City of Springfield, MA
Hampden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Springfield as Title 7, Ch. 7.12, of the 1986 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarms — See Ch. 100.
Building construction — See Ch. 140.
Hazardous materials — See Ch. 208.
Weapons and explosives — See Ch. 412.
A. 
Establishment; composition; appointment of members.
(1) 
A Bureau of Fire Prevention is established in the Fire Department of the City.
(2) 
Such Bureau shall consist of the Fire Prevention Supervisor, one Assistant Fire Prevention Supervisor and such number of inspectors as the Board of Fire Commissioners deems proper, all of whom shall be appointed by the Board of Fire Commissioners from members of the Fire Department in conformity with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 31, if required, and who shall be under the supervision and direction of the Chief of the Fire Department.
B. 
Duties.
(1) 
It shall be the duty of the Bureau of Fire Prevention to aid the Chief of the Fire Department to enforce the observance of the laws of the Commonwealth and the ordinances of the City in connection with the following matters, when directed by the Chief:
(a) 
The prevention of fires.
(b) 
The storage and use of explosives.
(c) 
The installation and maintenance of fire-extinguishing equipment.
(d) 
The investigation of the cause, origin and circumstances of fires by which property has been destroyed or damaged.
(2) 
It shall be the duty of the Bureau of Fire Prevention to assist the Chief in the performance of the duties required of him by the statutes of the commonwealth in the matter of fire prevention.
So far as authorized by law, the Chief of the Fire Department, the Fire Prevention Supervisor, Assistant Fire Prevention Supervisor and inspectors shall inspect, as often as may be necessary, any building or part thereof or any premises or part thereof that is or may become dangerous to the public safety as a fire menace.
A. 
If the Chief of the Fire Department or any member of the Bureau of Fire Prevention finds, on inspection of premises, buildings or structures, any rubbish, debris, waste or inflammable or combustible materials, and that the same are not so arranged or disposed of as to afford reasonable safeguard against the dangers of fire, or if they find that the articles, materials, goods, wares and merchandise on or in such premises, buildings or structures are so arranged and disposed of that the occupants thereof or persons rightfully on or in the same would not, because of such arrangement and disposition, be afforded reasonable access to the exits of such premises, buildings or structures in case of fire, or if they find that by reason of such arrangement or disposition the members of the Fire Department would unnecessarily and unreasonably be interfered with in the exercise of their duties in and about such premises, buildings or structures in case of fire in the same, they may order in writing the removal of such rubbish, debris, waste or inflammable or combustible materials from such premises, buildings or structures, or the disposing and arranging of the same on or in such premises, buildings or structures in such manner as will remove such danger from fire.
B. 
They may also order in writing that such articles, materials, goods, wares or merchandise be so arranged and disposed of on or in such premises, buildings or structures that the occupants thereof, or the persons rightfully on or in the same, shall be afforded all reasonable access to the exits from the same in case of fire, and the members of the Fire Department will be afforded all reasonable facilities for the discharge of their duties in and about such premises, buildings or structures in case of fire.
A. 
Customer pumping generally prohibited. No owner and/or operator of any gasoline filling station shall allow the pumping of gasoline, from the pumps to the gas tank, for retail sale by any person other than an authorized attendant employee or owner of said filling station except as permitted by this section. It shall be the responsibility of the attendant or owner to control all sources of ignition and immediately handle accidental gas spills and fire extinguishers, if needed within said filling station.
B. 
License requirement for all self-service stations. No building or other structure located in the City shall be used as a self-service gas station unless the City has granted a license to use the land on which such building or other structure is or is to be situated for a self-service gas station.
C. 
Procedure for granting self-service gasoline station licenses. The procedure for granting a self-service gasoline station license shall be as provided in MGL c. 148, § 13, and in this section. The City Clerk, upon receipt of an application for a self-service gas station license, shall notify the Chief of the Fire Department, the Building Commissioner, the Planning Director and the Director of Public Works, each of whom shall review the application in light of the concerns of their department and file a written report to the City Council within three weeks of the City Clerk's notification to them or within such other time as the City Council may permit, which shall in no event be later than one week prior to the public hearing. After receipt of the reports and after the notice outlined in MGL c. 148, § 13, has been given, the City Council shall hold a public hearing on the license application. Thereafter, the City Council may, by majority vote, grant the license applied for. The City Council shall act on the license application within 90 days of the date on which such license application is filed with the City Clerk. Failure of the City Council to take final action granting a license application within the ninety-day period shall be deemed a denial of the license applied for.
D. 
Guidelines for considering self-service gasoline station license applications. The City Council may consider any or all of the guidelines listed below (depending on the appropriateness of their application to each particular set of facts) to assist it in arriving at its decision to grant or deny a self-service gas station license:
(1) 
Whether the site for the license sought is to be used exclusively for self-service operation in the dispensing of gasoline, or would include full-service or attendant-dispensing of gasoline as well (i.e. so called "split island" operation), and if so whether the applicant has adequately provided for proper supervision of the self-service island when attendants are otherwise occupied at the full-service island.
(2) 
Whether the site for the license is to be used solely for the sale of gasoline and allied motor vehicle products and services (other than the dispensing by vending machines of cigarettes, soda and the like), or is to be used in conjunction with the sale of merchandise not related to motor vehicles, such as groceries, dairy items, paper products or household items, newspapers or magazines; if the site is also to be used for the sale of merchandise not related to motor vehicles, then regard shall be had to whether the applicant had adequately provided for supervision of customer dispensing of gasoline when attendants are otherwise occupied with the sale of merchandise not related to motor vehicles.
(3) 
Capability of console operators to handle emergency situations and regulate traffic within the station.
(4) 
Whether the site for the license sought is to have available running water and at least one portable approved fire extinguisher and a compressed air dispenser for the convenience of the public.
(5) 
Whether the self-service operator for which the license is sought is to include the sale (and/or storage) of propane gas.
(6) 
Whether the approval of the license would contribute to a concentration of hazardous conditions within the immediate vicinity; consideration may be given to response time for emergency vehicles, accessibility of entrances and exits and existing traffic congestion or conditions, narrowness of streets, number of business activities handling gasoline or other hazardous or inflammable materials in the immediate area.
(7) 
Convenience of location to a large segment of the public, traffic conditions, size of street, noise, adjacent residential areas, general effect of such facility on the neighborhood.
(8) 
Any or all other factors appropriate and relevant under the aforesaid guidelines in arriving at its decision.
E. 
Conditions and restrictions on self-service gasoline station licenses. The Council, pursuant to its authority under MGL c. 148, § 13, may prescribe reasonable conditions and restrictions in the granting of any such license, including a condition that the license be exercised to such extent and within such period as may be fixed by the Council. Licenses granted shall be subject to any such restrictions or conditions prescribed.
F. 
Exemption for certain self-service gasoline stations. This section shall not apply to any gasoline filling station which was operating as a self-service gasoline station on or before May 30, 1979.
G. 
Loss of self-service gasoline station status. Any self-service gasoline station either operating under Subsection F of this section or licensed under Subsection B of this section which ceases to operate as such for one year shall be subject to Subsection A of this section as to any future operations at that place of business for the purpose of operating a gasoline filling station.
H. 
Application of section. The provisions of this section shall apply to all conversions from full service gasoline stations to self-service or "split island" gasoline service stations. This section shall apply to all new and existing gasoline service stations except those exempted under Subsection F of this section. The license requirement of this section shall not relieve the applicant of the duty to comply with any and all other laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, licenses and permits, applicable to gasoline service stations.
If the Chief of the Fire Department, or any member of the Bureau of Fire Prevention, finds that the appliances on or in any premises, buildings or structures for protection against fire are not in proper condition, or of insufficient size or number, or are otherwise insufficient for the purpose for which the same are designed and intended, or if he finds that such appliances are reasonably necessary for the protection of such premises, buildings or structures and are wholly wanting, the Chief of the Fire Department shall order, in case of such improper condition or insufficiency, that the same be placed in proper condition and rendered reasonably sufficient to afford reasonable protection against fire, and in the case of absence of such appliances where he may find that they are reasonably necessary for protection against fire, he shall order the installation of appliances sufficient to afford such reasonable protection in case of fire to such premises, buildings or structures and to the occupants thereof or persons rightfully on or in the same.
If any owner, lessee or occupant of any such premises fails or refuses to obey any order given under the provisions of §§ 178-4 and 178-5, the Chief or either of the Deputy Chiefs may execute or cause to be executed such order at the expense of such owner, lessee or occupant.
A. 
The Fire Prevention Supervisor and all inspectors of the Bureau of Fire Prevention shall report to the Chief of the Fire Department, in writing, the results of their inspections.
B. 
These reports shall be filed in the office of the Chief for the period of time that a particular building remains standing and, as far as an occupant of a building is concerned, for the period of the occupancy.
The Fire Prevention Supervisor and all members of the Bureau of Fire Prevention are empowered and authorized to make such orders in respect to the conditions found by them on inspection as are authorized to be made by the Chief of the Fire Department by §§ 178-4 and 178-5.
Should any owner, lessee or occupant of any premises, buildings or structures or the owner or person in control of any materials, goods, wares or merchandise consider himself aggrieved by such order of the Fire Prevention Supervisor or any supervisor of the Bureau of Fire Prevention, he may, within 24 hours after such order has been served on him, appeal to the Chief of the Fire Department, who shall thereupon make such order in the premises as in his discretion he may deem right and reasonable, and such order shall be final.
Any owner, lessee or occupant of any buildings, premises or structures referred to in §§ 178-4 through 178-9 or any owner or person in control of such articles, materials, goods and merchandise as are referred to in such sections, who fails or neglects to discharge any of the duties imposed by such sections, and the orders of the Chief of the Fire Department, Fire Prevention Supervisor or any member of the Bureau of Fire Prevention, on conviction thereof, shall be subject to a penalty as provided in § 1-25.
The orders mentioned in §§ 178-4 through 178-9 shall be directed to the owner, lessee or occupant of such premises, buildings or structures, or to the owner or person in control of the article, materials, goods, wares or merchandise referred to in such sections, as the circumstances may require, and it is the duty of such owner, lessee or occupant of such premises, buildings or structures, and of such person in control of such articles, materials, goods, wares and merchandise, or the owner thereof, to comply with such orders with all reasonable dispatch and diligence.
A. 
No person shall keep, store, sell or cause to be sold or shall use, cause or allow to be used in any building any fuel-burning portable space heater. A "portable space heater" is a space heater which, when installed in a building, is not firmly affixed in place by a rigid pipe connection or otherwise and is not permanently connected to a chimney, stack or flue as described in Chapter 11, Springfield Building Code, revised November 1956.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Building Code does not appear in this volume, but may be found on file in the office of the Building Commissioner.
B. 
Subsection A of this section shall not apply to approved salamanders used by the building trades in buildings under alteration or construction.
(1) 
An "approved salamander" is defined as one that has been approved by the Underwriters' Laboratories or the Factory Mutual Laboratories.
(2) 
An "alteration" is defined as a change in or addition to a building which changes the internal or external shape of the building.
C. 
No person shall use, cause or allow to be used in any building a portable fuel-burning space heater unless such heater is firmly affixed in place and permanently connected to a chimney, stack or flue.
[Amended 4-16-2003]
A. 
No person shall be engaged in the business of using, displaying or exhibiting fireworks or pyrotechnics special-effect devices or explosive compositions or materials or any combination of the same, or any article which was prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation in any indoor building or structure in the City as such terms are defined in 527 CMR 2.00. No person shall be exempted from the provisions of this section; however, any person may apply for an exemption and if granted shall comply with the provisions of the following subsections of this section.
B. 
Every person shall have, during the entire time of any display or exhibit of fireworks or pyrotechnics special-effect devices or explosive compositions or materials or any combination of the same, or any article which was prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation, at least two fire fighters on duty, at least two water-based fire extinguishers, a licensed special effects operator (a pyrotechnic operator) and a permit from the Springfield Fire Department.
C. 
Pyrotechnic devices and materials used indoors shall be specifically manufactured and marked for indoor use by the manufacture. There shall be no pyrotechnic devices or materials in any indoor building or structure with a ceiling less than 25 feet level above the floor. There shall be no pyrotechnic devices or materials in any indoor building or structure that has glowing or flaming particles within 20 feet of the audience.
D. 
Before the performance of any production, the permittee shall submit to the Fire Department a plan for the use of the pyrotechnic. The plan for the use of pyrotechnics shall be made in writing or such other form as is approved by the Fire Department.
(1) 
The plan shall provide the following:
(a) 
Name of the person, group, or organization sponsoring the production.
(b) 
Date and time of the production.
(c) 
Exact location of the production.
(d) 
Name of the person actually in charge of firing the pyrotechnics (i.e., the pyrotechnic operator).
(e) 
Number, names and ages of all assistants who are to be present.
(f) 
Qualifications of the pyrotechnic operator.
(g) 
Pyrotechnic experience of the operator.
(h) 
Confirmation of any applicable state or federal licenses held by the operator or assistant(s).
(i) 
Evidence of the permittee's insurance carrier or financial responsibility.
(j) 
Number and types of pyrotechnic devices and materials to be used, the operator's experience with those devices and effects, and a definition of the general responsibilities of the assistants.
(k) 
Diagram of the grounds or facilities where the production is to be held. This diagram shall show the point at which the pyrotechnic devices are to be fired, the fallout radius for each pyrotechnic device used in the performance, and the lines behind which the audience shall be restrained.
(l) 
Point of on-site assembly of pyrotechnic devices or materials.
(m) 
Manner and place of storage of the pyrotechnic devices or materials.
(n) 
Material safety data sheets (MSDS) for the pyrotechnic devices or materials to be used.
(o) 
Certification that the set, scenery, and rigging materials are inherently flame-retardant or have been treated to achieve flame retardancy.
(p) 
Certification that all materials worn by performers in the fallout area of pyrotechnic effects shall be inherently flame-retardant or have been treated to achieve flame retardancy.
(2) 
All plans shall be submitted as soon as possible so that the Fire Department has time to be present and to notify other interested parties. In no event shall such advance notice be less than 15 days prior to the performance;
(3) 
A representative demonstration of the pyrotechnic devices or materials shall be approved by the Fire Department before a permit is approved. The Fire Department shall be permitted to waive this requirement based on past history, prior knowledge, and other factors, provided the Fire Department is confident that the discharge of the pyrotechnic devices or materials can be conducted safely.
(4) 
All exit locations shall be announced to the patrons prior to the start of the performance.
(5) 
The permittee shall pay to the Fire Department an inspection fee in accordance with the Fire Department's fee schedule, as may be amended.
E. 
The Fire Department may set such other rules and regulations as it deems necessary in accordance with fire prevention codes and regulations for the safety of the citizens of the City.
A. 
Inspection; certificate of inspection; fees.
(1) 
The Fire Department may, upon request in writing by an owner or occupant of any building or structure occupied in whole or in part for residential purposes and not regulated by MGL c. 148, § 26A, 26B or 26C, and upon payment of the fees stated below, inspect said property to determine compliance with MGL c. 148, § 26F, and issue a certificate stating the date of such inspection and the compliance status of the premises on such date.
(2) 
The fee for such inspection shall be $10.
(3) 
If additional inspections are necessary, there will be a fee of $5 for each additional inspection and certificate.
(4) 
All fees shall be solely for the purposes of defraying the actual cost of such inspections and issuance of such certificates.
B. 
Ordering installation in certain buildings.
[Amended 10-18-2005]
(1) 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM AUDIBILITY
All alarm-sounding devices shall have a minimum rating of 85 dBa (adjusted decibels) at 10 feet or three meters.
APARTMENT HOUSE
A building containing six or more dwelling units with independent cooking and bathroom facilities, whether designated as an apartment house, tenement, garden apartment, condominium or by another name.
APPROVED DETECTOR
A device which is automatically activated by visible products of combustion or abnormally high temperature or rate of rise in temperature and initiates an audible alarm that can be effectively heard above the maximum noise level obtained under normal conditions of occupancy and is approved by the head of the Fire Department.
DWELLING UNIT
A single unit consisting of one or more rooms and providing complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, cooking and sanitation.
HEAD OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
The Chief of the City Fire Department or his designee.
(2) 
Installation requirement.
(a) 
Every apartment house, building or structure containing three or more dwelling units and which is not otherwise regulated by MGL c. 148, §§ 26A and 26B, shall, within one year of the effective date of this section, be equipped with an approved smoke or heat detector in each dwelling unit, each common area or hallway, each story of the structure, basement area, and rear and/or front porches as specified by the head of the Fire Department. The responsibilities of the Fire Department under this section shall be to enforce the provisions contained in this section, test installed detector systems and issue certificates of compliance.
(b) 
Installation requirements of smoke detectors in single- or two-family residential buildings or structures. Every house, building or structure in the City containing one- and two-family dwelling units occupied in whole or in part for residential purposes and not otherwise regulated by MGL c. 148, § 26A or 26B, shall, within 90 days of the effective date of this section, be equipped with approved smoke detectors. Owners of such buildings or structures shall install either an approved monitored battery-powered smoke detector or an approved primary-power smoke detector on each level of habitation and on the basement level; provided, however, that the head of the Fire Department shall allow the installation of approved monitored battery-powered smoke detectors. Such approved smoke detectors shall be installed in the following manner: an approved smoke detector shall be installed on the ceiling of each stairway leading to the floor above; near the base of but not within each stairway; and an approved smoke detector shall be installed outside each separate sleeping area. The responsibilities of the Fire Department under this section shall be to enforce the provisions contained in this section and to test installed smoke detector systems.
(3) 
Areas of installation. The owner of the apartment house, dwelling, building or structure required to be equipped with detectors under this section shall install detectors in all areas as specified by the head of the Fire Department.
(4) 
Submission of plans to Fire Department head; system testing.
(a) 
Prior to the installation of any detectors required by this section, the owner of the building shall submit plans and specifications of the proposed installation to the head of the Fire Department for his approval.
(b) 
Upon completion of the installation, the owner shall notify the head of the Fire Department and arrange for a test of the system to be made in the presence of the head of the Fire Department or his designee. Upon completion of a successful testing of the system, the head of the Fire Department shall issue a certificate of compliance to the owner of the building. Such certificate of compliance shall also be accepted as compliance with the provisions of MGL c. 148, § 26F. A fee of $10 for an initial testing of the system shall be charged by the head of the Fire Department whether or not a certificate of compliance is then issued. If additional inspections are necessary, there may be a fee of $5 for each additional inspection and certificate.
(5) 
Authority to inspect. The head of the Fire Department or his designee shall have authority to make an inspection and test of the detector system at any reasonable hour, except that testing of detectors within dwelling units shall not be done without the consent of the occupant.
(6) 
Heat detector provision for certain stairways. Apartment houses containing open rear stairways shall be provided with a heat detector on the first-floor rear porch or stairway and on the top-floor rear porch or stairway. Such detectors shall be interconnected or connected to an alarm or gong so that the activation of either detector will cause an audible alarm which can be heard in all dwelling units accessible from these rear stairways or porches.
(7) 
The penalty for violation of this section shall be a fine of up to $200 for each day on which a building remains in violation. Whoever, without authority, removes, tampers or meddles with or interferes in any other way by breaking, cutting, injuring or defacing a smoke detector installed pursuant to this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200.
A. 
The City Council, upon recommendation of the Fire Chief and Traffic Commission, shall designate fire lanes within the limits of any private way, parking area or driveway for the access of fire apparatus or other emergency vehicles onto commercial property and hospitals.
B. 
There shall be a "No Parking-Fire Lane" area for not less than 30 feet perpendicular to the curbline of said private way, parking area or driveway, of which eight feet from the curbline shall be painted with diagonal lines including the words "Fire Lane-No Parking." The color and size of these pavement markings shall be approved by the Traffic Commission.
C. 
Upon recommendation of the Fire Chief and the Traffic Commission, a waiver may be granted and a fire lane may be established which is not less 22 feet in width. Such waiver shall be granted by the City Council only if the failure to do so would constitute a hardship for the owner of the private way, parking area or driveway and only upon certification by the Fire Chief and the Traffic Commission that such waiver does not interfere with or defeat the purpose of this section, which is to provide adequate access for Fire Department equipment to such premises.
D. 
The owner of record of any area designated as a fire lane shall provide and install signs that shall read "No Parking-Fire Lane-Violators will be fined $15 and will have their vehicles towed at their expense." The size, color, design and wording of said sign will be first approved by the Traffic Commission.
E. 
It is unlawful to obstruct or block any area designed as a fire lane with a vehicle or by any other means. The registered owner of any vehicle parked, attended or unattended within the limits designated as a fire lane shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $15 for each offense.
Every automobile wrecking yard, junkyard or salvage yard must drain and purge the fuel tanks of motor vehicles received in the course of business within 24 hours after delivery of the vehicles to the yard. No person shall drain any flammable liquid from the fuel tank of any vehicle except into an approved safety can, and such liquid may be either stored in such can or transferred to an approved underground tank or into fuel tanks on operable vehicles.
[Added 2-25-1999]
A. 
The City Council of the City of Springfield finds that the City of Springfield's Fire Department may be summoned at times when a structure or area is not occupied or when the occupant of a structure or area is not able to provide an ingress for the Fire Department, and further finds it is desirable to prevent damage through forceful entry to structures or areas and to provide swift entry into such structures or areas by the Fire Department, and therefore that a key box system should be established in the City of Springfield.
B. 
Key box. When an automatic alarm system or a fire sprinkler system protects a structure or area within the City, a key box of a UL-type approved by the City's Fire Chief shall be installed on the property in a location approved by the City's Fire Chief. The key box should be keyed to the Fire Department standard emergency key. It shall be the responsibility of the owner, lessee, tenant, or other party in control of the structure or area to:
(1) 
Assume all costs involved in the installation of the key box;
(2) 
Ensure that all key boxes are keyed to the Fire Department's standard emergency key;
(3) 
Keeping said key box in good repair; and
(4) 
Ensure that all keys contained therein are those currently in use in the structure or area.
C. 
Contents.
(1) 
Such key boxes shall contain the following:
(a) 
Keys to locked points of egress, whether on the interior or exterior of such building or area.
(b) 
Keys for the fire alarm panel and room.
(c) 
Keys to lock mechanical equipment rooms, if any are required.
(d) 
Keys to lock electrical rooms, if any are required.
(e) 
Keys to elevator controls and fire-fighter switch, if any are required.
(f) 
Keys to other areas as directed by officials of the City's Fire Department, if any are required.
(g) 
Keys to any area with hazardous conditions or materials, if any are required.
(h) 
A current list of employees to be called in case of an emergency.
(2) 
The Fire Department must be notified of any change in the list of emergency employees or keys within 24 hours.
D. 
This section shall not apply to structures used exclusively as one-, two-, or three-family dwellings.