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) code standards as contained in the New Hampshire State Fire Code.
[Added 3-4-2008; amended 11-9-2010; 4-2-2013]
A. 
In accordance with the provisions of RSA 160-C, it shall be illegal for any person, firm, partnership or corporation to offer for sale, expose for sale, sell at retail, purchase, possess, use, explode or display any permissible fireworks within the City of Rochester, except as specifically provided for in this section.
B. 
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DISPLAY
The use, explosion, activation, ignition, discharge, firing or any other activity which is intended to cause or which causes a firework to do what it was manufactured to do.
FIRE CHIEF
The Fire Chief of the City of Rochester or his/her designee.
PERMISSIBLE FIREWORKS
Those consumer firework devices defined as "permissible fireworks" in RSA 160-C, as the same currently exists or as, from time to time, hereinafter amended.
POLICE CHIEF
The Police Chief of the City of Rochester or his/her designee.
C. 
Permit required. No person shall use, discharge or explode any permissible fireworks without a permit issued by the City of Rochester.
[Added 2-14-2017]
(1) 
Any person wishing to obtain a permissible fireworks display permit shall apply to the Licensing Board at least 15 days prior to the display. The time frame may be waived at the discretion of the Police and Fire Chiefs.
[Amended 5-2-2017]
(2) 
The applicant shall provide the following information:
(a) 
Date of application.
(b) 
Name, address, and telephone number of applicant.
(c) 
Address of location where the display will be held.
(d) 
Diagram of the display location, showing the location of all nearby property lines, nearby buildings, public ways, nearby trees, electrical and telephone lines or other overhead obstructions, and the location of any nearby storage of flammable or combustible liquids or gases.
(e) 
Name of the owner of the property where the display will be held.
(f) 
Intended date and time of display, including a possible rain date.
(g) 
Written authorization of the property owner, if different from the applicant.
(h) 
Signature of the applicant.
(3) 
Permit fee. The fee for a permissible fireworks display shall be five dollars ($5.) per event. The fee shall be paid at the time of application and is nonrefundable.
(4) 
Site inspections.
(a) 
Prior to issuing a permit, the Police Chief or the Fire Chief may conduct an inspection of the display site to determine whether a permissible fireworks display can be held in a safe manner.
(b) 
If, in the opinion of the Licensing Board, the proposed site is not suitable for the safe display of permissible fireworks, the application for a permit shall be denied.
[Amended 5-2-2017]
D. 
Subject to and in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 160-C of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated it shall be lawful to possess and/or display permissible fireworks upon compliance with the following requirements:
(1) 
A person who is 21 years of age or older may display permissible fireworks on private property with the written consent of the owner or in the owner's presence, subject to the provisions of this section and RSA 160-C and any other applicable ordinance, regulation or statute.
(2) 
No display of permissible fireworks shall be permitted within the City except between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on the following holiday: Fourth of July (including the evening of July 3 beginning at 6:00 p.m., including from such time until 12:00 midnight on any rain date established for the annual City-wide fireworks display held at the Rochester Fairgrounds), after obtaining a permit.
[Amended 6-6-2013; 2-14-2017]
(3) 
The display of permissible fireworks shall be of such a character, and so located and conducted, that it shall not be hazardous to property or endanger any person. In accordance with the provisions of RSA 160-C, permissible fireworks shall not be permitted on public property and must be at least 50 feet from nearby buildings, nearby trees, electrical and telephone lines or other overhead obstructions, and the location of any nearby storage of flammable or combustible liquids or gases.
(4) 
No permissible fireworks may be used, discharged, exploded, or displayed during periods of very high or extreme fire danger as determined by the Fire Chief or the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands.
(5) 
Permissible fireworks may be used, discharged, exploded, or displayed in a manner such that any and all discharge debris shall remain within the property lines of the lot on which the display originates.
(6) 
Anyone using permissible fireworks shall be responsible for removing any debris accumulated due to the discharge of fireworks that fall onto the public way, public property, and any private property within 24 hours. Anyone failing to remove such debris shall be financially responsible for its cleanup.
[Amended 3-5-2019]
(7) 
Display of permissible fireworks shall be permitted on public property the evening of July 3 beginning at 6:00 p.m., including from such time until 12:00 midnight on any rain date established for the annual City-wide fireworks display held at the Rochester Fairgrounds, provided that such display shall be authorized in a duly issued block party application/permit from the City's Licensing Board covering the public property on which the display is to occur.
[Added 6-4-2013]
E. 
A violation of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided for in § 75-14 of this article.
F. 
This section shall be construed consistently with New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules Chapter Saf-C 2600, as made applicable by state statute and as adopted by reference in § 75-4 of this article, and is not meant to repeal any section thereof. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted so as to conflict with the provisions of Chapter 160-B or 160-C of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, as currently written, or as from time to time hereafter amended. If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this section is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such provision shall be deemed a separate, distinct, independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions thereof.
G. 
The Police Chief or Fire Chief may suspend the use of permissible fireworks for any of the following reasons:
(1) 
Unfavorable weather conditions, including but not limited to lightning storms or high wind conditions exceeding 20 miles per hour or higher.
(2) 
If any person under the age of 21 possesses, uses, discharges or explodes or used, discharged or exploded any permissible firework device.
(3) 
If any person who is using, discharging, exploding, or displaying the permissible fireworks appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
(4) 
If, in the opinion of the Police Chief or Fire Chief, the use, discharge, exploding, or display of permissible fireworks would create a threat to public safety.
H. 
The Police Chief and/or Fire Chief is authorized to seize, take, remove or cause to be removed, at the expense of the owner, all firework devices that are being discharged in violation of this section.
I. 
The City Manager, Mayor, and/or the City Council may declare a special event of cultural or civic significance and authorize the display of fireworks on the same terms as Subsection D(2) on particular days to celebrate those special events.
[Added 2-14-2017]
[Added 3-3-2015]
In accordance with NFPA 1:2009 1.13, or the applicable adopted section of the current code, the Rochester Fire Department enacts the Listed Agent Program. The Fire Chief or his/her designee shall promulgate administrative rules for the management of the Listed Agent Program.
[Added 3-3-2015]
The Fire Chief or his/her designee shall promulgate administrative rules for the management of the installation and maintenance of fire alarms.