Township of Newtown, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Newtown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm devices — See Ch. 55.
Building construction — See Ch. 69.
Uniform Construction Code — See Ch. 79.
Explosives and fireworks — See Ch. 84.
[Adopted 11-14-1994 by Ord. No. 1994-3]
There is hereby adopted by the Board of Supervisors for the purpose of prescribing regulations governing conditions hazardous to life and property from fire or explosion that certain code known as the "BOCA National Fire Prevention Code, 1993 Edition," which is a standard fire code, duly bound in book form, as the Fire Code of the Township of Newtown, together with any and all supplements, revisions, changes, deletions, modifications and amendments thereto, whether now promulgated or promulgated thereafter in the future, except such portions as are hereafter deleted, modified or amended.
A. 
The Fire Prevention Code shall be enforced by the Bureau of Fire Prevention in the Township which is hereby established and which shall be operated under the supervision of the Fire Marshal.
B. 
The Bureau shall consist of the Fire Marshal, who shall be in charge of the Bureau and who shall serve as the chief enforcement officer, and, in addition, not more than three Assistant Fire Marshals.
C. 
The Board of Supervisors shall appoint a Fire Marshal for the Township. Appointees to the office of Fire Marshal shall be appointed for and shall serve for a term of one year. The Fire Marshal shall not be removed from office except for cause shown.
D. 
The Board of Supervisors shall also appoint not more than three Assistant Fire Marshals for the Township. Appointees to the office of Assistant Fire Marshal shall be appointed for and shall serve for a term of one year until the first Monday in January of each succeeding year. No Assistant Fire Marshal shall be removed from office except for cause shown.
E. 
A report of the Bureau of Fire Prevention shall be made at least annually and transmitted to the Board of Supervisors. It shall contain all proceedings under this code, with such statistics as the Bureau may wish to include therein. The Fire Marshal shall also recommend any amendments to the code which, in his judgment, are desirable.
F. 
The Fire Marshal and the Assistant Fire Marshals shall serve without compensation except as may be fixed by the Board of Supervisors.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CODE OFFICIAL or FIRE OFFICIAL
As used in the adopted Fire Prevention Code, the Fire Marshal, Fire Suppression Engineer or Assistant Fire Marshal.
The 1993 BOCA National Fire Prevention Code is amended and changed as follows:
A. 
F-101.1, Title, shall read as follows:
F-101.1 Title: These regulations shall be known as the Fire Prevention Code of the Township of Newtown, herein referred to as "this code."
B. 
F-105.1, entitled "Code official," shall read as follows:
F-105.1 Code official: It shall be the duty and responsibility of the Fire Prevention Bureau to enforce the provisions of this code. The designated enforcement officer of this code is herein referred to as the "code official."
C. 
F-105.2, Appointment, shall read as follows:
F-105.2 Appointment: The code official shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Newtown and shall not be removed from office except for cause and after full opportunity to be heard on specific and relevant charges by and before the appointed authority.
D. 
F-105.3, Organization, is hereby deleted.
E. 
F-105.4, Deputy, is hereby deleted.
F. 
F-108.1, Inspections, is hereby deleted.
G. 
F-112.3, entitled "Penalty for violations," shall read as follows:
F-112.3 Penalty for violations: Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of the code shall be liable, upon conviction thereof, to a maximum fine or penalty of $1,000 for each and every offense. Each day that a violation continues after a service of notice as provided for in the code shall be deemed a separate offense thereof for each day.
H. 
F-113.0, entitled "Means of Appeal," is hereby deleted and a new section inserted to read as follows:
F-113.0 APPEALS
F-113.1 Appeals: Appeals from any decision of the Fire Marshal may be made to the Board of Supervisors. All hearings before the Board of Supervisors shall be open to the public. The Board of Supervisors shall modify, reverse or sustain the decision of the code official by a consenting vote of three or more members.
I. 
Section F-403.0, entitled "Open burning," is hereby deleted and a new section is hereby inserted to read as follows:
F-403.0 Outdoor fires: The Fire Marshal, Assistant Fire Marshals and/or any police officer of the Township may extinguish outdoor fires. The Fire Marshal, Assistant Fire Marshals and/or any police officer of the Township may extinguish or cause to be extinguished any fire, whether public or private property, started or burning in violation of the provisions of the Fire Prevention Code, with or without the consent of the owner, occupant or other person in charge of the subject premises and/or fire if, in the opinion of the Fire Marshal, Assistant Fire Marshals and/or any police officer of the Township, such fire constitutes a danger to persons or property or constitutes a nuisance.
J. 
Section F-311.4, entitled "Towing of motor vehicles," is hereby inserted to read as follows:
F-311.4 Towing of motor vehicles: The Fire Marshal, Assistant Fire Marshals and/or police officers of the Township shall have the power to order the towing of vehicles parked in violation of restrictions and regulations under Section 311.0. Within 12 hours from the time of such towing, notice of the fact, together with the place of the impoundment of the vehicle towed, shall be sent by the Township Police Department to the owner of record of such vehicle. Such notice shall include the place from which the vehicle was removed, the reason for its removal and the place in which it is stored. Towing and storage charges shall be paid by the owner of record of the vehicle towed before its release.
K. 
Section F-311.5, entitled "Enforcement of regulations concerning the parking of motor vehicles or other forms of obstructions and establishing penalties therefore," is hereby inserted to read as follows:
F-311.5 Enforcement of regulations concerning the parking of motor vehicles or other forms of obstructions and establishing penalties therefore: The Fire Marshal, the Assistant Fire Marshals and/or any police officer of the Township are hereby authorized to enforce the restrictions and regulations concerning the parking of motor vehicles and other forms of obstructions as provided in Section F-311.0. Any person who violates a restriction or regulation promulgated under Section F-311.0 shall be guilty of a violation of the Fire Prevention Code and fined not less than $15 per violation. All violation notices issued in accordance herewith shall be served upon the accused personally, or by affixing the same to the subject motor vehicle or form of obstruction, or by certified mail. In all cases where the written notice has been served upon the accused personally or by affixing the same to the subject motor vehicle or form of obstruction, no prosecution shall be instituted within 48 hours after the time of issuance thereof, and during the period, the accused may voluntarily appear at the Township Building and voluntarily enter a plea of guilty and pay a fine of $15 per violation to the Township. The provisions of this section are cumulative and shall not be construed to be in lieu of or limit or restrict any other provision of the Fire Prevention Code relating to violations, fines and penalties.
L. 
Chapter 21, entitled "Waste Material and Junkyards," is hereby deleted.
M. 
Chapter 31, entitled "Fireworks," is hereby deleted. Chapter 84 of this Code shall remain in full force and effect.
N. 
Section F-503.3, entitled "Fire standpipes," shall read as follows:
F-503.3 Fire standpipes: All buildings having floors used for human occupancy which are located more than two stories above grade and have a travel distance in excess of 150 feet from the nearest emergency exit shall be provided with standpipes installed in accordance with the building code listed in Appendix A. The standpipes shall have an approved fire department connection with hose connections at each level.
The Fire Marshal may recommend that a modification of any of the provisions of the Fire Prevention Code be made upon application, in writing, of the owner or lessee or his duly authorized agent when there are practical difficulties in carrying out the strict letter of the code, provided that the spirit of the code shall be observed, public safety secured and substantial justice done. However, no such modification shall be made without the prior approval of the Board of Supervisors. Such modification, when granted, shall be entered upon the records of the Bureau of Fire Prevention, and a signed copy shall be furnished the applicant and the Board.
In the event that any provision of this article or of the Fire Prevention Code hereby adopted are conflicting or inconsistent with any statutes or regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the statutes or regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shall apply and be fully effective, and the conflicting or inconsistent provision shall be superseded thereby.
[Adopted 5-14-1990 by Ord. No. 1990-2]
[Amended 11-11-1991 by Ord. No. 1991-7]
A. 
All new buildings, except those excluded herein, which are constructed on or after the effective date of this section shall be provided with sprinkler systems in accordance with the BOCA Code and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
B. 
The following types of construction are exempt from this provision:
(1) 
All unheated buildings and additions, except if the BOCA Code so requires when not contrary to this article.
(2) 
Buildings not more than 500 square feet in gross floor area.
(3) 
Additions to single-family, residential buildings, where the building does not have an existing sprinkler system.
(4) 
For other than single-family residential structures: additions or a series of additions to an existing building where the additions are heated and all additions are in aggregate less than 50% of the preexisting gross floor area of the building as of June 6, 1986, when such retrofitting would not be required under the BOCA Code.
C. 
When an addition to a single-family residential building is constructed greater than 50% of the preexisting gross floor area of a building that does not have an existing sprinkler system, a fire smoke detection system shall be installed for the entire building. The detectors shall be installed in approved locations and shall be wired in a manner that the activation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the system.
A. 
All sprinkler systems shall be maintained by the owner to prevent deterioration or impairment of the system in order that said system shall serve its purpose and operate at maximum efficiency.
B. 
The owners of commercial and institutional properties with sprinkler systems and multifamily residential dwellings with sprinkler systems which are served by a common water meter shall provide to the Township, on forms provided by the Township, an annual report of tests and inspections made on the sprinkler system. Such tests and inspections shall be done on an annual basis or more often if deemed necessary by the Township. Such tests shall be conducted by a qualified inspection agency acceptable to the Township. It shall be the owner's responsibility to inspect, test and maintain the sprinkler system in accordance with NFPA Standard 13A.
C. 
The owner must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Township that sufficient water supply is available to operate the sprinkler system. The design of any sprinkler system shall be consistent with applicable regulations of the public water supplier (when applicable), the 1989 Edition of the National Fire Protection Association pamphlet which most closely relates to the given occupancy of the structure and the PA Public Utility Commission's Rules and Regulations.
D. 
The owner shall be required to obtain approval from the Township for any modifications or changes to any sprinkler system permitted under this article.
E. 
All applicants, except those applying for permits in relation to the construction of a new single-family detached housing unit, shall bear all the costs of inspections required hereunder and shall deposit with the Township such sum as shall be determined by the Township Manager to cover the cost of such inspections.
Sprinkler systems shall be installed in all areas in residential occupancies in accordance with the 1989 Edition of the National Fire Protection Association which most closely relates to the intended occupancy, except they need not be installed as follows when approved by the Township:
A. 
Bathrooms not exceeding 55 square feet (5.1 square meters) with noncombustible plumbing fixtures.
B. 
Small clothes closets where the least dimension does not exceed three feet (0.9 meter) and the area does not exceed 24 square feet (2.2 square meters) and the walls and ceiling are surfaced with noncombustible or limited combustible materials as defined by NFPA 220, Standard on Types of Building Construction.
C. 
Open attached porches, balconies, corridors and stairs, when such structures are open to the weather.
D. 
Attics, crawl spaces, floor/ceiling spaces, elevator shafts and other concealed spaces that are not used or intended to be used for living purposes or for storage.
A. 
There shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors a Fire Suppression Engineer who shall receive such compensation as the Supervisors may direct by resolution from time to time and who shall hold office at the pleasure of the Supervisors or until a successor is appointed.
B. 
The Fire Suppression Engineer shall receive all applications, plans and specifications and authorize the issuance of a permit for any sprinkler system which shall be constructed under this article and shall:
(1) 
Approve such plans and specifications if in conformity with the provisions of this article, the BOCA Code and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
(2) 
Disapprove such plans and specifications if they do not conform with this article, the BOCA Code and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
(3) 
Inspect, prior to building occupancy, all sprinkler systems and certify that the sprinkler system installation is in conformance with applicable codes and regulations. In lieu of inspection by the Fire Suppression Engineer, the Township may delegate to other qualified persons the responsibility to inspect and certify the sprinkler system installation.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to do or begin any work on any sprinkler system unless an application shall be made by the owner or by duly authorized representative to the Township and a permit has been obtained. Permit fees shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
[Amended 4-24-1995 by Ord. No. 1995-2]
Whoever violates any provision of this article shall be fined not more than $1,000 and costs and, in default of payment thereof, shall be imprisoned not more than 30 days. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.