Town of Brookhaven, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
It is the intent of this chapter to prescribe regulations consistent with nationally recognized good practice for the safeguarding, to a reasonable degree, of life and property from the hazards of fire and explosion arising from the storage, handling and use of hazardous substances, materials and devices and from conditions hazardous to life or property in the use or occupancy of buildings or premises.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Fire Prevention Local Law of the Town of Brookhaven."
A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall apply equally to new and existing conditions, except that existing conditions not in strict compliance with the terms of this chapter shall be permitted to continue where the exceptions do not constitute a distinct hazard to life or property in the opinion of the Chief Fire Marshal.
B. 
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed as applying to the transportation of any article or thing shipped under the jurisdiction of and in compliance with the regulations prescribed by the Interstate Commence Commission, unless specifically stated, nor as applying to the military forces of the United States.
C. 
Whenever a provision of this chapter imposes or prescribes any greater requirement or higher standard on premises, buildings or structures, or on the use thereof, than is imposed or prescribed by any other law, ordinance, rule or regulation, the provision of this chapter shall govern.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall, for the purpose of this chapter, have the meanings indicated in this section.
APPROVED
Accepted by the Chief Fire Marshal as a result of his investigation and experience or by reason of test, listing or approval by Underwriters' Laboratories, Incorporated, the National Bureau of Standards, the American Gas Association Laboratories or other nationally recognized testing agencies.
ASSISTANT CHIEF FIRE MARSHAL
The Assistant Chief Fire Marshal of the Town of Brookhaven.
[Added 3-1-2005 by L.L. No. 8-2005, effective 3-4-2005]
CHIEF FIRE MARSHAL
The Chief Fire Marshal of the Town of Brookhaven.
DIVISION OF FIRE PREVENTION
The Division of Fire Prevention of the Town of Brookhaven.
INSTITUTIONAL OCCUPANCY
The occupancy or use of a building or structure or any portion thereof by persons harbored or detained to receive medical, charitable or other care or treatment or by persons involuntarily detained.
NFPA
The National Fire Protection Association, its standards and its codes.
OWNER
Includes his duly authorized agent or attorney, a mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, purchaser, devisee, fiduciary and any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property in question.
TOWN BOARD
The Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven.
[Amended 3-1-2005 by L.L. No. 8-2005, effective 3-4-2005]
A. 
A Division of Fire Prevention is hereby established, which shall be operated under the supervision of the Chief Fire Marshal. The head of the Division shall be known as the “Chief Fire Marshal.” The Chief Fire Marshal shall devote his full time to the duties of the Division of Fire Prevention. In the absence of the Chief Fire Marshal or at the direction of the Commissioner of Building and Fire Prevention, the Assistant Chief Fire Marshal shall have the full power, authority and responsibility to undertake and perform all acts and duties performed by the Chief Fire Marshal. There shall be appointed as many Fire Marshals as may be necessary to assist the Chief Fire Marshal or Assistant Chief Fire Marshal in his duties.
B. 
The Chief Fire Marshal and the Assistant Chief Fire Marshal shall be a resident of the Town of Brookhaven and shall be appointed pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Suffolk County Department of Civil Service and possess the minimum experience and qualifications as established by the Department of Civil Service.
A. 
A Fire Advisory Board is hereby established which shall consist of 10 members, all of whom shall be residents of the Town of Brookhaven and members of a recognized Fire Department or Board of Fire Commissioners. All members of the Fire Advisory Board shall be appointed by the Town Board for terms of three years. However, of said 10 members, three shall represent the Brookhaven Town Fire District Officer's Association, three shall represent the Brookhaven Town Fire Chief's Council, and three shall represent the Brookhaven Town Volunteer Firemen's Association. The appointment of the nine members representing said organizations shall be upon the recommendation of the respective organizations which they represent.
B. 
The Fire Advisory Board shall select from its own members a Chairman and a Vice Chairman and shall meet at least once every two months. Meetings shall be at the call of the Chairman or upon the request of four members of the Board. Five members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
C. 
The Fire Advisory Board shall study and review the operation of this chapter and all administration thereof by the Chief Fire Marshal and the Division of Fire Prevention for the purpose of formulating and recommending improvements and changes in this chapter. The Fire Advisory Board shall act as an advisory body to the Town of Brookhaven and the Chief Fire Marshal and the Division of Fire Prevention in connection with the carrying out of the provisions and purposes of this chapter.
[Amended 3-7-1995 by L.L. No. 8-1995, effective 3-10-1995]
The Chief Fire Marshal and any marshal of the Division of Fire Prevention may, at all reasonable hours, enter any building or premises, with the consent of the owner or occupant, or with a search warrant, for the purpose of making any inspection or investigation which, under the provisions of this chapter, he or they may deem necessary to be made.
A. 
It shall be the duty of the Chief Fire Marshal to inspect or cause to be inspected by the Division of Fire Prevention all buildings and premises, except the interiors of one-family dwellings, as often as may be necessary for the purpose of ascertaining and causing to be corrected any condition liable to cause fire or endanger life from fire or any violations of the provisions or intent of this chapter and of any other local law affecting the fire hazard.
B. 
The Chief Fire Marshal and the Division of Fire Prevention shall cooperate with the Board of Fire Commissioners and other fire district officers in making inspections within a fire district and inspect any buildings and premises within a fire district or protected area at the request of the Board of Fire Commissioners or of the Chief of the Fire Department which protects the area in which the buildings or premises are situated.
C. 
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed as in any way limiting or restricting the power of any Board of Fire Commissioners or of any Fire District officer to make inspections or investigations pursuant to law.
D. 
It shall be the duty of the Chief Fire Marshal to inspect or cause to be inspected by the Division of Fire Prevention all exterior areas adjacent to or adjoining any structure or building, except one-family dwellings, for the purpose of designating said areas or portions thereof as fire zones. Any areas so designated shall be plainly defined and marked as such in a manner prescribed by the Chief Fire Marshal.
E. 
It shall be the duty of the Division of Fire Prevention to investigate the origin, cause and circumstances of the following when said condition or occurrence is within the Town of Brookhaven:
(1) 
Every fire involving injury or loss of life.
(2) 
Every suspicious fire.
(3) 
Every fire which the Chief Fire Marshal determines worthy due to its size, speed or unusual conditions.
(4) 
Every hazardous condition or occurrence which might present a clear and present danger to the health, safety and welfare of the general public.
(5) 
Every fire or related condition or occurrence when requested by the local Fire Department, Fire District or other duly authorized agency.
F. 
It shall be the duty of the Chief Fire Marshal and the Division of Fire Prevention, upon request, to assist the local Fire Department, the local Fire District or any other duly authorized agency in the mitigation of any hazardous condition or occurrence which might present a clear and present danger to the health, safety and welfare of the general public when such event shall occur in the town provided, however, that any member of the Division of Fire Prevention may take appropriate action to protect the health, safety and welfare of any person, or to minimize damage to property in the event of an emergency. For purposes of this section, an emergency is defined as an unforeseen occurrence or condition that calls for immediate action.
[Amended 9-18-1997 by L.L. No. 14-1997, effective 9-22-1997; 9-1-1998 by L.L. No. 22-1998, effective 9-4-1998]
(1) 
The person or entity responsible for the spill, discharge or other release of any material that creates any hazardous condition or occurrence as described in § 30-8F above shall reimburse the Town for all expenses incurred by the Town for the mitigation and investigation of the hazardous condition or occurrence. This section shall not apply to accidental spills or releases of home heating oil, swimming pool treatments or similar materials within or on the premises of single-family dwellings, unless such spill or release was due to a negligent or intentional act.
G. 
It shall be the duty of the Division of Fire Prevention to assist any Fire Department, Fire District, municipality or any other duly authorized agency not within or part of the Town of Brookhaven, when assistance is requested by such Fire Department, Fire District, municipality or duly authorized agency, in the mitigation or investigation of the origin, cause and circumstances of any fire or hazardous condition or occurrence which might present a clear and present danger to the health, safety and welfare of the general public, regardless of the place of occurrence, provided that the Commissioner of Building and Fire Prevention or his designee shall first approve the renderings of such assistance.
[Amended 9-18-1997 by L.L. No. 14-1997, effective 9-22-1997; 3-1-2005 by L.L. No. 8-2005, effective 3-4-2005]
(1) 
The person or entity responsible for the spill, discharge or other release of any material that creates any hazardous condition or occurrence as described in § 30-8F above shall be responsible to reimburse the Town for all expenses incurred by the Town for the mitigation and investigation of the hazardous condition or occurrence. This section shall not apply to accidental spills or releases of home heating oil, swimming pool treatments or similar materials within or on the premises of single-family dwellings, unless such spill or release was due to a negligent or intentional act.
(2) 
It shall be the duty of the Fire Department, Fire District, municipality or other duly authorized agency not within or part of the Town of Brookhaven, to provide all necessary assistance in identifying the person or entity responsible for any spill, discharge or other release as described in § 30-8G(1) above and all reasonable assistance in obtaining reimbursement for the Town of Brookhaven therefrom.
H. 
It shall be the duty of the Division of Fire Prevention to enforce the applicable provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (commonly referred to as the "NYS Uniform Code") in addition to any other laws, rules, codes or regulations duly adopted by the Code of the Town of Brookhaven.
[Added 4-17-2001 by L.L. No. 12-2001, effective 4-20-2001]
Whenever the Division of Fire Prevention shall find in any building, vehicle or vessel or upon any premises dangerous or hazardous conditions or materials as follows, it shall order such dangerous conditions or materials to be removed or remedied in such manner as may be specified by the Chief Fire Marshal:
A. 
Dangerous or unlawful amounts of combustible or explosive or otherwise hazardous materials.
B. 
Hazardous conditions arising from defective or improperly installed equipment for handling or using combustible or explosive or otherwise hazardous materials.
C. 
Dangerous accumulations of rubbish, wastepaper, boxes, shavings or other highly flammable materials.
D. 
Accumulations of dust or waste material in air-conditioning or ventilating systems or of grease in kitchen or other exhaust ducts.
E. 
Obstructions 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.
F. 
Any building or other structure which, for want of repairs, lack of adequate exit facilities, automatic or other fire alarm apparatus or fire-extinguishing equipment or by reason of age or dilapidated condition or from any other cause, creates a hazardous condition.
G. 
Any violation of this Chapter 30 of the Code of the Town of Brookhaven.
A. 
The service of orders for the correction of violations of § 30-9 shall be made upon the owner, occupant or other person responsible for the conditions, either by delivering a copy of the same to such person 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 said premises. Whenever it may be necessary to serve such an order by affixing a copy thereof in a conspicuous place upon said premises, another copy thereof shall be mailed by certified mail with return receipt requested within 24 hours of posting to the person to whom it is directed at his last known address or place of residence.
B. 
If buildings or other premises are owned by one person and occupied by another under lease or otherwise, the orders issued in connection with the enforcing of this chapter shall apply to the occupant thereof, except where the rules or orders require the making of additions to or changes in the premises themselves such as would immediately become real estate and be the property of the owner of the premises; in such cases, the rules or orders shall affect the owner and not the occupant.
[Amended 10-5-1993 by L.L. No. 19-1993, effective 10-12-1993]
A. 
A permit shall constitute permission in writing to manufacture, maintain, store, handle or keep explosives, chemicals, flammable liquids and gases or other hazardous materials or to use, install or conduct processes or carry on operations involving or creating conditions which are or may be hazardous to life or property or to install equipment used in connection with such activities. Such permit shall not take the place of any other license required by law and shall not be transferable nor assignable. Each permit shall be limited to the purposes and materials set forth in the face thereof, and any change in use or occupancy of premises shall require a new permit.
B. 
Before any permit other than a household or commercial burning permit may be issued, the Division of Fire Prevention, with the consent of the owner or occupant, or with a search warrant, shall inspect and approve the receptacles, equipment, vehicles, buildings, premises or storage place to be used. In cases where the approval of any other governmental agency is required, no permit shall be issued until satisfactory evidence of such approval has been submitted by the applicant.
[Amended 3-7-1995 by L.L. No. 8-1995, effective 3-10-1995]
C. 
All applications for a permit required by this chapter, other than an application for the household or commercial burning permit, shall be made to the Chief Fire Marshal in such form and detail as he shall prescribe. Applications for permits shall be accompanied by such plans as required by the Chief Fire Marshal. An application for a household or commercial burning permit may be made to the Chief of the Fire Department in whose district the burning is to be conducted. A permit shall not be issued for a period longer than one year unless specifically stated by some other section of this code. A permit shall not be effective until such time as the applicant has corrected all violations which were observed at the time of inspection. The permit fee shall cover a period of one year from the date of initial inspection, unless specifically stated by some other section of this code.
[Amended 2-2-1993 by L.L. No. 4-1993, effective 2-12-1993]
D. 
Permits shall at all times be kept on the premises designated therein and shall at all times be subject to inspection by the Division of Fire Prevention and any officer of the Fire or Police Department.
E. 
One permit only shall be required by establishments dealing in or using two or more flammable, combustible or explosive materials to be kept in the establishment at any one time, but each of the materials shall be listed in the permit.
F. 
A copy of each permit, together with the application and plans upon which it is based, shall be delivered by the Chief Fire Marshal forthwith to the Chief of the Fire Department which protects the area in which the premises are situated.
G. 
The Chief Fire Marshal may revoke any permit or approval issued, and the Chief of the Fire Department may revoke a household or commercial burning permit issued by him, if any violation of this chapter is found upon inspection or in case there has been any false statement or misrepresentation as to a material fact in the application or plans on which the permit or approval was based.
H. 
No building or structure, except one-family dwellings, shall be erected or altered until the plans therefor have been approved, in writing, by the Chief Fire Marshal. Such written approval shall not be given where said construction or alteration would be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 3-6-1990 by L.L. No. 10-1990, effective 3-12-1990; 11-17-2016 by L.L. No. 24-2016, effective 12-5-2016]
The fees shall be established by Town Board resolution.
This chapter shall not be construed to subject the Town of Brookhaven, any Fire District or Fire Department therein or any officers or employees thereof to any civil or other liability for any damage to persons or property by reason of the inspection or reinspection authorized herein or failure to inspect or reinspect or the permit issued as herein provided or by reason of the approval or disapproval of any equipment authorized herein.
The Chief Fire Marshal shall have the power to modify any of the provisions of this chapter upon application, in writing, by the owner or lessee or his duly authorized agent when there are practical difficulties in the way of carrying out the strict letter of the chapter, provided that the spirit of the chapter shall be observed, public safety secured and substantial justice done. The particulars of such modification, when granted or allowed, and the decision of the Chief Fire Marshal thereon shall be entered upon the records of the Division of Fire Prevention, and a copy shall be furnished to the applicant.
Whenever the Chief Fire Marshal shall disapprove an application or refuse to grant a permit applied for or revoke a permit, or when it is claimed that the provisions of this chapter do not apply or that the true intent and meaning of this chapter has been misconstrued or wrongly interpreted, the applicant may appeal, in writing, from the decision of the Chief Fire Marshal to the Town Board within 10 days from the date of the decision appealed. The Town Board, after receipt of such notice of appeal, may, in its discretion, stay the effect of any order pending its decision. The decision of the Town Board shall be entered upon the records of the Division of Fire Prevention, and a copy shall be furnished to the applicant.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 30-16, Penalties for offenses, as amended, was repealed 1-16-2017 by L.L. No. 22-2017, effective 11-28-2017. See now Executive Law § 382, Subdivision (2).
If any article, section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, phrase, clause, word or portion of this chapter is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter.
No building or structure or part thereof erected or altered in accordance with § 30-11H shall be occupied for use until an inspection of the same has been conducted by the Division of Fire Prevention and an appropriate certificate of compliance issued.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by L.L. No. 45-2010, effective 12-7-2010; 3-1-2018 by L.L. No. 5-2018, effective 3-12-2018]
A. 
All persons, corporations or other entities owning improved commercial used, zoned or assessed properties in the Town of Brookhaven shall file a certificate of registration with the Chief Fire Marshal in accordance with regulations, as she/he shall prescribe.
B. 
A biennial fee, as established by Town Board resolution, is due and payable every January commencing in the year 2019. Penalties for failure are prescribed in § 30-16 herein.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 30-16, Penalties for offenses, as amended, was repealed 1-16-2017 by L.L. No. 22-2017, effective 11-28-2017. See now Executive Law § 382, Subdivision (2).