Borough of Somerville, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerville 10-17-2016 by Ord. No. 2508.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Art. I, Fire Prevention, adopted 7-20-2015 by Ord. No. 2474 (which replaced former Art. I, General Standards, adopted 5-7-62 as Ord. No. 580, as amended, and former Art. II, Enforcement of Uniform Fire Code, adopted 9-3-85 as Ord. No. 993, as amended) and repealed former Art. III, Smoke Detectors, adopted 10-5-87 as Ord. No. 1029, as amended.
Pursuant to Section 11 of the Uniform Safety Act, P.L. 1983, c. 383 of the Laws of the State of New Jersey, the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code shall be enforced locally in the Borough of Somerville, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:27D-192 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 5:70-1 et seq.
The local enforcing agency shall be the Bureau of Fire Prevention in the Somerville Fire Department and shall be comprised of the Fire Marshal, Fire Inspectors and such clerical staff as needed to carry out the responsibilities of the agency.
The Bureau shall enforce the Uniform Fire Safety Act, Codes and regulations adopted for all buildings, structures and premises within the established boundaries of the Borough of Somerville and shall faithfully comply with the requirements of the Uniform Fire Safety Act and the Uniform Fire Code.
The Bureau shall carry out the periodic inspections of life-hazard uses required by the Uniform Fire Code on behalf of the New Jersey Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
The Bureau shall be under the direct supervision and control of the Fire Marshal of the Borough of Somerville. Fire Inspectors shall report to the Fire Marshal. The Fire Marshal shall report to the Borough Administrator.
In addition to the duties set forth in Uniform Fire Safety Act, P.L. 1983, c. 383 of the Laws of the State of New Jersey and Uniform Fire Code, the Fire Marshal shall:
A. 
Recommend to the Borough Administrator and Board of Engineers such amendments to the Code as deemed necessary to provide fire safety.
In addition to the inspections or fees required pursuant to the Uniform Fire Safety Act and the regulations of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, the following additional inspections and fees shall be required.
A. 
Inspections. Except for one- and two-family owner-occupied dwellings used exclusively for dwelling purposes, the Bureau shall inspect annually all buildings, businesses, structures or premises to ascertain and cause to be corrected any conditions liable to cause fire, contribute to the spread of fire, interfere with firefighter operations, endanger life or any conditions constituting violations of the provisions of intent of this chapter or other fire or life safety requirements. Upon completion of such inspection, and the abatement of violations, the Bureau shall issue to the owner or occupant of the building, structure or premises, a fire safety certificate of compliance.
[Amended 3-5-2018 by Ord. No. 2543]
B. 
Registration and fees. The owner(s) of all buildings, businesses, structures or premises required to be inspected under Subsection A shall register with the Bureau of Fire Prevention annually. Such registration shall be made on forms provided by the Bureau. It shall be a violation of this code for an owner of said building, business, structure or premises to fail to return such forms within 30 days of issuance. Every property owner that is required to file a registration statement shall file an amended registration within seven days after the occurrence of any change which would render any information contained in a registration statement inaccurate. With the exception of life hazard uses registered pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:70, registrations shall be accompanied by fees in accordance with the following:
[Amended 3-5-2018 by Ord. No. 2543]
(1) 
Class I. Non-life hazard registration for businesses, buildings, structures or premises 200 square feet or less shall be $25.
(2) 
Class II. Non-life hazard registration for businesses, buildings, structures or premises greater than 200 square feet but equal to or less than 400 square feet shall be $50.
(3) 
Class III. Non-life hazard registration for businesses, buildings, structures or premises greater than 400 square feet but equal to or less than 1,000 square feet shall be $75.
(4) 
Class IV. Non-life hazard registration for businesses, buildings, structures or premises greater than 1,000 square feet but equal to or less than 2,500 square feet shall be $100.
(5) 
Class V. Non-life hazard registration for businesses, buildings, structures or premises greater than 2,500 square feet but equal to or less than 5,000 square feet shall be $150.
(6) 
Class VI. Non-life hazard registration for businesses, buildings, structures or premises greater than 5,000 square feet but equal to or less than 12,000 square feet shall be $200.
(7) 
Class VII. Non-life hazard registration for businesses, buildings, structures or premises greater than 12,000 square feet shall be $275.
(8) 
Class VIII. Eating and drinking establishments with less than 50 occupants in which no alcoholic beverages are consumed shall be $100.
(9) 
Class IX. Multiple dwellings and commercial and industrial buildings, businesses, structures or premises with common areas accessible to the tenants or the public shall be $100 per building.
C. 
Waivers. The following users shall be exempt from the local permit and registration fees:
(1) 
The Somerville Fire Department.
(2) 
The Somerville Rescue Squad.
(3) 
Places of worship. This shall apply to uses where the actual religious service takes place, uses for religious education purposes or uses of an occasional nature.
(4) 
Contractors and construction firms, when the activity is part of work performed under a valid permit issued by the Building Department.
(5) 
Borough of Somerville.
(6) 
Somerville Board of Education.
(7) 
County of Somerset.
D. 
Special events. When determined by the Fire Marshal to be necessary for the purpose of public safety to have a Fire Inspector present during special events, the owner, operator, organizer, sponsor, person, or organization responsible, for said event shall pay the cost of said inspector at the rate of $100 per hour for the duration of the event.
E. 
Fire watch. If the Fire Marshal, Fire Inspector, paid personnel or member of a volunteer fire company is required to inspect, monitor, or patrol a building to detect circumstances that might immediately result in a fire while a building's fire protection system is inoperative, the owner of said building shall reimburse the Borough for said fire watch services at the rate of $100 per hour and reimburse the Borough for said fire watch services at the rate designated in the salary ordinance per hour. There shall be a minimum fee of $100, provided that no fee shall be assessed if within 30 minutes of being notified of the commencement of the fire watch services, the building owner or his or her representative arrives at the building and assumes control of the fire watch from the Fire Marshal, Fire Inspector, paid personnel or member of the volunteer fire company. The cost of providing fire watch services shall be certified by the Fire Marshal to the building owner within 30 days of their completion. The building owner shall reimburse the Borough within 30 days thereof.
[Amended 3-5-2018 by Ord. No. 2543]
A. 
Before any one- or two-family structure is sold for residential purposes, the owner shall obtain a certificate of smoke detector, carbon monoxide alarm and fire extinguisher compliance (CSDCMAFEC) evidencing compliance with N.J.A.C. 5:70-4.19, 5:70-2.3, 5:70-3 and N.J.S.A. 52:27D-198.1.
B. 
The owner or the authorized agent of the owner shall apply for a CSDCMAFEC on a form provided by the Somerville Bureau of Fire Prevention. The application shall be accompanied by the required fee as outlined below:
(1) 
Request for a CSDCMAC received more than 10 business days prior to the change of occupant: $75.
(2) 
Request for a CSDCMAC received four business days to 10 business days prior to the change of occupant: $100.
(3) 
Request for a CSDCMAC received fewer than four business days prior to the change of occupant: $125.
[Amended 3-5-2018 by Ord. No. 2543]
A. 
Trade shows, craft shows, exhibits, expositions, auctions, art sales, concerts, wrestling matches, festivals, dinners, dances, balls and similar events including non-school-type uses in school buildings, cultural centers and convention centers and any other uses requiring inspection by the Fire Marshal or Fire Inspector shall be $150 per event.
B. 
Asphalt (tar) kettles per job site shall be $60.
C. 
Permit application fees established by the Uniform Fire Code N.J.A.C. 5-70-2.9 are as follows:
(1) 
Type I: $54.
(2) 
Type II: $214.
(3) 
Type III: $427.
(4) 
Type IV: $641.
A. 
The Fire Marshal or his or her designee shall investigate, or cause to be investigated, the activation of any fire alarm, fire detector or fire protection system occurring within the Borough. The Fire Marshal or his or designee shall determine the cause for such activation and determine whether the alarm, detector or protection system has been properly restored to full service.
B. 
Failure to report: It shall be a violation of this section for any person or persons, having knowledge of same, to fail to immediately report to the Somerville Fire Department: the activation of any fire protection system or device; the occurrence of any fire; any attempted arson; or the spill or leakage of any flammable or combustible liquid or gas or of any hazardous material.
Pursuant to Sections 15 and 17 of the Uniform Safety Act, P.L. 1983, c. 383 of the Laws of the State of New Jersey, any person aggrieved by any order of the bureau shall have the right to appeal to the Construction Board of Appeals of the County of Somerset.
A. 
Designation of fire lanes and fire zones. Certain areas shall be designated as fire lanes to provide clear access to buildings for the fire-fighting equipment in the event of an emergency call, fire hydrants and water connection devices located on Borough and private roads shall be designated as fire zones as permitted by N.J.S.A. 39:4-8 et seq.
B. 
Notice to affected property owners.
(1) 
The Bureau shall send to the property owner by personal delivery or certified mail all notices requiring the installation of signs or the painting of fire-lane or fire-zone lines on said property owner's property.
(2) 
Any property owner so noticed shall install the required signs and paint the required lines within 30 days of receipt of said notice.
C. 
Intervention by the Borough for failure to comply. If a property owner fails to comply with the requirements of this subsection, the Bureau may cause the required signs to be installed and the lines painted at the property owner's expense. Said costs shall be assessed against the affected property and collected through the Borough Somerville Tax Collector's Office.
D. 
Parking, stopping or standing of vehicles prohibited. No person shall park ("parking" means the standing or waiting on a street, road or highway of a vehicle not actually engaged in receiving or discharging passengers or merchandise, unless in obedience to traffic regulations or traffic signs or signals), stop or leave standing ("stopping" or "standing" means any cessation of movement of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic control sign or signal) any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, in any designated twenty-foot-wide fire lane or fire zone or obstruct any designated fire lane or fire zone. No person shall park, stop or leave standing any vehicle within 15 feet of any fire hydrant or other fire department water connection device.
E. 
Restrictions for loading zones. In loading zones designated herein, attended vehicles may stop solely for the purpose of loading or unloading and only for the period of time necessary to accomplish such loading or unloading.
F. 
Installation of signs, painting of lines.
(1) 
Markings. The owner shall, within 30 days of being given notice to do so by the Fire Marshal, mark the lanes as follows:
(a) 
Signs, with minimum dimensions of 12 inches by 18 inches constructed of metal with raised red letters a minimum of two inches in size on a white background shall be posted at a level of at least seven feet above grade indicating "NO PARKING AT ANYTIME." Immediately under these signs shall be another sign, with minimum dimensions of 12 inches by six inches saying "FIRE LANE" OR "FIRE LANE NO ON-STREET PARKING." Spacing of signs shall be even with a minimum of one sign for every 50 feet of fire lane or part thereof, or as ordered by the Fire Marshal. All signs and markings must be unobstructed and visible for a distance of at least 100 feet when viewed from a position approximately five feet above the ground while in the fire lane.
(2) 
Diagonal yellow lines shall be painted on the pavement along the length of the fire lane or fire zone where possible. Fire lanes shall have a minimum width of 20 feet.
(3) 
Fire zones associated with fire hydrants and water connection devices shall be identified with yellow paint extending 15 feet in both directions on the curb and/or pavement where possible.
G. 
Enforcement agencies for the parking in fire lanes or fire zones. The Bureau and the Somerville Police Department shall have concurrent jurisdiction in policing and issuing parking summons.
H. 
Penalties.
(1) 
Property owners failing to install signs or paint pavement within 30 days of receipt of notice shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $500 in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Fire Code.
(2) 
Violators who park illegally in a fire lane or fire zone shall be subject to a fine of $75. Said fine shall be imposed on complaint and conviction in the municipal court of the Borough of Somerville.
(3) 
All fines and penalties shall be paid to the Borough of Somerville Treasury.
[Amended 3-5-2018 by Ord. No. 2543]
A. 
All buildings or structures protected by fire alarms shall be provided with a key box approved by the Fire Marshal. The key box shall contain keys to provide access to all areas of the building or structure and shall be installed in a location approved by the Fire Marshal; such key box shall only be utilized in response to a report of a fire or fire protection system activation or other emergency call.
(1) 
The key box shall be located in a lighted location not higher than 5 1/2 feet above grade.
(2) 
Key boxes shall be installed within 90 days of receiving a notice from the Fire Marshal.
(3) 
Key box keys shall be issued to the Fire Marshal. Each individual receiving keys shall be responsible for the security of same at all times.
B. 
All buildings or structures that have an elevator equipped with an elevator recall shall provide the elevator recall key in a key box installed in a location readily accessible to the Fire Department.
[Amended 3-5-2018 by Ord. No. 2543]
A. 
Any person or persons who violate any provision of this chapter is subject to a penalty of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000.
B. 
Failure to file a registration application pursuant to § 80-8B shall subject the person(s) responsible for said payment to a penalty in the amount equal to double the registration fee, but not less than $200 or more than $1,000.
C. 
Failure to pay the required registration fees pursuant to § 80-8B shall subject the person(s) responsible for said payment to a penalty in the amount equal to the unpaid fee, but not less than $200. Payment of the fee after imposition of the penalty shall not absolve the owner from responsibility for the penalty nor shall payment of the penalty be deemed to absolve the owner from the obligation to pay the fee.