City of Buffalo, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Derived from the Charter and Ordinances, 1974, of the City of Buffalo as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Boilers and engines; engineers — See Ch. 94.
Building construction and demolition; fire prevention — See Ch. 103.
Open burning — See Ch. 119.
Gasoline — See Ch. 219.
Hazardous materials and wastes — See Ch. 235.
Heating — See Ch. 238.
Licensing of fire hazard uses — See Ch. 263, Art. III.
Liquefied petroleum gas — See Ch. 266.
Oil and gas wells — See Ch. 302.
Zoning — See Ch. 511.
[Derived from Art. VI of Ch. XI of the Charter and Ordinances, 1974]
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
Except as otherwise specified, no person shall store, sell, handle, use or transport any flammable liquid in excess of the quantities set forth in this section without first obtaining a license from the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services. Licenses shall be renewed annually. A license shall be required to store, sell, handle, use or transport flammable liquids in excess of the following amounts, unless otherwise specifically required in this article for lesser amounts:
A. 
Total quantity of Class I liquid in excess of 10 gallons in any building or on any premises.
B. 
Total quantity of Class II liquid in excess of 10 gallons in any building or in excess of 25 gallons outside any building.
C. 
Total quantity of Class III liquid or a combined total of Class II and Class III liquid in excess of 25 gallons in any building or in excess of 55 gallons outside any building.
A. 
When quantities of flammable liquid in excess of those mentioned in § 186-1 are maintained for a period of less than 30 days, a license shall not be required if the materials mentioned are being used or stored for such purposes as decoration of a building, repairs or are in transit at such places as freight sheds. However, in such cases, all other requirements of this article shall apply.
B. 
Except where manufactured, distilled or packaged, a license shall not be required for the storage or handling of beverages and pharmaceuticals defined herein as "flammable liquids." An annual license shall not be required under this article for the storage of fuel oil where the storage and use of such liquid is for the purpose of supplying fuel oil burner equipment as otherwise regulated. However, a permit will be required for the storage facilities as provided for in § 186-3 of this article.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
Permits for the installation of aboveground, vaulted or underground tanks for the storage of flammable liquids or for the replacement of such tanks, where necessary, shall be obtained from the Department of Permit and Inspection Services.
A. 
Approval of application by Commissioner of Fire. Before any permit for the construction, alteration or installation of structures or equipment pertaining to the use, sale, storage, handling or transportation of flammable liquids is issued, the plans and specifications therefor shall be referred to the Commissioner of Fire, who shall note his approval or disapproval thereon concerning the compliance of such plans and specifications with this article.
B. 
Inspection of completed work. Before any installation intended for the use, sale or storage of flammable liquids is placed in service in the case of vaulted or aboveground tanks, and in the case of underground tanks is placed in service or covered from sight, notification shall be given to the Department of Permit and Inspection Services and the Department of Fire, which departments shall, within 48 hours after such notification, inspect the installation and give approval if the requirements of this article and other applicable ordinances have been complied with.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
A. 
Before any person engages in the City of Buffalo in the use, storage, handling, sale or distribution of flammable liquids as defined and not otherwise exempted in this article, he shall make application to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services for a license for such purpose, stating the location of the place where such business or use is to be carried on and the type of such business or use. The Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services may thereupon issue the proper license for any suitable premises to any suitable person, upon proper showing that the applicant is such suitable person and the premises are proper and conform to the requirements of this article to conduct said business or use and that said applicant has never been convicted of a violation of any of the terms of this article or any ordinance or law concerning fire prevention; and no person shall engage in said business or use unless he obtains a license as provided herein.
B. 
No license required under the provisions of this article shall be issued by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services until the Commissioner of Fire has determined, upon investigation, that the terms and intent of this article have been fully complied with. The Commissioner of Fire shall signify to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services his approval, in writing, of the application. Whenever an approval of such applicant cannot be granted, the Commissioner of Fire shall notify, in writing, the applicant and the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services of his disapproval and the reasons therefor.
A. 
The biennial license shall expire on December 31, unless sooner revoked by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services for cause after a hearing.
[Amended 5-22-1995, effective 6-2-1995; 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
B. 
A separate license shall be secured for each place of business or use operated by the licensee, and the fee for such license shall be as provided in Chapter 175, Fees.
Any person licensed under this article may refuse to deliver any gasoline, oil or other flammable liquid into any type of portable container for a person who, in the judgment of said licensee, is not of sufficient age or sufficiently responsible to understand the proper use of the product or when the licensee has determined that the intended use of the product is dangerous to life or property.
A. 
No wholesale bulk dealer, retail bulk dealer, manufacturer or wholesale package dealer shall knowingly deliver flammable liquids to any retail package dealer, retail bulk dealer, manufacturer, processing plant, service station, garage, dry-cleaner, hat cleaner-spotter or to the storage facilities of fuel oil consumers unless such recipient shall have a permit or license where required in this article.
B. 
For consumer fuel oil installations existing at the effective date of this article, a period of two years shall be given to accomplish the required delivery compliance herewith. A purchaser shall furnish to a seller the purchaser's current license number, authorizing the receipt of such flammable liquids.
All permits or licenses required under the provisions of this article shall be conspicuously displayed at the principal place of business of a licensee at all times.
A. 
It shall be unlawful in the City of Buffalo for any person to engage in the business of installing or contracting to install, alter or service any oil-fired heating equipment or storage facilities covered by this article, parts or accessories thereof or appurtenances thereto without first having obtained a license therefor from the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services as hereinafter provided.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
B. 
Applications for a license shall be made on forms furnished for such purpose by either the Bureau of Fire Prevention or the Department of Permit and Inspection Services. The application shall contain, in addition to other required information, the following:
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
(1) 
The name, age and address of the applicant.
(2) 
The qualifications of the applicant.
(3) 
If the applicant is a corporation:
(a) 
The full and accurate corporation name.
(b) 
When and where incorporated.
(c) 
The full names and addresses of the officers of the corporation.
(d) 
The name of the officer or regular employee who is to take the examination and his qualifications.
(4) 
If the applicant is a partnership, the names and addresses of members thereof and the name of the partner or regular employee who is to take the examination and his qualifications.
(5) 
If the applicant conducts business under a trade or assumed name:
(a) 
The complete and full trade name.
(b) 
The name of the person or persons doing business under such trade or assumed name.
(c) 
The name of the individual or regular employee who is to take the examination and his qualifications.
C. 
No license shall be issued to an applicant until he has submitted to an examination as hereinafter provided, or such applicant has a person in his regular employ who is actively in charge and who has submitted to such examination, provided that when a license has been issued to an applicant based on the qualifications of such regular employee and the active services of such employee with the applicant have been terminated, it shall be unlawful for the licensee to engage in any of the operations covered by this article until the licensee is again qualified in accordance with the provisions thereof.
D. 
The Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services may issue a license upon application as provided herein or refuse to issue said license upon proof that the applicant therefor is not fit or qualified or is not a suitable person to engage in such operation, provided that the Chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention and the Chief Examiner of Stationary Engineers shall make a thorough investigation of the training, experience, qualification, character and fitness of the applicant and/or the person to be examined and shall examine such applicant and/or person to determine his qualifications, fitness or suitability to take part in any of the operations of the business. Such examinations shall be written and oral and may also include practical demonstrations. After such examinations, said examiners shall forward their findings and recommendations to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services as to whether or not the applicant and/or person examined is fit or qualified or is a suitable person to take part in the operations of the business.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
E. 
There shall be two classes of licenses, as follows:
(1) 
Class A license: limited to the installation and servicing of oil-fired units and oil burners designed for use of Nos. 1, 2 and 3 distillates, as defined in the United States Department of Commerce Commercial Standard CS12-40, having a maximum fire rate of six gallons per hour, together with the necessary storage tanks, piping and appurtenances.
(2) 
Class B license: unlimited as to size or capacity of oil burner and designed for any grade of fuel oil, together with the necessary storage tanks, piping and appurtenances.
F. 
The Chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention and the Chief Examiner of Stationary Engineers are hereby authorized to adopt rules and regulations necessary to make effective the provisions of this article concerning said examinations. Licenses may be revoked or suspended by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services in accordance with the Charter of the City of Buffalo relative thereto. All licenses granted hereunder shall expire on the 31st day of the second December next following issuance and shall be renewed biennially. Failure to properly renew a license shall result in its termination.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
G. 
Fees for licensees for oil-fired heating equipment contractors shall be as provided in Chapter 175, Fees.
A. 
A license shall be required to engage in the installation, alteration or repair of aboveground or underground equipment, storage tanks, piping, valves and pumps for gasoline or other volatile flammable liquids having a flash point of 100° F. or less or diesel fuel oil used in the operation of motor vehicles.
B. 
Fees for such license shall be as provided in Chapter 175, Fees.
C. 
All licenses granted hereunder shall expire on the 31st day of the second December next following issuance and shall be renewed biennially. Failure to properly renew a license shall result in its termination. An application for a license to engage in the business of installing such equipment shall be in such form and detail as described in § 186-9 and shall contain such other appropriate information as the Chief may prescribe. No license shall be issued an applicant until he or his regular employee has submitted to a written and oral examination, in the manner provided in said § 186-9, as to his fitness and qualifications to install, alter or repair such equipment. Such license shall, upon certification of fitness of the Chief, be issued by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services to actual residents of the City of Buffalo or to persons maintaining a place of business and doing business in the City of Buffalo.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
(1) 
Installation, alteration and repair. It shall be unlawful for a person to install, alter or repair any storage facilities or equipment as defined in this section unless such person has secured from the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services the license herein required or is employed by and is working under the general supervision of a holder of such license.
(2) 
Any holder of a license under this section is hereby authorized to install any underground storage facilities and piping, but not to include fuel oil burners or their accessories such as are permitted under the license granted in § 186-9 of this article, unless the licensee is a holder of both types of license.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
A permit shall be obtained from the Department of Permit and Inspection Services and approved by the Department of Fire before any aboveground tank for the storage of flammable liquids is installed. Application for such permit shall be made in quadruplicate on forms furnished by the Department of Permit and Inspection Services and shall contain such information as is deemed necessary to assure the Department that the proposed installation is in compliance with this article. Three sets of plans shall be submitted for approval, drawn to a workable scale, and showing the location of the proposed tanks with respect to existing tanks, property and street lines; the location of all buildings and structures within 300 feet of the proposed tanks; the provisions for control of overflow, including construction details of dikes, if any; a section of the tank showing all openings in the tank and all valves, vents and fire-extinguishing systems; the location and specification-of all piping connected to the tanks; and such other pertinent information as may be required by the Department of Permit and Inspection Services and Department of Fire.
A. 
A written permit shall be obtained from the Department of Permit and Inspection Services before any underground tank or tank inside of a building for the storage of flammable liquids is installed. Application for such permit shall be made in quadruplicate on forms furnished by the Department of Permit and Inspection Services and shall contain such information as is deemed necessary by the Department of Permit and Inspection Services and the Department of Fire. The application shall state the size of the tank, the capacity in gallons, the kind of liquid to be stored and the nature of the use of the liquid.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
B. 
Plans and specifications, in triplicate, shall be furnished with each application, showing the location in the property, the location with respect to property lines and streets, the method of installation, the location of fill pipes and vents, as well as the necessary information on piping, appurtenances and equipment.
C. 
The requirements for plans and specifications shall not apply to the installation of fuel oil equipment installed in one- and two-family dwellings or to four tanks of not over 275 gallons' capacity, provided that not more than two tanks are connected to an individual fuel oil burner when located inside buildings. However, where plans are not required, the necessary installation information shall be made a part of the application.
D. 
The application shall meet with the requirements of this article and shall be approved by the Chief before a permit is issued.
A. 
Definitions and classification. For the purpose of this article, garages shall be classified as follows:
REPAIR GARAGES
Garages in which all forms of repair work, including painting, are done.
SERVICE GARAGES
Garages maintained in connection with service stations and in which the services rendered are such as minor repairs, adjustments and services incidental to the sale of petroleum products and automotive accessories.
STORAGE GARAGES
Garages of over 800 square feet in floor area in which motor vehicles are stored or housed only and in which no repair work or servicing, except washing and polishing, is done.
B. 
Permit.
(1) 
No person shall operate or maintain or permit the operation or maintenance of a garage, as above defined, on their premises unless a garage use permit has first been issued to the owner or operator of such garage by the Department of Permit and Inspection Services. A garage use permit shall not be required for a private storage garage of less than 800 square feet in area.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
(2) 
Buildings not in strict compliance with this article may be used for the temporary storage or display of motor vehicles if the tanks thereof are filled with nonflammable fluid or inert gas before being brought into the building. In such cases, a special temporary storage or display permit shall be obtained from the Chief. Proper licenses required under § 165-30 of Chapter 165 shall be renewed annually.
C. 
License required to conduct a garage as defined. Said license shall expire on December 31 after issuance and is renewable annually thereafter. The fee shall be as provided in Chapter 175, Fees.
A. 
Definitions. For the purpose of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings hereinafter set forth:
CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION
A permit, as defined in this article, or a certificate of registration issued by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles in conformance with the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, attesting that the tank vehicle has been inspected and approved as being constructed and equipped according to the regulations of said laws.
TANK, CARGO
Any tank having a liquid capacity in excess of 60 gallons, used for carrying flammable liquids and mounted permanently or otherwise upon a vehicle. The term "cargo tank" does not apply to any tank used solely for the purpose of supplying fuel for the propulsion of the vehicle upon which it is mounted.
TANK TRUCK, TANK TRAILER OR TANK SEMITRAILER
Any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, respectively, used for the transportation of flammable liquids and which, for such purpose, is provided with a tank or tanks mounted on the frame or chassis of such vehicle or when such tank or tanks are an integral part of such vehicle.
TANK VEHICLE
Any tank truck, tank trailer or tank semitrailer.
B. 
Permit. Every tank truck, tank trailer and tank semitrailer used for the distribution of flammable liquids within or from the City of Buffalo shall bear a certificate of inspection as above defined and obtain a permit as required in this article. A permit shall not be required for the transportation of flammable liquids in containers; except, however, that cans, barrels, drums or containers used to transport flammable liquids shall meet with the approval of the Chief. Every cargo vehicle required to have a certificate of inspection shall have such certificate renewed annually. Any certificate of inspection for a cargo vehicle shall become void for such vehicle in the event of an accident requiring repairs, and such vehicle shall be inspected for a new certificate of inspection before being placed in service as a flammable liquid carrier. Tank vehicles in compliance with and having a current certificate of registration issued under authority of the Vehicle and Traffic Law shall not require a City permit as described herein. Short hauling of flammable liquids across streets from one part of an industrial plant to another part of such plant shall be in a manner and in such vehicles and containers as are approved by the Chief, who is authorized to grant exemptions for such purpose to the particular requirements of this article, including permits.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Art. II of this chapter.
A. 
License required. A person who engages in the business of repairing, remodeling, welding or cutting tanks, storage tanks or cargo tanks which hold or have held flammable liquids or other volatile liquids that release potentially hazardous vapors at atmospheric pressure or an acid that reacts with metals to produce hydrogen or a nonvolatile oil or solid that, at ordinary temperatures, will not release potentially hazardous vapors but will release such vapors if its container is exposed to heat or a combustible solid of finely divided particles which may form an explosive dust cloud shall be licensed as provided in this article.
B. 
Application for license. A license granted under this article shall expire on the 31st day of December next following issuance and shall be renewed annually. Failure to properly renew such license shall result in its termination. An application for a license shall be in such form and detail as mentioned in § 186-9 and shall contain such other appropriate information as the Chief may prescribe.
C. 
Submission to examination. No license shall be issued to an applicant until he or his regular employee has submitted to a written and oral examination in the manner provided in said § 186-9 as to his fitness and qualifications to work upon or repair such equipment above described.
D. 
Issuance. Such license shall, upon certification of fitness of the applicant by the Chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention, be issued by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services to actual residents of the City of Buffalo or to persons maintaining a place of business and doing business in the City of Buffalo.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
E. 
Engaging in business without license unlawful. It shall be unlawful for any unlicensed person to engage in the business or perform the work described in this article unless such person has secured from the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services the license herein required or is employed by and is working under the general supervision of a holder of such license.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
F. 
Fees. The fees for the license herein shall be as provided in Chapter 175, Fees.
A. 
Licenses required; fees. A license shall be required for spraying or dipping operations utilizing on any working day more than two quarts of flammable or combustible liquids or storing in connection with the use thereof more than 10 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids, which shall be issued by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services, subject to the approval of the Bureau of Fire Prevention. Said license shall expire on December 31 after issuance and be renewable annually thereafter. The fee therefor shall be as provided in Chapter 175, Fees.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
B. 
Permit approval. Any permit by an authorizing agency of the City for installation, alteration or removal of any fire-protection equipment, including and not limited to fire alarm systems, exit signs, standpipes, fire pumps, automatic sprinkler systems and/or fire-detecting systems required by this code or any other City ordinance or state law, shall be approved by the Bureau of Fire Prevention prior to issuance.
[Derived from Art. XI of Ch. XII of the Charter and Ordinances, 1974]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also § 186-14 of this chapter.
For the purpose of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings hereinafter set forth:
TANK, CARGO
Any tank having a liquid capacity in excess of 60 gallons, used for carrying flammable liquids and mounted permanently or otherwise upon a vehicle. The term "cargo tank" does not apply to any tank used solely for the purpose of supplying fuel for the propulsion of the vehicle upon which it is mounted.
TANK TRUCK, TANK TRAILER OR TANK SEMITRAILER
Any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, respectively, used for the transportation of flammable liquids and which, for such purpose, is provided with a tank or tanks mounted on the frame or chassis of such vehicle or when such tank or tanks are an integral part of such vehicle.
TANK VEHICLE
Any tank truck, tank trailer or tank semitrailer.
A. 
Tank vehicles used for the distribution of flammable liquids with a flash point at or below 80° F. (Tagliabue open cup test) within or from the City of Buffalo shall be constructed, equipped and operated according to the requirements of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
B. 
Tank vehicles used for the distribution of flammable liquids with a flash point above 80° F. (Tagliabue open cut test) within or from the City of Buffalo shall be operated and maintained accordingly to the requirements of this article; and the owner shall furnish to the Department of Fire a statement of compliance, upon forms furnished by said Department, as to the instruction and equipment of such tank vehicle.
A. 
No tank vehicle, as herein defined, shall be used to deliver any flammable liquids directly from its cargo tank to the fuel tank of any motor-driven or operated vehicle, boat or apparatus using a flammable liquid as fuel; except, however, in the case of an emergency, a quantity sufficient to dispel the emergency may be delivered after proper notification has been given to the Department of Fire and permission has been obtained for such transfer of flammable liquids.
B. 
When deliveries of Class I or II liquids are made by tank vehicles, such deliveries shall be in accordance with the regulations and procedures of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
C. 
When underground tanks are filled with any class of flammable liquid by means of a tight-fill connection and through a pump, and the vent line from the tank is not readily visible from the point of pump control, means shall be provided to safeguard against overflow of the tank.
Manholes or dome covers shall be firmly held in a closed position during transportation. They shall be fitted with gaskets or otherwise made liquidtight.
Every cargo tank used for the sale and delivery of flammable liquids in the City of Buffalo shall be equipped with a suitable plate affixed to the cargo tank on which shall be recorded the number of the tank for identification purposes.
A. 
Containers for transportation of flammable liquids shall be of substantial construction or be substantially packed so they will not be readily broken or punctured in transportation or handling. Glass or earthenware containers over one quart capacity shall have a protective jacket of wood, metal or other suitable material.
B. 
Containers for flammable liquids being transported either full or empty shall be tightly closed to prevent the escape of liquid or vapor.
No container or containers holding in excess of five gallons total capacity of flammable liquid with a flash point below 100° F. shall be carried in vehicles of the passenger type nor in commercial vehicles if carrying passengers in the same portion of the vehicle as the flammable liquid container. Containers shall be removed from the interior of the passenger cars and from the cab or other enclosed portion of commercial vehicles during filling.
A. 
Containers for gasoline, benzene or naphtha shall be painted vermilion (bright red) and shall be plainly lettered or labeled with the word "gasoline," "benzene" or "naphtha."
B. 
Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent any shipment made in accordance with the Interstate Commerce Commission's regulations.
No person shall place Class III flammable liquid in a container which has previously contained Class I or II flammable liquid, unless such container has been thoroughly cleaned of such Class I or II liquid. If washing or some equally satisfactory method is not employed, the container should be flushed with sufficient Class III liquid to wash out any residue of Class I and II, and the container should then be completely filled with the Class III liquid.
Whenever any flammable liquid is escaping from a container, all practical means shall be taken to prevent such liquid from spreading over a wide area, from flowing into sewers and streams and from becoming ignited.
A. 
Methods of operation.
(1) 
Where the contents that have been held by tanks to be repaired is not known, complete information as to such previous contents shall be obtained from the user of the equipment or from a qualified chemist.
(2) 
All tanks shall be cleaned and made safe for operations by the safe practice regulations as published and established by the American Welding Society or other nationally recognized authorities and shall include one of the following applicable methods: general water treatment, hot chemical solution treatment, steam method or inert gas treatment. The tank or container shall be determined be safe for operation by sampling the vapors of air in the tank or container by the use of an approved combustible gas sampling indicator. After tests indicate the tank or container to be safe, all openings shall be closed for a period of 15 minutes, after which time another test shall be made and if the concentration of flammable vapor in the sample is not below the lower limit of flammability, the cleaning procedure shall be repeated.
B. 
Repairs or alterations.
(1) 
All permanently installed tanks, containers or equipment shall be certified to be safe for such operations to the Department of Fire by a qualified person before such work is started.
(2) 
Compressed gas cylinders requiring repairs by the hot method shall be done only by the regular manufacturer of the type of cylinder involved.
(3) 
Safety equipment shall include but not be limited to first-aid fire appliances, combustible gas samplers, nonferrous tools, mechanical ventilation, explosion vents in structures, gas masks, protective clothing and nonexplosive-type electrical equipment and shall be provided as required by the Chief and subject to written regulations of the Commissioner of Fire on file in his office and open to public inspection.
(4) 
The determination of the Chief as to the required safety devices for a particular establishment shall be subject to review by the Commissioner of Fire as to the reasonableness and necessity therefor.
C. 
Location of premises.
(1) 
Such operation shall be permitted only in the M-3 Heavy Industrial Use Zone, as described by Chapter 511, Zoning, and subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Fire concerning exposures to buildings in the vicinity, adjacent property, streets and proximity to populated areas.
(2) 
Buildings used for such purposes shall not be of frame or ordinary construction.