[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Chelmsford 5-6-1991 by Art. 27. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following chapter is intended to provide the Fire Department with authority to monitor and enforce fire safety and prevention measures within the Town of Chelmsford.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any notification made to the Fire Department that a situation exists or may exist that requires a response.
- FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- A combination of compatible initiating devices, control panels and indicating appliances designed and installed to provide an alarm signal in the event of a fire.
- Any building wherein is kept or stored one or more motor vehicles, including but not limited to a public or private garage, carport, motor vehicle repair shop or paint shop, service station, lubritorium or any building used for similar purposes.
- MASTER BOX
- A municipal fire alarm box that may also be operated by remote means.
- MULTIPLE DWELLING
- Any dwelling that contains three or more living quarters, including but not limited to hotels, motels, dormitories, apartments, condominiums, lodging houses, boardinghouses and care facilities.
- SERVICE STATION
- Any building or premises wherein or upon which gasoline or other motor fuel is sold at retail.
- The distance from a public or private way to the front of a given building. A parking lot shall not be considered a public or private way for purposes of this chapter.
- STREET BOX
- A municipal fire alarm box that is operated manually.
- UNINTENTIONAL FIRE ALARM
- An alarm caused by any of the following:
The Board of Selectmen or its designee may determine and designate numbers for all buildings abutting upon or adjacent to public and private ways.
No person shall neglect or refuse to affix on any building owned by him or her the street number designated for him or her by said Board or its designee, nor shall any person affix or suffer to remain on any building owned or occupied by him or her a street number other than the one designated by said Board or its designee.
All numbers shall comply with the following schedule:
Street numbers shall be affixed in locations approved by the Fire Chief or his or her designee, and where possible the following locations shall be mandatory:
If a setback is less than 200 feet, the number shall be placed near the front or main door of the building, provided that the door is visible from a public or private way.
If a setback is greater than 200 feet or if the main or front door is not visible from the public or private way, the street numbers must be affixed to a sign posted near the driveway or entrance to the property in such a manner so that the sign is visible year-round.
If several occupancies share a single address, each doorway shall be numbered with a street number and unit number. The unit number shall include all units served by the marked doorway. The street numbers shall comply with the schedule outlined in Subsection C, and in all cases the unit numbers shall be two inches or higher.
Street numbers shall be a color that contrasts with the background upon which they are mounted. If a signboard is used for a background it shall be a minimum of one square foot per digit. Street numbers may be attached to a curbside delivery mailbox, provided that the mailbox is located adjacent to the delivery driveway that accesses the property. The numbers shall be three inches high on both sides of the mailbox.
[Amended 10-21-1999 ATM by Art. 37]
An owner of a multiple dwelling who does not reside therein and who does not employ a manager or agent for such dwelling who resides therein shall post and maintain or cause to be posted or maintained on such dwelling, adjacent to the mailboxes for such dwelling or on the exterior of such dwelling in a location visible to the public, a notice, not less than 20 square inches in size, bearing his or her name, address and telephone number or the name, address and telephone number of such manager or agent.
The owner of said multiple dwelling shall submit annually before January 31 the address of the dwelling, the name of the dwelling, if any, the name of the trust, association or organization, if any, which manages or owns the dwelling and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all owners and managers. Such information shall be provided in a form approved by the Fire Department.
Any owner of property applying for a tie-in to the municipal fire alarm system shall first obtain a permit, on a form provided by the Fire Department, prior to the installation of a master box or street box as those terms are defined in § 42-2. The fee for each tie-in permit shall be set pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 22F.
[Amended 10-17-2005 ATM by Art. 18]
Any violation of this section shall be punishable by a fine of $100 for each offense. Each day that any violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 4-29-2013 ATM by Art. 28]
The installation of all required or nonrequired fire protection systems, fire alarm systems, the master box or any other transmitting device, including modifications, alterations, additions or deletions to an existing fire protection system, the master box or other transmitting device, shall be governed by the provisions of MGL c. 148, the then current edition of the State Building Code pursuant to 780 CMR, including, without limitation, 780 CMR 9.00 et seq., entitled "Fire Protection and Life Systems," the reference standards cited at 780 CMR 35.00 et seq., the Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention Regulations cited at 527 CMR 24.00 et seq., entitled "Fire Warning Systems Installed in Buildings Within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," and the appropriate sections of the then current editions of the following National Fire Protection Association ("NFPA") Standards: NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code; NFPA 1221, Standards for the Installation, Maintenance and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems; NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, and all reference documents contained within said codes and any related rules and regulations of the Town of Chelmsford Fire Department. All such fire alarm systems shall be supervised in accordance with the then current provisions of 780 CMR 907.14.
All new and existing buildings with sprinkler systems shall be connected to the municipal fire alarm system via a master box connection or shall use such fire alarm system which is supervised utilizing any of the methods prescribed by 780 CMR 907.14 which is obtained by contract with a private alarm company of the building owner's choice for the purchase, lease, installation, maintenance and servicing of such supervised fire alarm system at such buildings.
As of the effective date of this bylaw, any property owner and/or building owner must first obtain a permit, on a form provided by the Fire Department, prior to installation of any fire alarm system or equipment designed to summon the Fire Department, including the master box or other transmitting device. The issuance of permits shall be in compliance with MGL c. 148, § 10A. An application for any permits shall also be accompanied by the following information:
The name, address and telephone number of the alarm user who will be the permit holder and be responsible for the proper maintenance and operation of the fire alarm system and the payment of fees assessed under this bylaw.
Signed certification from the alarm user and the user's designated alarm business charged with selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving, installing or monitoring a fire alarm system at a building or property, stating:
The date of installation, conversion or takeover of the fire alarm system, whichever is applicable;
The name, address, phone number, Massachusetts Alarm Installation license number and the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety registration number of the alarm business performing the fire alarm system installation, conversion or fire alarm system takeover and responsible for providing repair service to the fire alarm system;
The name, address and phone number of the alarm business monitoring the alarm system if different from the installing alarm business;
That a set of written operating instructions for the fire alarm system, including written guidelines on how to avoid unintentional fire alarms, has been provided to the alarm user by the alarm business; and
That the alarm business has trained the alarm user in proper use of the fire alarm system, including instruction on to avoid unintentional fire alarms;
That the application shall contain the name, address and telephone number of at least two other persons who are authorized to respond to a signal transmitted by the fire alarm system within 20 minutes under normal weather conditions and who are authorized to gain access to the premises on which the fire alarm system is installed;
Any other information that enhances the efficiency of administering this bylaw.
The fire alarm system owner or user, or the alarm company contracting for the servicing of the fire alarm system, shall be responsible for the care and maintenance of the fire alarm system, the master box or other transmitting device as required under this Chapter 42.
The Fire Department will endeavor to insure the proper operation of its alarm receiving equipment but accepts no liability for conditions which prevent proper reception of signals from the fire alarm system owner's or user's premises. Further, the Town of Chelmsford and its departments, officers, agents and employees shall be under no obligation whatsoever concerning the adequacy, operation or maintenance of any supervised fire alarm system or alarm system monitoring facilities of private contractors or within the Fire Department.
Whenever a fire alarm system or equipment is to be disconnected, removed or altered, the owner or user shall notify the Fire Department in accordance with the requirements of MGL c. 148, §§ 10A, 27A, and 28.
No fire alarm system designed to transmit emergency messages or signals directly to the Fire Department or through a dispatch center for the Fire Department shall be worked on, tested or demonstrated without first obtaining permission from the Fire Chief or his/her designee in accordance with MGL c. 148, § 27A. An alarm transmitted when such work is being performed without said permission will constitute an unintentional fire alarm and shall be subject to the fines assessment detailed in § 42-7.
Any violations of this section shall be punishable by a fine of $200 for each offense. Each day that any violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
The owner of any building which has a fire alarm system shall only be allowed three unintentional fire alarms, as that term is defined in § 42-2, per calendar year.
After the third unintentional fire alarm the owner shall be fined $50 and shall be fined $100 for each additional offense thereafter. Each day that any violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Editor's Note: Original Sec. 8, Operation of service stations, garages used for commercial purposes, self-service stations including convenience stores, and Sec. 9, Tanks and containers, which immediately followed this subsection, were deleted 10-21-1999 ATM by Art. 37.
The Fire Chief may make such rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter as may be necessary to promulgate a comprehensive fire safety code.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Fire Chief or his or her designee, and the Fire Chief shall, in addition to any other remedy available, have full power to initiate noncriminal disposition proceedings as set forth in Chapter 1, General Provisions, § 1-2 of the Code of the Town of Chelmsford.
Except for those sections specifying a greater penalty, any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of $50. Each day any violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
It is hereby declared that the provisions of this chapter are severable, and if any provisions of this chapter shall be declared unlawful by a valid judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect any of the remaining provisions of this chapter.
Editor's Note: Original Sec. 13, Transportation of flammable liquids by a cargo tank, which immediately followed this section and was added 10-29-1992 ATM by Art. 14, was deleted 10-21-1999 ATM by Art. 37.
[Added 10-29-1992 ATM by Art. 14]
Permit for open burning.
A permit must be obtained through the Fire Department prior to any open burning. Controlled fires for the sole purpose of cooking are exempt.
The permit holder must follow the guidelines set forth in 310 CMR, Department of Environmental Protection, which includes but is not exclusive to the following:
Burning between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. only. Please note: Fire must be completely extinguished by 4:00 p.m.
Burning must be at least 75 feet from all dwellings.
Burning (with a permit) of the following is allowed: brush, cane and forestry debris from other than commercial or industrial land-clearing operations.
Burning of the following materials is prohibited: brush, trees, cane and driftwood from commercial and/or institutional land-clearing operations, grass, hay, leaves, stumps and tires.
Stacking, placing or storing combustible materials such that a prudent person would presume that it will be burned is prohibited.
Permit holder must attend the fire until completely extinguished and shall have available a water supply, such as pressurized water, pump can or a garden-type hose of sufficient length to reach the fire area. The fire must be completely extinguished before leaving it unattended.
Violations. Any person who violates this section will be warned by a written notice by the Fire Chief or his or her representative. A second violation within any twelve-month period shall be punishable by a fine of no more than $100 for each offense. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Severability. It is hereby declared that the provisions of this section are severable, and if any provisions of this section shall be declared unlawful by a valid judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect any of the remaining provisions of this section.