City of North Tonawanda, NY
Niagara County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of North Tonawanda: Art. I, 9-4-1956, amended in its entirety 1-4-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983; Art. II, 9-4-1984. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building Code — See Ch. 23.
Electrical Code — See Ch. 36.
Unsafe structures — See Ch. 94.
Zoning — See Ch. 103.
Fire mutual aid plan — See Appendix, Part II.
[Adopted 9-4-1956, amended in its entirety 1-4-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]

§ 41-1 General provisions.

A. 
The State Fire Prevention Code is adopted, accepted and made applicable within the City of North Tonawanda, in accordance with the provisions of § 392 of the Executive Law.
B. 
The North Tonawanda Fire Department, Bureau of Fire Prevention, is hereby designated to administer and enforce the State Fire Prevention Code within the City of North Tonawanda.
C. 
The Bureau of Fire Prevention may adopt rules and regulations for the administration and enforcement of the State Fire Prevention Code and shall publish all rules and regulations so adopted at least 30 days prior to the effective date thereof in a newspaper of general circulation within the city. Such rules and regulations shall not conflict with the State Fire Prevention Code, this local law or any other provision of law.

§ 41-2 Permits required.

A. 
Permits issued by the Bureau of Fire Prevention shall be required in the following cases:
(1) 
Acetylene generators. To operate an acetylene generator having a calcium carbide capacity exceeding five pounds.
(2) 
Automobile tire rebuilding plants. To operate an automobile tire rebuilding plant.
(3) 
Automobile wrecking yards. To operate an automobile wrecking yard.
(4) 
Bowling establishments. For bowling pin refinishing and bowling lane resurfacing operations involving the use and application of flammable or combustible liquids or materials.
(5) 
Cellulose nitrate motion-picture film. To store, keep or have on hand more than 25 pounds of cellulose nitrate motion-picture film.
(6) 
Cellulose nitrate plastics (pyroxylin).
(a) 
To store, keep or have on hand more than 25 pounds of cellulose nitrate plastics (pyroxylin).
(b) 
To manufacture articles of cellulose nitrate plastics (pyroxylin), which shall include the use of cellulose nitrate plastics (pyroxylin) in the manufacture or assembling of other articles.
(7) 
Combustible fibers. To store, handle or use combustible fibers in quantities in excess of 100 cubic feet, except agricultural products on a farm.
(8) 
Combustible materials. To store combustible materials, including but not limited to empty combustible packing cases, boxes, barrels or similar containers, rubber tires, baled cotton, rubber, cork or other similar materials in excess of 2,500 cubic feet gross volume on any premises.
(9) 
Compressed gases.
(a) 
To store, handle or use at normal temperatures and pressures more than:
[1] 
Two thousand cubic feet of flammable compressed gas; or
[2] 
Six thousand cubic feet of nonflammable compressed gas.
(b) 
To store, handle or use any quantity of liquefied natural or hydrogen gas.
(10) 
Cryogenics. To store, handle or use cryogenic fluids, except cryogenics used as a motor fuel and stored in motor vehicle tanks, as follows:
(a) 
Production, sale or storage of cryogenic fluids.
(b) 
Storage or use of flammable cryogenic fluids, cryogenic oxidizors or liquefied oxygen in excess of 10 gallons.
(11) 
Dry-cleaning plants. To use in excess of four gallons of solvents or cleaning agents classified as flammable or combustible.
(12) 
Dust-producing plants. To operate any grain elevator, flour, starch or feed mill, woodworking plant or plant pulverizing aluminum, coal, cocoa, plastics, magnesium, spices, sugar, sulfur or other materials producing explosive-potential dust.
(13) 
Explosive ammunition and blasting agents.
(a) 
To manufacture, possess, store, sell or otherwise dispose of explosives or blasting agents.
(b) 
To use explosives or blasting agents.
(c) 
To operate a terminal for handling explosives or blasting agents.
(14) 
Flammable and combustible liquids.
(a) 
To store, handle or use flammable liquids in excess of 6 1/2 gallons inside dwellings or in excess of 10 gallons inside any other building or other occupancy or in excess of 60 gallons outside of any building. This provision shall not apply to:
[1] 
Liquids in the fuel tank of a motor vehicle, aircraft, portable or stationary engine, boat or portable heating plant.
[2] 
Paints, oils, varnishes or similar flammable mixtures, when such liquids are stored for maintenance, painting or similar purposes.
(b) 
To store, handle or use combustible liquids in excess of 25 gallons inside a building or in excess of 60 gallons outside of a building. This provision shall not apply to fuel oil used in connection with oil-burning equipment.
(c) 
A permit shall be obtained for the initial installation of an oil burner and a fuel oil tank used in connection therewith. A permit shall be required for the replacement of a fuel oil tank connected to an oil burner.
(d) 
For processing, blending or refining of flammable or combustible liquids.
(15) 
Flammable finishing. For spraying, coating or dipping operations utilizing flammable or combustible liquids.
(16) 
Fruit-ripening process. To conduct a fruit-ripening process using ethylene gas.
(17) 
Fumigation and thermal insecticidal fogging. To conduct fumigation or thermal insecticidal fogging operations.
(18) 
Hazardous chemicals.
(a) 
To store, handle or use more than 55 gallons of corrosive liquids or more than 50 pounds of oxidizing materials or more than 10 pounds of organic peroxides or more than 50 pounds of nitromethane or 1,000 pounds or more of ammonium nitrate, ammonium nitrate fertilizers or fertilizer mixtures containing 60% or more ammonium or any amount of toxic material or poisonous gas.
(b) 
To store, handle or use any quantity of air-reactive, water-reactive or unstable materials.
(19) 
Junkyards. To operate a junkyard.
(20) 
Liquefied petroleum gas. For each installation of liquefied petroleum gas employing a container or an aggregate or interconnected containers of over 2,000 gallons' water capacity, and for each permanent installation, irrespective of size of containers, made of buildings in which 20 or more persons congregate for civic, political, educational, religious, social or recreational purposes. Installers shall maintain a record of all installations and replacement of portable cylinders and have it available for inspection.
(21) 
Lumberyards. To operate a lumberyard.
(22) 
Magnesium. For melting, casting, heat treating, machining or grinding of more than 10 pounds of magnesium per working day.
(23) 
Matches.
(a) 
To manufacture matches.
(b) 
To store matches in excess of 25 cases. [NOTE: One case equals one matchman's gross of 14,400 matches.]
(24) 
Organic coatings. To perform organic coating operations utilizing more than one gallon of organic coating on any working day.
(25) 
Outdoor fires. To kindle or maintain any outdoor fire with the exception of outdoor grills and fireplaces for the purpose of preparing food.
(26) 
Ovens and furnaces. To operate industrial processing ovens and furnances operating at approximately atmospheric pressures and temperatures not exceeding 1,400° F.) which are heated with oil or gas fuel or which during operation contain flammable vapors from the material in the oven or catalytic combustion system.
(27) 
Places of assembly. To maintain, operate or use a place of assembly.
(28) 
Service stations and repair garages. To operate a service station or repair garage.
(29) 
Welding and cutting. To operate a welding and cutting business. A record of all locations where welding or cutting operations are performed shall be maintained and kept available for inspection by the permit holder.
B. 
All permits shall be issued and bear the name and signature of the Chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention or his designee or assistant and shall be issued only upon payment of any required fees as prescribed in the schedule of fees adopted by the Bureau of Fire Prevention.
C. 
All permits shall specify the activity or operation for which the permit is issued, the address or location where the activity or operation is to be conducted, the name or address of the permittee, the permit number and date of issuance, and the period of permit validity.
D. 
Permits shall not be transferable, and any change in activity, operation, location, ownership or use shall require a new permit.
E. 
Permits shall continue until revoked or for a period of time designated at the time of issuance. An extension of the permit time period may be granted, provided that a satisfactory reason can be shown for failure to start or complete the activity authorized within the required time period.
F. 
Permits may be suspended or revoked when it is determined there is a violation of a condition under which the permit was issued or there has been misrepresentation or falsification of material facts in connection with the permit application or a condition of the permit.
G. 
Permits shall be available for examination on property or premises covered by the permit or shall be carried by the permit holder.

§ 41-3 Inspections.

A. 
The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall conduct periodic inspections for compliance with the provisions of the State Fire Prevention Code. Such inspections may be made at any reasonable time.
B. 
If entrance to make an inspection is refused or cannot be obtained, the Bureau of Fire Prevention may apply for a warrant to make an inspection to any court of competent jurisdiction.

§ 41-4 Violation orders.

A. 
A person owning, operating, occupying or maintaining property or premises within the scope of the State Fire Prevention Code or this local law shall comply with all the provisions of the State Fire Prevention Code, this local law and all orders, notices, rules, regulations or determinations issued in connection therewith.
B. 
Whenever the Bureau of Fire Prevention finds that there has been a violation of the State Fire Prevention Code, this local law or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this local law, a violation order shall be issued to the person or persons responsible.
C. 
Violation orders shall be in writing, shall identify the property or premises shall specify the violation and remedial action to be taken, shall provide a reasonable time limit for compliance and shall state the time within which an appeal may be taken.
D. 
Violation orders may be served by personal service; by mailing by registered or certified mail; or by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place on the premises and by mailing a copy thereof to the premises on the same day as posted, enclosed in a postpaid wrapper addressed to the person responsible.
E. 
In case the owner, lessor, occupant or the agent of any of them shall fail, neglect or refuse to remove, eliminate or abate the violation within the time specified in the violation order, a request to take appropriate legal action shall be made to the City Attorney.

§ 41-5 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Failure to comply with any provision of the State Fire Prevention Code (see § 385, Executive Law), this local law, rules or regulations adopted pursuant to this local law or a violation order shall be deemed a violation, and the violator shall be liable for a fine of up to $500 or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both; and each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
B. 
An action or proceeding in the name of the City of North Tonawanda may be commenced in any court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or restrain by injunction the violation of any provision of the State Fire Prevention Code, this local law, rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this local law or a violation order or to vacate the occupancy or building in the case of imminent danger to life or property. Such remedy shall be in addition to penalties otherwise prescribed by law.

§ 41-6 Records.

The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall keep official records of all permits, inspection reports, recommendations, complaints and violation orders.

§ 41-7 Removal of dangerous buildings and structures.

A. 
A building or structure or part thereof, which is an imminent danger to life and safety of the public as a result of a fire or explosion is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
B. 
Whenever the Bureau of Fire Prevention finds a building or structure or part thereof to be an imminent danger to life and safety of the public as a result of a fire or explosion, the Bureau of Fire Prevention may cause it to be demolished and removed or may cause work to be done in and about the building or structure as may be necessary to remove the danger.
C. 
The Bureau of Fire Prevention may require the occupants of any such building or structure or part thereof to vacate the premises forthwith. No person shall use or occupy such building or structure or part thereof until it is made safe. Except for the owner, no person shall enter premises which have been ordered vacated unless authorized to perform inspections, repairs or to demolish and remove such building or structure or part thereof.
D. 
All costs and expenses incurred by the City of North Tonawanda in connection with any work done to remove the danger or in connection with the demolition and removal of any such building or structure shall be assessed against the land on which such building or structure is located, and a bill for such expenses shall be presented to the owner of the property, or, if the owner cannot be ascertained, then such bill shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises. Such assessment shall be and constitute a lien upon such land. If the owner shall fail to pay for such expenses within 10 days after the bill is presented or posted, a legal action may be brought to collect such assessment or to foreclose such lien. As an alternative to the maintenance of any such action, the Bureau of Fire Prevention may file a certificate of the actual expenses incurred as aforesaid, together with a statement identifying the property in connection with which the expenses were incurred and the owner thereof, with the Assessor, who shall in the preparation of the next assessment roll assess such amount upon such property. Such amount shall be included in the levy against such property, shall constitute a lien and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time and under the same penalties as is provided by law for the collection and enforcement of real property taxes in the City of North Tonawanda.

§ 41-8 Review board.

A. 
A Board of Review is hereby established for the purpose of granting variances where enforcement of any provision or requirement of the State Fire Prevention Code results in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships. Any such variance shall be consistent with the spirit of the code and shall not be inconsistent with Subdivision 2 of § 391 of the Executive Law.
B. 
The Board of Review shall be composed of three persons, to be appointed by the Mayor. The term of each member shall be for three years or until his successor shall be appointed and qualifies. The terms of the members of the Board shall be staggered, and, upon initial appointment, the Mayor shall designate the initial term of each member. Subsequent appointments shall be for a full term, except that an appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for the remainder of the term of office. The Mayor shall appoint a Chairman, who shall preside at all meetings.
C. 
The Board of Review may adopt regulations governing its procedures and appropriate forms for efficient administration.

§ 41-9 Severability.

If any section of this local law shall be held unconstitutional, invalid or ineffective, in whole or part, such determination shall not be deemed to affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof.
[Added 9-4-84]

§ 41-10 General provisions.

A. 
Declaration of intent. The Common Council hereby finds and declares that smoke detectors, when properly installed and maintained, save lives and minimize property loss in case of fire. In consideration of the foregoing and in accordance with the Common Council's obligation to enact legislation to protect the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the City of North Tonawanda, this ordinance is enacted.
B. 
Responsibilities. It shall be the responsibility of every owner of an occupied dwelling unit in the City of North Tonawanda to comply with the requirements of this ordinance with respect to the installation of smoke detectors. It shall be the responsibility of every owner of an occupied dwelling unit in the City of North Tonawanda to assure that any smoke detector required by this ordinance is maintained in accordance with its provisions. The City of North Tonawanda shall not be liable for any damages incurred as a result of noncompliance with the terms of this ordinance.

§ 41-11 General requirements.

Every smoke detector required to be installed and maintained by this ordinance must be capable of detecting visible or invisible particles of combustion and providing a suitable audible alarm thereof. Every detector required to be installed and maintained by this ordinance must be installed and located so as to avoid dead-air space, be reasonably free from false alarms and provide visible indication that the alarm is energized.

§ 41-12 Smoke detectors required in new multiple dwellings.

A. 
In all multiple dwellings housing three or more apartments hereafter constructed in the City of North Tonawanda, at least one smoke detector of a type approved by the North Tonawanda Fire Department shall be installed in every dwelling unit. Such smoke detector shall be directly connected to the lighting circuit of the dwelling unit with no intervening wall switch. Cordconnected installations shall not be permitted. At least one smoke detector shall be installed to protect each sleeping area and must have an alarm which is clearly audible in adjoining sleeping spaces with intervening doors closed.
B. 
In all multiple dwellings, a smoke-detector system approved by the North Tonawanda Fire Department shall be installed in all public halls and stairways in a manner that the North Tonawanda Fire Department shall direct. This system shall be connected to an alarm which is clearly audible throughout the building.
C. 
The builder and/or owner of any new multiple dwelling in the City of North Tonawanda shall be responsible for the installation of the required smoke detectors and smoke-detector system prior to the occupation of the building. Every smoke detector and smoke-detector system required by this subsection shall be maintained in proper working condition at all times.

§ 41-13 Smoke detectors in existing multiple dwellings.

A. 
On or before January 1, 1985, at least one smoke detector of a type approved by the North Tonawanda Fire Department shall be installed in every dwelling unit in existing multiple dwellings. Said smoke detector may be wired directly to the power supply or operated by a self-monitored battery or connected to a plug-in outlet. However, in no event may any smoke detector required by this section be controlled by any switch other than the main power supply, and any plug-in outlet must be fitted with a plug restrainer device. At least one smoke detector shall be installed to protect each sleeping area and must have an alarm which is clearly audible in adjoining sleeping spaces with intervening doors closed.
B. 
On or before January 1, 1985, a smoke-detector system, approved by the North Tonawanda Fire Department, shall be installed in all public halls and stairways in every multiple dwelling. Such system shall be connected to an alarm which is clearly audible throughout the building, and shall be installed in a manner that the North Tonawanda Fire Department shall direct.
C. 
The owner of every multiple dwelling in the City of North Tonawanda shall be responsible for the installation of the required smoke detectors and smoke-detector alarm system. Said smoke detectors and alarm system shall at all times be maintained in proper working condition, and such maintenance shall be the responsibility of the owner.

§ 41-14 Smoke detectors required in new one- and two-family dwellings.

A. 
In all one- and two-family dwellings constructed after the effective date of this ordinance in the City of North Tonawanda, smoke detectors of a type approved by the North Tonawanda Fire Department shall be installed in every dwelling unit in conformance with the provision of this section. At least one smoke detector shall be installed to protect each sleeping area and must have an alarm which is clearly audible in adjoining sleeping spaces with the intervening doors closed. Such smoke detector shall be directly connected to the lighting circuit of the dwelling unit with no intervening wall switch.
B. 
At least one smoke detector shall be installed at the head of each stairway leading to an occupied area in such a manner as to assure that rising smoke is not obstructed in reaching the detector and that the detector intercepts rising smoke before it reaches the sleeping area. Such smoke detector shall be directly connected to the lighting circuit of the dwelling unit with no intervening wall switch.
C. 
The builder and/or owner of any new one- and two-family dwelling in the City of North Tonawanda shall be responsible for the installation of the required smoke detectors prior to the occupation of the building.

§ 41-15 Smoke detectors required in existing one- and two-family dwellings.

A. 
On or before January 1, 1985, smoke detectors of a type approved by the North Tonawanda Fire Department shall be installed in every dwelling unit in existing one- and two-family dwellings in conformance with the provisions of this section. At least one smoke detector shall be installed to protect each sleeping area and must have an alarm which is clearly audible in adjoining sleeping spaces with the intervening doors closed. Said smoke detector may be wired directly to the power supply or operated by a selfmonitored battery or connected to a plug-in outlet. However, in no event may any smoke detector required by this section be controlled by any switch other than the main power supply, and any plug-in outlet must be fitted with a plug-restrainer device.
B. 
On or before January 1, 1985, at least one smoke detector shall be installed at the head of each stairway leading to an occupied area in such a manner as to assure that rising smoke is not obstructed in reaching the detector and that the detector intercepts rising smoke before it reaches the sleeping area. Said smoke detector may be wired directly to the power supply or operated by a self-monitored battery or connected to a plug-in outlet. However, in no event may any smoke detector required by this section be controlled by any switch other than the main power supply, and any plug-in outlet must be fitted with a plug-restrainer device.
C. 
The owner of every existing one- and two-family dwelling in the City of North Tonawanda shall be responsible for the installation of the required smoke detectors. Said smoke detectors shall at all times be maintained in proper working condition, and such maintenance shall be the responsibility of the owner of said dwelling.

§ 41-16 Enforcement.

The provisions of this ordinance shall be enforced by the City of North Tonawanda Fire Department and the City of North Tonawanda Building Inspection Department.

§ 41-17 Penalties for offenses.

The penalty for a violation of this ordinance shall be a fine of up to $50 per day for each day in which a required smoke detector is not existing or not maintained in proper operating condition. Each and every day that said smoke detector remains inoperable shall be considered a separate violation of this ordinance and subject to the daily penalty.