Township of Schuylkill, PA
Chester County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Schuylkill 11-1-2000 by Ord. No. 00-04; amended in its entirety 3-2-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-01. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 140.
As set out herein, a fully operational automatic fire-suppression system that meets the requirements of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code as adopted by Schuylkill Township on July 7, 2004, is hereby required:
All new construction of a structure or dwelling as defined in § 370-7 of Chapter 370, Zoning, as amended, shall be equipped with a fully operational automatic fire-suppression system throughout. Exceptions for residential structures only: A residential structure shall not be required to be equipped with a fire-suppression system where:
With the exception of a single 20A, 115V circuit, there are no public utilities serving the structure;
The structure contains less than 500 square feet of floor space; and
The structure is less than 15 feet high.
All new addition(s) or structural alteration(s) as defined in § 370-7 of Chapter 370, Zoning, as amended, representing 1,000 square feet or more of gross floor area as defined in the International Building Code (IBC) shall be equipped with a fully operational fire-suppression system throughout the existing structure and any new addition(s). Additions or alterations to an existing sprinklered structure shall be sprinklered no matter the square footage of the addition or alteration.
Fire-suppression system shall be required throughout basements of newly constructed buildings.
All fire-suppression systems required by ordinance shall be maintained in good working condition at all times. If a fire-suppression system is shut down for repairs or for any other reason is rendered nonoperational, the Schuylkill Township Fire Marshal (Fire Marshal) shall be notified immediately. The Fire Marshal may require that an approved fire watch be maintained until the system is back in service. An approved fire watch shall be defined as an alert person being present on site at all times a fire-suppression system is not functioning.
All fire-suppression systems shall be installed in accordance with all relevant standards, including National Fire Protection Association NFPA 13, 13D and 13R, and Chapter 9 of the IBC, and any other applicable codes.
All fire-suppression systems shall have centrally monitored alarm systems. Water flow alarms consisting of water flow switches and outside alarm bells shall be installed on all sprinkler systems. Outside alarms shall be labeled as to their purpose.
Before any fire-suppression system is installed or altered, detailed plans showing the proposed system or system alterations prepared by a professional engineer or a National Institute for Certifying of Engineering and Technologies NICET Level 3 or Level 4 Technician shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Fire Marshal and the Schuylkill Township Code Enforcement Officer. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to favor the installation of one specific type of fire-suppression system over another.
The required plans shall provide a complete and documented report as to the compliance of the proposed designs or alterations with all relevant codes and standards as well as the required features and measures of fire protection.
The Fire Marshal reserves the right to require additional, supplemental design information related to any plan submitted for review. The cost of obtaining and providing such information to be provided shall be the responsibility of the applicant or building owner.
The Fire Marshal reserves the right to require that any additional, supplemental design information related to any plan submitted for review shall be prepared by and shall bear the seal of a registered professional engineer specializing in fire protection.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed to require the installation of sprinkler equipment in:
Safe deposit or other vaults.
Rooms or buildings used for the sale, manufacturer or storage of aluminum powder, calcium carbide, calcium phosphate, metallic sodium, potassium quicklime, magnesium powder, sodium peroxide or like substances to which the application of water will cause or increase fire or health hazards.
Any other location where the installation of such equipment may, in the opinion of the Fire Marshal, increase the hazard to life or property or for any other justified reason, or be impractical due to existing conditions.
Where fire-suppression systems are required by ordinance, the building owner shall annually certify in writing to the Fire Marshal that the fire-suppression system has been tested and maintained in accordance with applicable testing and maintenance procedures, including, where appropriate, the National Fire Protection Association Standard No. 25 "Testing and Maintenance of Water Based Fire Protection Systems." Additionally, certification is required in writing to the Fire Marshal whenever any work on the fire-suppression systems is performed that the person servicing, testing or maintaining any fire-suppression system has adequate knowledge of the operation of the fire-suppression system and qualifies as one of the following:
A licensed professional engineer or fire protection specialist who has designed and/or supervised installation of fire-suppression systems, or who can demonstrate knowledge of the requirements for installation and testing of fire-suppression systems to the satisfaction of the Fire Marshal;
An established fire-suppression system installation contractor; or
A contractor licensed and certified to conduct fire-suppression system testing.
The requirements set herein shall remain in effect should updated versions of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code as adopted by Schuylkill Township on July 7, 2004, be adopted by Schuylkill Township. Should the National Fire Protection Association Standards be revised and/or updated, the requirements set herein shall remain in effect. However, should the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code as adopted by Schuylkill Township on July 7, 2004, or the NFPA Standards allow for standards to exceed the measures set herein, those upgraded standards shall prevail over the aforesaid requirements.
This chapter shall take full force and effect immediately after the date of final passage and approval, except they shall not apply to new residential building permits subsequently issued for those active subdivision and land developments already partially completed as named in this section, but only if the respective developer for each named subdivision and land development shall offer to each buyer in writing the option to have a fire-suppression system installed at a price not to exceed $3 per square foot of living floor space. The buyer's written acceptance or rejection of the option shall accompany the building permit application as a condition for issuance of a new residential building permit.
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).