City of Franklin, NH
Merrimack County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Franklin as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire Department — See Ch. 21.
Alarms — See Ch. 98.
Hazardous buildings — See Ch. 121.
Hazardous substances — See Ch. 181.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 233.
Inspections — See Ch. 326.
[Adopted 5-5-1986 as Title Four, Ch. III of the 1986 Code]
No person shall burn or cause to be burned any trash, lumber, leaves, straw or other combustible material in any street, alley or vacant lot without a permit from the Chief of the Fire Department, when such burning shall be approved by the Chief and under such safeguards as the Chief may direct.
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 1.00, Inspections, Section 2.00, Orders, Section 2.01, Service of Order, and Section 2.02, Compliance/Appeal, which immediately preceded this section, were deleted 9-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4.
Hot ashes and other dangerous materials, ashes, smoldering coals or embers, greasy or oily substances and other matter liable to spontaneous ignition shall not be deposited or allowed to remain within 20 feet of combustible materials or construction made up of combustible materials, except in metal or other noncombustible receptacles. Such receptacles shall be placed in noncombustible stands, unless resting on a noncombustible floor or on the ground outside the building, and shall be kept at least 10 feet away from any combustible wall or partition.
Fire lanes may be designated by the Chief of the Fire Department with the approval of the Fire Committee.
[Adopted 10-6-1997 by Ord. No. 97-6]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPROVED
Accepted by the Chief of the Fire Department as a result of investigation and experience or by reason of test, listing or approval by Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., the National Bureau of Standards, the American Gas Association Laboratories or other nationally recognized testing authorities.[1]
NFPA
The National Fire Protection Association. The designation "NFPA" with a number immediately following these initials shall refer to a code or standard published by such association with a corresponding designation.
PERSON
Includes a person, persons, firm, corporation or copartnership.
[1]
Editor’s Note: The definition of “BOCA,” which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 5-1-2017 by Ord. No. 04-17.
[Amended 2-16-2000; 8-2-2004 by Ord. No. 17-04; 5-1-2017 by Ord. No. 04-17]
The following codes and standards are hereby adopted by the City of Franklin, subject to the amendments listed below:
A. 
New Hampshire State Building Code, as amended (RSA 155-A).
B. 
New Hampshire State Fire Code, as amended (RSA 153:5; Saf-C6000).
It shall be the duty of the Fire Chief to maintain on file with the City Clerk's office all codes, rules, regulations, pamphlets and other related materials adopted by reference within this article.
The Fire Chief shall have the power to modify the specific application of any provision of the Fire Prevention Code, or other codes adopted herein, upon written application of the owner or lessee, or the owner's duly authorized agent, when there are practical difficulties in carrying out the strict letter of the codes, provided that the spirit of the code shall be observed, public safety secured and substantial justice done. The particulars of such modification, when granted or allowed, and the decision of the Fire Chief thereon shall be entered upon the records of the Department, and a signed copy shall be furnished to the applicant.
[Amended 9-14-1998 by Ord. No. 98-4; 5-4-2015 by Ord. No. 15-15]
A. 
Application for appeal. Any person directly affected by a decision of the Code Enforcement Officer or a notice or order issued under this code shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Appeals, provided that a written application for appeal is filed within 20 days after the day the decision, notice or order was served. An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of this code or the rules legally adopted thereunder have been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of this code do not fully apply, or the requirements of this code are adequately satisfied by other means.
B. 
Standard of review. The Board may overturn a decision of the Code Enforcement Officer only if one or more of the criteria stated above (incorrect interpretation, inapplicability of code or adequate alternative) are demonstrated by the applicant by a preponderance of the evidence and arguments. The Board shall specifically state in its decision which criteria supports that decision.
C. 
Membership of Board. The Board of Appeals shall consist of a minimum of four members who are qualified by experience and training to pass on matters generally relating to construction, and/or the proper application of building, property maintenance or fire codes and who are not employees of the jurisdiction. The Code Enforcement Officer shall be an ex officio member but shall have no vote on any matter before the Board. The Board shall be appointed by the City Council and shall serve staggered and overlapping terms.
(1) 
Alternate members. The City Council may appoint two alternate members who shall be called by the Board Chair to hear appeals during the absence or disqualification of a member. Alternate members shall possess the qualifications required for Board membership.
(2) 
Chair. The Board shall select one of its members to serve as Chair.
(3) 
Disqualification of member. A member shall not hear an appeal in which that member has a personal, professional or financial interest.
(4) 
Secretary. The City Manager will designate a qualified person to serve as secretary to the Board. The secretary shall file a record of all proceedings in the office of the City Manager.
D. 
Notice of meeting. The Board shall meet upon notice from the Chair, within 20 days of the filing of an appeal, or at stated periodic meetings.
E. 
Open hearing. All hearings before the Board shall be open to the public. The appellant, the appellant's representative, the Code Enforcement Officer and any person whose interests are affected shall be given an opportunity to be heard. A quorum shall consist of not less than two members of the Board.
(1) 
Procedure. The Board shall adopt and make available to the public through the secretary procedures under which a hearing will be conducted. The procedures shall not require compliance with strict rules of evidence but shall mandate that only relevant information be received.
F. 
Postponed hearing. When the full Board is not present to hear an appeal, either the appellant or the appellant's representative shall have the right to request a postponement of the hearing.
G. 
Board decision. The Board shall modify or reverse the decision of the Code Enforcement Officer only by a concurring vote of a majority of the total number of appointed Board members.
(1) 
Records and copies. The decision of the Board shall be recorded. Copies shall be furnished to the appellant and to the Code Enforcement Officer.
(2) 
The Code Enforcement Office shall take immediate action in accordance with the decision of the Board.
H. 
Court review. Any person, whether or not a pervious party of the appeal, shall have the right to apply to the appropriate court for a writ of certiorari to correct errors of law. Application for review shall be made in the manner and time required by law following the filing of the decision in the office of the City Manager.
Nothing in this article, or the codes and standards hereby adopted, shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding pending in any court, or any rights acquired or liability incurred, or any cause or causes of action acquired or existing under any act or ordinance hereby repealed, nor shall any just or legal right or remedy of any nature be lost, impaired or affected by the implementation of this article. In the event that any section, paragraph, sentence or word of this article or of the codes and standards hereby adopted shall be declared for any reason to be invalid, the remainder of said code or standard shall continue in full force and effect.
A. 
The Fire Chief or his or her authorized representative shall have the right to inspect all premises, except owner-occupied detached single- or two-family structures used exclusively for dwelling purposes. These inspections shall be made in accordance with the systematic inspection program and as often as may be necessary for the purpose of ascertaining and causing to be corrected any conditions liable to cause fire, contribute to the spread of fire, interfere with fire operations or endanger life or any conditions constituting violations of the provisions or intent of this article. Except in the case of systematic inspection programs or other good cause, inspections shall not include occupied dwelling units.
B. 
Whenever necessary to make an inspection to enforce any of the provisions of this code, or whenever the Fire Chief or his or her authorized representative has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in any or upon any premises any condition which makes such building or premises unsafe, the Fire Chief or his or her representative may enter such premises at all reasonable times to inspect the same, provided that if such premises shall be occupied, he or she shall first present proper credentials and demand entry, and if such premises shall be unoccupied, he or she shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other persons having charge or control of the premises and demand entry. No owner or occupant or any other persons having charge, care or control of any premises shall fail or neglect, after proper request is made as herein provided, to promptly permit entry therein by the Fire Chief or his or her authorized representative for the purpose of inspection and examination pursuant to this article. If the owner or occupant denies entry, the Fire Chief or his or her authorized representative shall obtain a proper warrant or other remedy provided by law to secure entry.
It shall be the duty of the Fire Chief or his or her designee to inspect, or cause to be inspected by other appropriate municipal officials, all buildings and premises as often as may be necessary 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 the codes and standards herein adopted, as well as any other ordinance affecting fire hazards, and to ensure compliance in all places of assembly with all laws, regulations and orders dealing with overcrowding, use of decorative materials, maintenance of exitways and maintenance of fire alarm and fire-detecting systems and appliances.
It shall be the duty of the Chief of the Fire Department to conduct, or cause to be conducted, a continuing program of education in fire prevention among the citizens of Franklin, including cooperation with private or public organized groups devoted to fire prevention activities.
Whenever any of the officers, members or inspectors of the Fire Department, as mentioned in § 166-10 above, shall find in any building or upon any premises dangerous or hazardous conditions as follows, he, she or they shall order that such dangerous or hazardous conditions be removed or remedied in such manner as may be specified by the Chief of the Fire Department. Such dangerous or hazardous conditions include:
A. 
Dangerous or unlawful amounts of combustible or explosive materials.
B. 
Hazardous conditions arising from defective or improperly installed equipment for handling or using combustible or explosive materials.
C. 
Dangerous accumulations of rubbish, wastepaper, boxes, shavings or other highly flammable materials.
D. 
Accumulations of dust or waste material in air-conditioning systems or of grease in kitchen 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 sufficient fire escapes or other fire alarm apparatus or fire-extinguishing equipment or by reason of age or dilapidated condition, or from any other cause, creates a fire hazard.
A. 
A building or structure that may be or shall be found upon inspection to have become dangerous or unsafe shall, unless it is made safe and is so certified by the inspector, be taken down and removed.
B. 
The term "dangerous or unsafe building" shall include buildings structurally unsafe or unstable; inadequately provided with exit facilities; constituting a fire hazard because of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence or abandonment; or otherwise dangerous to life or property.
C. 
A building or structure declared dangerous or unsafe by duly constituted municipal authority may be restored to safe condition. If, however, the damage or cost of reconstruction or restoration is in excess of 75% of the fair market value of the building or structure and its land, such building or structure shall be made to conform with respect to materials and type of construction to the requirements for buildings and structures hereafter erected. No change of use or occupancy shall be compelled by reason of such reconstruction or restoration.
A. 
Whenever the code official determines that there has been a violation of this code or has grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, notice shall be given to the owner or the person or persons responsible therefor in the manner prescribed.
B. 
Such notice shall be deemed to be properly served if a copy thereof is delivered to the owner personally or sent by certified or registered mail addressed to the owner at the last known address with return receipt requested. If the certified or registered letter is returned showing that the letter was not delivered, a copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in or about the structure affected by such notice. Service of such notice in the foregoing manner upon the owner's agent or upon the person responsible for the structure shall constitute service of notice upon the owner.
A. 
Permits required by the provisions of this code shall be obtained in writing from the Chief of the Fire Department. Permits shall be for such period as the Chief of the Fire Department may specify. They shall be kept on the premises designated therein and shall be subject to inspection by any officer of the Fire or Police Department.
B. 
Before permits are issued, the Chief of the Fire Department shall make or cause to be made such inspections or tests as are necessary to assure that the provisions of this code are complied with.
Any person who shall tamper with or in any way damage or reduce the effectiveness of any smoke detector as defined by the code and mandated by the same shall be guilty of a violation of this article and shall be fined not more than $100. Such person shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each and every day that said smoke detector is rendered ineffective or reduced in effectiveness due to his or her actions and shall be punishable therefor as provided above.