[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of East Manchester 12-8-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-04. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as "The East Manchester Township Fire Prevention and Safety Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to:
Guard against the occurrence of fire;
Protect the property and lives of the citizens, property owners, emergency responders, and those employed within the Township against damage and accident resulting from fires;
Govern conditions hazardous to life and property from fire or explosion; and
Provide for proper utilities, accessories and access required by the Fire Department to aid in fighting fires.
The Codes Enforcement Officer shall be responsible for enforcing compliance with this chapter. All subdivision and/or land development plans shall be submitted to the Fire Chief for review, upon the recommendation of the Township staff, Township Planning Commission, and/or Township Board of Supervisors. The Township Codes Enforcement Officer shall consult with the Fire Chief prior to issuing any occupancy permit to ensure that all required fire-related improvements have been made and the provisions of this chapter have been complied with.
This chapter shall not be construed to relieve or lessen the responsibility or liability of any party owning, controlling or installing any building material, devices or equipment for damages to persons or property caused by the defect therein; nor shall the Township or the Fire Department, or any of their officers, agents, or employees be held as assuming responsibility for any damages to persons or property by reason of the enforcement or lack of enforcement of any of the provisions of this chapter.
All commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings within the designated "Growth Boundary" of the Township shall be located not more than 300 feet from a public fire hydrant by direct public or private access.
All residential buildings within the designated "Growth Boundary" shall be located not more than 500 feet from a public fire hydrant by direct public or private road access.
Supplemental fire hydrants serving all buildings and use types shall be provided in a ratio of at least one hydrant for every 100,000 square feet of ground area or portion thereof involved in the development, subject to the flow requirements established by the Fire Chief. Supplemental hydrants shall only apply within the designated "Growth Boundary."
Supplemental fire hydrants shall be provided for all buildings (except single-family and two-family buildings) that are:
Over 100 feet in length or width or both; and/or
Situated at a distance greater than 100 feet from a public road; or
Of such size, construction, location or occupancy use in relationship to public roads and public fire hydrants as may be deemed by the Fire Chief to constitute a condition hazardous to life and property due to fire or explosion and when deemed necessary by the Fire Chief for the Fire Department to serve the premises.
Supplemental fire hydrants shall include all hydrants, water mains not less than six inches in diameter, valves, and appurtenances which are dedicated to the public use of the Township for use in fire suppression. The Fire Chief shall determine the number of hydrants, as well as their location, as he deems reasonable and necessary in order to provide sufficient supplemental fire protection to the premises.
Supplemental fire hydrants shall not be located greater than 300 feet from the furthest point of the building to be served nor shall they be located greater than 20 feet from an approved public or private road.
All supplemental fire hydrants shall be red in color.
Upon request by the Fire Chief, the owner of any supplemental fire hydrant shall provide proof of certified annual testing of such supplemental fire hydrant.
The installer of a private hydrant shall meet the specifications of the York Water Company and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for lawful installation of the private hydrant. Private hydrants shall be flushed and tested on no less than an annual basis.
All private fire hydrants shall be red in color.
Upon request by the Fire Chief, the owner of any private fire hydrant shall provide proof of certified annual testing of such private fire hydrant.
Decorative or recreational fire containers, including, but not limited to, movable fireplaces, fire pits, and chimneys, are prohibited from use or storage on decks, balconies, or attached garages and storage areas of multiunit, multiresidential structures.
Fire lanes shall include any roadway, parking lot, driveway, sidewalk, or portion thereof necessary for the passage or positioning of fire vehicles, equipment, personnel, and apparatus. The following requirements and design standards shall apply to fire lanes:
Required fire lane locations. Fire lanes shall be required for all uses in accordance with Table 103-1, except single-family detached, two-family, and row dwellings. The required number and location of fire lanes shall be provided as illustrated in the Township Construction and Materials Specifications.
Width. Fire lanes shall be a minimum 20 feet wide.
Height. All fire lanes shall be clear of overhead obstructions to a minimum height of 14 feet.
Weight standard. Fire lanes shall be constructed so that they are capable of supporting vehicles having 25 tons on a single axle with dual wheels and standard road tires in all weather conditions. All fire lanes, emergency vehicle access drives, and all portions of any parking area or access drive connecting the fire fane to a public street shall be constructed to the minimum pavement design specifications located in the Township Construction and Materials Specifications or an alternate method approved by the Township Engineer.
Slope/gradient. Fire lane slopes and gradients shall not restrict fire apparatus movement or positioning, while providing positive drainage. Slopes in excess of 5% are prohibited.
Turning radius. Fire lanes shall be constructed to accommodate the turning movement of all emergency vehicles currently in the Fire Department's fleet. Turning radius templates must be submitted to the Township for review.
Access to building. Each side of a building where a fire lane is required shall have an entrance located at the midpoint of the building.
Use of maneuvering aisle or fire lane. Parking against a building with proper fire lanes may be permitted without the need for "No Parking—Fire Lane" signs under certain circumstances at the discretion of the Fire Chief. If permitted, the design criteria is shown in the Township Construction and Materials Specifications. The maneuvering lane shall be considered the lane directly adjacent to the building or structure off which perpendicular, angled, or parallel parking is allowed.
Distance from building. Fire lanes shall be a minimum of 10 feet and a maximum of 50 feet distance from a building.
Maintenance. All fire lanes must be maintained and remain unobstructed at all times. The fire lane shall be cleared/plowed as a priority during snow events. Clearing of the fire lane shall be completed prior to the remainder of the parking lot.
"No Parking—Fire Lane" signs shall be placed at the discretion of the Codes Enforcement Officer and/or Township Engineer with the direction of the Fire Chief, but in no event shall they be placed closer than 50 feet apart or further than 100 feet apart. "Tow Away Zone" signs may be required in conjunction with the fire lane signage. All signs shall be manufactured and installed in accordance with Township Specifications, with a minimum height requirement from ground of 60 inches to the bottom of the sign.
Any nonresidential use which stores, manufactures, or utilizes potentially hazardous materials, including, but not limited to, reactive, combustible, explosive, or radioactive materials, or industrial chemicals, or materials which pose a health hazard, shall display NFPA placard(s) in a conspicuous location or locations, as designated by the Fire Chief. All existing applicable buildings and facilities shall install all required placards within 180 days from the date of effect of this chapter.
Pavement markings. All concrete curbing adjacent to a fire lane shall be painted or pigmented yellow. In areas where installation of concrete curbing is impractical, the asphalt paving shall be striped in accordance with Township Specifications.
Combustible building materials shall not be erected until the following has been accomplished:
Operable fire hydrants are in place within 500 road feet of the furthest point of any structure being constructed.
An access road (20 feet wide, able to support 25 tons on a single axle with dual wheels and standard road tires) must be constructed to within 100 feet of the furthest point of the structure. This road may be gravel, but must be maintained at all times.
No combustible rubbish shall be accumulated on the construction site. Disposal of construction debris by on-site burning is not permitted.
Security gates and/or fences which limit access to a given property or premises (commercial, industrial and institutional) shall provide one of the following:
Where a siren activated opening device is used, such equipped gate must also contain a back-up system in case of power failure.
A key box shall be required for all commercial, industrial and institutional structures, and for all common facilities within multifamily residential structures, as well as any other structure required by the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code. The key box shall be a Knox-Vault as approved, in writing, by the Fire Chief. No other key box manufacturers shall be permitted. All key boxes shall utilize a swinging hinged door; drop doors shall not be permitted. Applications for purchase can be obtained from the Codes Enforcement Officer or Fire Chief and must be completed and returned with appropriate payment.
General specifications for key box installations:
The key box shall be installed on the address side of the building, within sight of and no more than 10 feet from the main entrance and clear from any obstructions.
The key box shall be mounted at a height of four feet from finished grade to the center of the box.
Each box may be marked with a red reflective sign having the words "KNOX BOX" on the sign in four-inch white lettering at the discretion of the Fire Chief.
The key box shall be attached to the building with through bolts and may be surface mounted or shall be recessed on existing buildings being retrofitted. Recessed key boxes shall be installed on all new buildings.
The key box may have an optional tamper switch, wired on a separate zone, that will activate a trouble alarm if anyone tampers with the box. If such tamper switch is used, it should be connected to the security system. Under no circumstances shall the tamper switch be connected to the fire alarm system.
The key box shall contain the following: all keys and/or access codes that may be required to gain entry into all locations within the building, emergency contact information, hazardous materials information, and building layout or site plan. All information shall be kept current.
The owner shall contact the Codes Enforcement Officer to schedule a site visit to confirm the location of the key box prior to installation.
The key box shall be properly installed and shall be inspected by the Codes Enforcement Officer prior to issuance of an occupancy permit.
Supplemental key boxes shall be installed in the rear of all buildings that are:
Exceptions to the aforementioned installation specifications may be obtained from the Fire Chief based upon building configurations or circumstances which are not addressed within this chapter.
The information contained in the key box shall be provided to the applicable fire companies and the Township. The Fire Chief may require additional relevant information be provided and kept on file for the facility. The information shall be annually reviewed with the facility manager or person in charge to ensure all information is up to date and current.
Any facility which handles, uses, or stores hazardous materials and are required to prepare an emergency services material safety data sheet (MSDS) or hazardous chemical inventory form under the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA Title III) shall install a knox box haz-mat cabinet. Such cabinet must contain all pertinent, updated information regarding the hazardous materials, emergency evacuation plans, and current emergency responders list along with any keys, access cards, or codes to permit entry into all areas of the facility.
The Fire Chief may mandate the use of Knox FDC (Fire Department Connections) plugs and caps in areas where vandalism affects private hydrants and/or sprinkler and standpipe connections.
Key boxes, as described in this chapter, which were in existence and installed prior to the enactment of this chapter, shall be exempt from the new requirements insofar as they will not be required to move their then current key box if it does not meet this chapter. The requirements of this chapter shall be enforced where or when the box needs construction or replacement.
All applicable existing buildings and facilities shall install all required key boxes within 180 days from date of effect of this chapter.
Sprinklers shall be installed when required by the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code. Sprinkler systems shall be red in color with contrasting four-inch reflective sign stating "FDC" if there is not such sign on the building.
Upon request by the Fire Chief, the owner of any sprinkler system shall provide proof of certified annual testing of such sprinkler system.
Any person who shall, without authority of the Codes Enforcement Officer, Fire Chief or his designee, open any fire hydrant, or who shall wantonly, maliciously, willfully or in a negligent manner tamper with, injure, destroy, damage, break, disturb or impair any fire hydrant, any fire-fighting appliance or alarm, including, but not limited to, a supplemental fire protection system, and the constituent parts and equipment thereof, or any fire-fighting equipment or apparatus or anything pertaining to the fire-fighting system, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as set forth in § 103-19 hereof.
Any person who shall knowingly or willfully hinder, obstruct or interfere with any fire fighter, fire police officer, or any emergency service official in the performance of their duties, or who shall, while within the vicinity of any fire or emergency, willfully disobey or disregard any order, directive, rule or regulation of the officer commanding any fire scene or emergency activity during or after such fire or emergency, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as set forth in § 103-19 hereof and/or shall be prosecuted under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5112.
The street/building number assigned by the Township in accordance with the regulations of the United States Postal Service to buildings, structures and premises in the Township shall be numbered in accordance with Chapter 63 of the Code.
The Code Enforcement Officer, with the concurrence of the Fire Chief, shall have the right to modify any of the requirements of this chapter, unless required by the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code, upon application, in writing, by the owner or occupant of a building, structure or premises, or his duly authorized agent, when there are practical difficulties in strictly carrying out the requirements of this chapter, provided that the spirit of this chapter shall be observed. The particulars of such modification shall be entered upon the records of the Code Enforcement Officer, and a copy shall be furnished to the person requesting such modification.
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer shall not grant a modification requested pursuant to § 103-17 hereof, or when it is claimed that the provisions of this chapter do not apply, or that the true intent or meaning of this chapter has been misconstrued or wrongly interpreted, the aggrieved person may appeal, in writing, to Township Board of Supervisors within 15 days of the date of the Code Enforcement Officer's decision.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or who fails to comply therewith, or who shall violate or fail to comply with any order made hereof, and from which no appeal has been taken or if taken as been fully exhausted in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 103-18 hereof, shall for each and every violation and noncompliance respectively, be guilty of a summary offense and be sentenced to pay a fine not to exceed $1,000, plus all costs and attorneys' fees, in default of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. The imposition of a penalty for any violation or noncompliance shall not excuse the violation of noncompliance or permit it to continue; and all such responsible persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violations or noncompliances within a time limit specified by the Code Enforcement Officer, or his designee; and when not otherwise specified, each day that a violation or noncompliance continues shall constitute a separate offense. The application of the above penalty shall not be held to prevent the enforced removal of prohibited conditions or enforcement of the requirements of this chapter by appropriate court action.
A fee or fees may be charged for the services provided in § 103-3 hereof as shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. This fee shall be paid to the Township and may be designated for use by the Fire Department.