City of Amesbury, MA
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City of Amesbury as Art. 12 of the 1990 Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 7-13-2010 by Bill No. 2010-057]
It shall be the duty of the Chief of the Fire Department to inspect or cause to be inspected by Fire Department officers or members, as often as may be necessary, but not less than once a year in outlying districts and twice a year in the closely built portions of the City, all buildings, except private dwellings, premises, and public thoroughfares 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 City affecting the fire hazard. Whenever any officer or member shall find in any building or upon premises or other place, except private dwellings, combustible or explosive matter or dangerous accumulation of rubbish or unnecessary accumulation of wastepaper, boxes, shavings, or any other 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 operation of the Fire Department or egress of occupants in case of fire, he shall order the same to be removed or remedied, and such order shall forthwith be complied with by the owner or occupants of such premises or buildings, subject to appeal within 24 hours to the Mayor, who shall within 10 days review such order and file his decision thereon, and unless the order is revoked or modified it shall remain in full force and be obeyed by such owner or occupant.
A. 
Any owner or occupant failing to comply with such order within 10 days after said appeal shall have been determined, or, if no appeal is taken, then within 10 days after the service of said order, shall be liable to a penalty as hereinafter stated.
B. 
The service of any such order shall be made upon the occupant of the premises to whom it is directed by either delivering a true copy of the same to such occupant personally or by delivering the same to and leaving it with any 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. When it may be necessary to serve such an order upon the owner of premises, such order may be served either by delivering to and leaving with said person a true copy of said order or, if such owner is absent from the jurisdiction of the officer making the order, by mailing such copy to the owner's last known post office address.
Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter or any of its sections shall, upon conviction, forfeit and pay a fine of $20 for each offense and $20 for every day thereafter so long as said violation exists.
A. 
No person shall keep or permit to be kept on the premises any oily waste or oily rags, unless at all times when not actually in use such oily waste and oily rags are kept in a metal can with self-closing cover and riveted joints standing on metal legs which raise the bottom of the container at least five inches above the floor.
B. 
All owners or occupants of buildings, except private dwellings, are required to permit the Chief of the Fire Department to inspect their buildings to see if the above is complied with, and it is hereby made the duty of the Fire Department to make or cause to be made such inspection whenever and wherever it may suspect a violation of Subsection A.
C. 
Any person found guilty of violation of Subsections A and B shall be fined $20 for each offense, each 24 hours of maintenance of prohibited conditions to constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 7-13-2010 by Bill No. 2010-057]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to burn trash, lumber, leaves, straw, or any other combustible material in any street, alley or vacant lot, except by special permission of the Chief of the Fire Department, when such burning shall be done in screened metallic receptacles approved by him and under such proper safeguards as he may direct as to time and weather, provided that the Chief of the Fire Department may issue a general permit, by publication, during certain seasons of the year, for the burning of leaves or other like material where conducted during daylight and with an adult in constant attendance.
B. 
No person shall sell, set off, explode, or cause to explode any fireworks or firecrackers within the City except under such regulations as the Mayor or other person the Mayor may authorize may prescribe.
[Amended 7-13-2010 by Bill No. 2010-057]
C. 
Any person or persons found guilty of violation of Subsections A and B shall be fined $20.
[Amended 7-13-2010 by Bill No. 2010-057]
A. 
A radio master box shall be installed and connected to the municipal fire alarm radio receivers and system on any building that meets the following requirements: any building in which a sprinkler system is installed or any building in which a Type 1 fire detection system is installed; exception: Residential Group R-3 and R-4 structures.
[Amended 7-13-2010 by Bill No. 2010-057]
(1) 
All radio master boxes installed in the Town of Amesbury shall be Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., listed and approved to be received on the King Fisher receiver and approved by the Fire Chief. Radio master boxes shall be internally mounted next to the fire alarm panel. The installation shall meet the requirements and specifications listed in hard copy in the office of the Fire Chief.
(2) 
All radio master box locations must be approved prior to installation. During construction and before the acceptance test is approved the radio box must remain covered and listed as out of service. All keys associated with the radio master box are to be turned over to the Fire Chief after acceptance test.
(3) 
All equipment shall be made available for test and inspection when required by the Fire Department.
B. 
A Type 1 fire detection system shall be installed and maintained in full operating condition in any structure that meets the following requirements: construction of a new structure classified as Group A assembly buildings, Group B business buildings, or any building of 4,000 square feet or more or renovation in which more than 25% of the structure is altered and the total area of the building is 4,000 square feet or greater; exception: Residential Group R-3 and R-4 structures.
C. 
A sprinkler system shall be installed and maintained in full operating condition throughout the entire structure when it meets the following requirements: new structures 7,500 square feet or greater or when a building is altered or an addition is put on and the total area is 7,500 square feet or greater; exception: Residential Group R-3 and R-4 structures.
D. 
If the sprinkler system is shut down for other than maintenance and testing, the property owner will be required to maintain a two-man fire watch for the duration of time the system is out of service.
[Amended 7-13-2010 by Bill No. 2010-057]
A. 
Fines.
(1) 
The owner of a building shall be assessed a fine for fire alarm system malfunctions as follows:
(a) 
During a one-year period from January 1 to December 31, the first three responses to a system malfunction will be exempt. For the fourth response, the owner will be assessed a fine of $50, for the fifth response the owner will be assessed a fine of $75, for the sixth response the owner will be assessed a fine of $100, for the seventh response the owner will be assessed a fine of $150, and for the eighth and subsequent responses the owner will be assessed a fine of $200.
(b) 
At the end of the one-year period, all previous alarm malfunctions will be deleted from the owner's record; each record will indicate zero malfunctions.
(2) 
A burn-in period of 30 days from the final inspection will be granted, during which time no fines will be assessed.
(3) 
The owner will not be assessed a fine for a malicious false alarm, but a criminal complaint will be brought against the initiator of the alarm.
B. 
Definitions: As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
NEEDLESS ALARM
Any alarm initiated by other than smoke, heat or vapor.
SYSTEM MALFUNCTION
The failure of the alarm system to operate in the normal or usual manner due to improper installation or maintenance and/or mechanical defect(s) in the system, resulting in the transmittal of a needless alarm signal to the Amesbury Fire Department via municipal fire alarm circuits, digital communicator, central station, or telephone.
C. 
Any person(s) working in a building performing service that causes a needless alarm will be assessed a fine of $50 for each such alarm. All fines will be exempt if the Fire Department has been notified prior to the work starting.
[Added 9-16-2014 by Bill No. 2014-097]
A. 
Introduction. This section provides that residential, commercial and industrial buildings that utilize truss-type construction shall be marked by an emblem that informs persons conducting fire control and other emergency operations of the existence of truss construction.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES
Those buildings and structures classified as such by the Amesbury Building Inspector using the classification system found in 780 CMR (the Massachusetts State Building Code) or its successors.
TRUSS CONSTRUCTION
A fabricated structure of wood, steel or combination thereof, made up of a series of members connected at their ends to form a series of triangles to span a distance greater than would be possible with any of the individual members on their own. Truss-type construction shall not include:
(1) 
Individual wind or seismic bracing components which form triangles when diagonally connected to the main structure system.
C. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
The Fire Chief or his or her designee shall be responsible for ensuring the proper placement of emblems on buildings or structures covered by this section. The Amesbury Building Inspector shall only release certificates of occupancy to those new structures found to be in compliance with the requirements of this section.
(2) 
All multifamily residential buildings and all commercial and industrial businesses in operation at the time this section is ratified shall be required to have an emblem or emblems placed in the locations identified by the Fire Chief within six months of the passage of this section. All existing one- and two-family dwellings shall allow for the placement of this identifying emblem when undergoing additions or alterations or when such construction type is identified.
(3) 
Any person who fails to permit the posting of a structure as set forth in this section, or who removes or willingly obstructs from view the fire official's designated posting, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $50 for each offense. Every day that a violation continues after its abatement has been ordered by the City and sufficient time has elapsed to permit abatement shall constitute a new offense.
(4) 
The emblems will be made available by the Amesbury Fire Department at a cost to the building owner/manager.
D. 
Emblems. The shape of the emblem shall be square, measuring nine inches by nine inches, engineered grade aluminum. The emblem background shall be reflective white in color. The Maltese cross and contents shall be reflective red in color.
E. 
Truss designations. The following letters shall be printed on the emblem identifying the existence of truss construction using the alphabetic designation for the structural components that are of truss construction, as follows:
"F" shall mean floor framing, including girders and beams.
"R" shall mean roof framing.
"FR" shall mean floor and roof framing.
F. 
Emblem locations.
(1) 
Emblems identifying the existence of truss construction shall be permanently affixed in the locations directed and in a manner approved by the Fire Chief.
(2) 
Table No. 1 will be used as an emblem location guide for fire officials. Every effort is to be made as to not interfere with advertising or graphic designs located on the doors, windows or face of the buildings covered by this section.
Table No. 1
Truss Identification Sign Locations
For one- and two-family dwellings:
The emblem shall be affixed to the electrical meter socket. If the electric meter is located inside the dwelling, the emblem shall be affixed to the natural gas meter if so equipped. If neither location is available, additional locations shall follow the guidelines established for multi-unit apartment buildings and commercial and industrial buildings.
Multi-unit apartment buildings, commercial and industrial buildings:
Exterior building entrance doors, exterior exit discharge doors, and exterior roof access doors to a stairway, attached to all main means of egress at the door or sidelight, or directly on the street side of the building.
Fire Department hose connections:
Attached to the face of the building, not more than 12 inches (305 mm) horizontally from the center line of the Fire Department hose connection, and not less than 42 inches (1,067 mm) nor more than 60 inches (1,524 mm) above the adjoining walking surface.