Borough of Baldwin, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Baldwin 7-17-1972 by Ord. No. 422. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Collection of costs for services — See Ch. 11, Art. I.
Alarm systems — See Ch. 62.
Building construction — See Ch. 74.
Uniform construction code — See Ch. 83.
Open burning — See Ch. 81.
Hazardous materials — See Ch. 100.
Fire insurance claims — See Ch. 103, Art. I.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 131.

§ 89-1 Bureau of Fire Prevention established.

A Bureau of Fire Prevention of the Borough of Baldwin is hereby established, which shall be operated under the supervision of the Mayor of the Borough of Baldwin and of a committee of four, which committee shall be composed of the chiefs of each individual fire company presently existing in the Borough of Baldwin: Beck's Run Independent Fire Company, Baldwin No. 1 Independent Fire Company, Option Independent Fire Company and South Baldwin Independent Fire Company. The members of the committee shall serve without compensation, and no additional compensation shall be payable to the Mayor by reason of his participation in the Bureau.

§ 89-2 Compliance with regulations required; jurisdiction and duties of Bureau.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to violate any of the laws and ordinances of the Borough of Baldwin as set forth herein and hereafter, and it shall be the duty of the Bureau of Fire Prevention to enforce all laws and ordinances of the Borough of Baldwin pertaining to the following:
A. 
The prevention of fires.
B. 
The storage and use of explosives and flammables, and issuance of permits therefor. No commercial building or structure within the Borough of Baldwin may be maintained in such a manner as to permit the accumulation of wastepaper, boxes, shavings, straw, excelsior, packing materials or other easily ignitable, combustible materials which may cause or contribute to fires resulting in smoke and fumes; nor shall any commercial building or structure be maintained so as to permit the obstruction of passageways, halls, stairs, doors, windows, fire escapes or exits from the premises. It shall be unlawful, except as hereinafter provided, to store or keep any fuels, chemicals, explosives and other dangerous liquids or gases which may explode, causing combustion, or liquids or gases which may explode, causing combustion or suffocation of human beings or animals, without obtaining a permit from the Borough of Baldwin as provided in § 89-6 hereinafter.
C. 
The installation and maintenance of automatic and other fire alarm systems and fire-extinguishing equipment. Where a building or structure is used commercially or industrially or where such building or structure shall be used as a place of assembly, the same shall be so protected as to provide fire extinguishers, sprinkling systems, fire alarms and fire-detection systems conforming to rules and regulations which shall be adopted by the Bureau of Fire Prevention or the Borough of Baldwin.
D. 
Maintenance and regulation of fire escapes. The Bureau of Fire Prevention or the Borough Council shall from time to time hereafter adopt regulations regarding the means and adequacy of exit in case of fire from factories, schools, hotels, lodging houses, asylums, hospitals, nursing homes, churches, halls, theaters, amphitheaters and all other places in which numbers of persons work, live or congregate from time to time for any purpose. It shall be unlawful to build, construct, alter or set up any building or structures in such a manner as to be in violation of the regulations so adopted.
E. 
The investigation of the cause, origin and circumstances of fires. The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall have such powers and perform such duties as are set forth in this chapter and as may be conferred and imposed upon it from time to time. The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall investigate or cause to be investigated the cause, origin and circumstances of all fires that occur within the Borough of Baldwin in such a manner as is provided hereinafter.
F. 
The adoption of regulations relative to the cause and management of fires and the prevention thereof.

§ 89-3 Adoption of rules and regulations by Bureau.

The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall adopt regulations implementing the enforcement of this chapter and establishing standards regarding fire prevention, storage and use of explosives and flammables and any and all matters falling under the provisions of this chapter. Such regulations shall be submitted to the Borough Council from time to time for adoption by the said Borough Council either by reference to the same or by specific enactment by the Borough Council. Any such regulations so adopted shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this chapter or of any other ordinance of the Borough of Baldwin, and any such regulations so adopted may be expressly repealed by resolution by the Borough Council of the Borough of Baldwin. This chapter and any regulations adopted hereunder shall be filed in the office of the Mayor of the Borough of Baldwin, Beck's Run Independent Fire Company, Baldwin No. 1 Independent Fire Company, Option Independent Fire Company and South Baldwin Independent Fire Company, and copies of the same shall be made available to any interested party at the cost thereof.

§ 89-4 Preparation of instructions and forms.

The Mayor and the Committee of the Bureau of Fire Prevention shall prepare instructions and forms for use in reports required under provisions of this chapter.

§ 89-5 Investigation of fires.

The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of every fire occurring in the Borough of Baldwin by which property has been destroyed or damaged and, so far as possible, shall determine whether the fire is the result of carelessness or design. Such investigations shall begin immediately upon the occurrence of such a fire, and if it appears to be of suspicious origin, the Bureau of Fire Prevention shall notify the proper authorities designated by law to pursue the investigation of such matters and shall further cooperate with the authorities in the collection of evidence and in the prosecution of the case. Every fire shall be reported in writing within two days after the occurrence of the same in the individual fire company records. Such report shall contain a statement of all facts relating to the cause, origin and circumstances of such fire and the extent of the damage thereof. The Chief of each individual fire company shall submit an annual report of all fires that have been attended by such company during the calendar year.

§ 89-6 Keeping of hazardous substances.

A permit for the storing or keeping of any fuels, chemicals, explosives and other dangerous liquids or gases which may explode, causing combustion or suffocation of human beings or animals, as provided in § 89-2B hereof, shall be obtained by applying for the same with the Secretary of the Borough of Baldwin on application forms to be furnished for such purpose. The applications will then be referred to the Bureau of Fire Prevention, and in the event that the application is in order and complies with the requirements of this chapter and the regulations hereunder, such permit shall be granted within 10 days following the submission of the application.

§ 89-7 Inspections; removal or remedy of dangerous conditions.

A. 
The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall inspect, as often as may be necessary, all specially hazardous manufacturing processes, storage or installation of acetylene or other gases, chemicals, oils, explosives and flammable materials, all interior fire alarms and automatic sprinkler systems and such other hazards as the Bureau of Fire Prevention shall designate, and shall initiate such action as may be necessary for the enforcement of the laws and ordinances governing the same and for safeguarding of life and property from fire.
B. 
It shall be the duty of the Bureau of Fire Prevention to inspect, as often as may be necessary, all buildings, premises and public thoroughfares, except the interiors of private dwellings, for the purpose of ascertaining and causing to be corrected any conditions liable to cause fire or any violations of the provisions or intent of any ordinance of the Borough of Baldwin affecting fire hazards. Whenever it shall find in any building or upon any premises or other place combustible or explosive matter or dangerous accumulations of rubbish or unnecessary accumulation of wastepaper, boxes, shavings or any highly flammable materials especially liable to fire and which is so situated as to endanger property, or shall find obstructions to or on fire escapes, stairs, passageways, doors or windows liable to interfere with the operations of the fire companies or egress of occupants in case of fire, it shall order the same to be removed or remedied, and such order shall forthwith be complied with by the owner or occupant of such premises or buildings; any owner or occupant failing to comply with such order within a reasonable period after the service of the said order shall be liable to a penalty as hereinafter provided in § 89-12. The service of any such order may be made upon the occupant of the premises to whom it is directed, either by delivering a copy of same to such occupant personally or by delivering the same to and leaving it with any adult 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 the door to the entrance of said premises. Whenever it may be necessary to serve such an order upon the owner of premises, such order may be served whether by delivering to and leaving with the said person a copy of the said order or, if such owner is absent from the jurisdiction, by mailing such copy to the owner's last known post office address.
C. 
The Bureau of Fire Prevention, upon the complaint of any person or whenever it shall deem it necessary, shall inspect all buildings and premises within its jurisdiction. Whenever it shall find any building or other structure which for want of repairs, lack of or insufficient fire escapes, automatic or other fire alarm apparatus or fire-extinguishing equipment or by reason of age or dilapidated condition or from any other cause is especially liable to fire and which is so situated as to endanger other property of the occupants thereof, and whenever it shall find in any building combustible or explosive matter or flammable conditions dangerous to the safety of such building or the occupants thereof, it shall order such dangerous conditions or materials to be removed or remedied, and such order shall forthwith be complied with by the owner or occupant of such premises or buildings. Such owner or occupant may, within five days of the date of such order or within such lesser time as may be prescribed in such order by reason of the existence of some immediate danger or hazard, request the Mayor and/or a majority of the Committee of the Bureau of Fire Prevention to review such decision. Such requests shall be reviewed by the Mayor and/or a majority of the members of the Committee of the Bureau of Fire Prevention within not less than one nor more than 10 days thereafter, and a decision shall be filed thereon and, unless the order is revoked or modified, it shall remain in full force and be complied with within the time fixed in said order.
D. 
The Bureau of Fire Prevention, its agents, servants or employees may, at all reasonable hours, enter any commercial building or premises within its jurisdiction for the purpose of making any inspection or investigation which, under the provisions of this chapter, the Bureau of Fire Prevention may deem necessary to be made.

§ 89-8 Fire drills.

It shall be the duty of the Bureau of Fire Prevention to require teachers and administrators of public, private and parochial schools and educational institutions to have fire drills as required by the Pennsylvania School Law and to keep all doors and exits unlocked during school hours or other hours of assembly.

§ 89-9 Keeping of records.

The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall keep a record of all fires and of all the facts concerning the same, including statistics as to the extent of such fires and the damage caused thereby.

§ 89-10 Annual report.

An annual report shall be submitted by the Chief of each individual fire company to the Baldwin Borough Council. It shall contain all proceedings under this chapter, with such statistics as the Chief may wish to include therein. The Chief shall also recommend any amendments to this chapter which, in his judgment, shall be desirable.

§ 89-11 Fire lanes.

When a building or structure is used commercially or industrially, or where such building or structure is used as an apartment house, or any combination of buildings or structures comprising four or more units for family or individual residences, or where such building or structure shall be used as a place of assembly, the owners and/or developers and/or their rental agents, officers and employees or any other persons connected with such buildings in some managerial capacity shall provide, mark off and restrict certain parking area or areas used by vehicles so as to provide the highest possible public safety regarding the passage of fire vehicles, police cars and other vehicles used in fighting or preventing fires or other disaster, and the said owner and/or developers, rental agents, officers and employees or any other persons connected with such buildings in some managerial capacity shall restrict parking in those areas so designated and shall maintain such areas so designated so as to be clear of obstruction to the passage by any fire vehicles or police vehicles or other emergency vehicles.

§ 89-12 Violations and penalties; correction or removal by Borough.

A. 
Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter or neglecting to comply with any order issued pursuant to any section thereof shall be guilty of a summary offense and, upon conviction before a District Justice of the district in which the offense or offenses occurred, shall pay a fine of not more than $300 plus costs of prosecution or be imprisoned for not more than 30 days for each offense.
[Amended 12-19-1985 by Ord. No. 566]
B. 
Where any person shall refuse, after an order, to make such correction or removal, the Borough Council shall authorize the Bureau of Fire Prevention or any other person to remove same and charge the costs thereof to the owner or occupant, or both, and such costs may be liened where allowed by law and shall be collected as are other debts by the Borough Solicitor. The term "any person or persons, firm or corporation," as used herein, shall mean any individual person, responsible partner or partners of a partnership or responsible officers of any corporation.