Township of Branchburg, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Editor's Note: Prior ordinances codified herein include Ordinance Nos. 72-261, 85-476 and 85-479.]
[Ord. #91-605; Ord. #95-699; Ord. #99-797; Ord. #2002-881; Ord. #2002-905; Ord. #2003-937; Ord. #2011-1179; Ord. #2012-05]
This chapter and all amendments thereto shall be known and may be cited as the Branchburg Township Fire Safety Code.
As used in this chapter, in addition to those definitions of the Uniform Fire Safety Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-192 et seq. and the Uniform Fire Code, N.J.A.C. 5:70-1.1 et seq.:
BUREAU
Shall mean the Branchburg Township Bureau of Fire Prevention.
CODE
Shall mean the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code, N.J.A.C. 5:70-1.1 et seq.
FIRE CHIEF
Shall mean the duly elected chief of the fire department serving the Township of Branchburg.
FIRE OFFICIAL
Shall mean the person certified by the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and appointed by the township committee for the enforcement of the code.
LEGAL COUNSEL
Shall mean the township attorney or other such attorney as appointed by the township committee.
LOCAL ENFORCING AGENCY
Shall mean the Branchburg Township Bureau of Fire Prevention.
USE GROUPS
Shall mean a designation of the actual or intended use of a structure for the purposes of establishing a registration fee. This designation shall be consistent with the use group designation pursuant to the Uniform Construction Code.
The local enforcing agency shall enforce the Uniform Fire Safety Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-192 et seq., and the codes and regulations adopted under it in all buildings, structures, and premises within the established boundaries of the Township of Branchburg; other than single-family and two-family dwellings occupied by the holder of the title to the property, dwelling units within two-family and multi-family dwellings, and in facilities owned by the State of New Jersey or any board, commission, or authority thereof.
a. 
Life hazard uses. The local enforcing agency shall carry out the periodic inspections of all life hazard uses required by the code on behalf of the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
b. 
Non-life hazard uses. The local enforcing agency shall conduct periodic inspections of all non-life hazard uses at least once every 12 months.
a. 
Appointment of fire official. The fire official shall be appointed by the township committee. The person appointed shall be acceptable to the Fireman's Association. The person serving as fire official shall not be entitled to cast a vote for such recommendation.
b. 
Term of office. The fire official shall serve for a period of two years commencing on January 1 and ending on December 31. Any vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term within 60 days by the township committee. The person appointed to fill the unexpired term shall be acceptable to the Fireman's Association.
c. 
Supervision and authority. The fire official shall be under the supervision of the township committee, with direct supervision of the township administrator. The fire official shall supervise such subordinate fire inspectors or employees as may be employed.
d. 
Inspectors and employees. The township committee shall appoint or employ such inspectors or other employees as may be necessary to carry out all the required inspection activities and other day to day activities of the bureau. Those appointed shall be acceptable to the fire official and the Fireman's Association.
e. 
Removal from office. Any employee or inspector, including the fire official, shall not be removed from office without good cause. Good cause shall mean inefficiency or misconduct. Each employee, inspector or official so removed shall be afforded an opportunity of a hearing before the township committee.
Pursuant to section 15 and 17 of the Uniform Fire Safety Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-206 and 27D-208, respectively, any person aggrieved by any order of the local enforcing agency shall have the right to appeal the order to the Construction Board of Appeals of Somerset County.
[Ord. No. 2017-1322]
a. 
Registration. Whenever the fire official shall have cause to believe that a structure would require an inspection, and the structure is not a life hazard use, the fire official shall submit a local registration survey to the owner or tenant of the structure. The owner or tenant of a business or structure shall complete and return such a survey within 30 days.
Penalty failing to register a non-life hazard use is $250.
b. 
Registration fees. The owner of each business, office or multiple-family dwelling that is not a life hazard use, shall pay to the bureau an annual local registration fee to be included with the registration application. The fee shall be as follows:
1.
Use Group A
Under 1,001 square feet
$50
1,001 to 5,000 square feet
$87
5,001 or more square feet
$123
2.
Use Group B
Under 5,001 square feet
$50
5,001 to 10,000 square feet
$87
10,001 to 25,000 square feet
$123
Over 25,000 square feet
$160
3.
Use Group E
Privately-owned only
$87
4.
Use Group F
Under 1,001 square feet
$65
1,001 to 5,000 square feet
$87
5,001 to 50,000 square feet
$123
50,001 to 100,000 square feet
$160
100,001 or more square feet
$200
5.
Use Group M, except hardware store 3,000 square feet or more and retail 12,000 square feet or more, which are life hazard uses
Under 2,001 square feet
$65
2,001 to 5,000 square feet
$87
5,001 to 11,999 square feet
$160
6.
Use Group R, except life hazard uses
3 to 5 units
$87
6 to 25 units
$160
Over 25 units
$304
7.
Use Group S, except life hazard uses
Under 1,001 square feet
$87
1,001 to 5,000 square feet
$123
5,001 to 50,000 square feet
$160
50,001 to 100,000 square feet
$232
100,001 or more square feet
$304
8.
Vacant Retail/Commercial non-life hazard buildings shall be assessed to the building owner at 50% of original cost of the above listed Use Groups
9.
Fees for life hazard uses shall be paid to the State of New Jersey
10.
If a structure falls under more than one use group, then the largest primary use of that structure shall determine the use group of same said structure, as determined by the fire official
c. 
Permits. The fees for permits established by the Uniform Fire Code, N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.7, shall be as follows:
TYPE 1
$60
TYPE 2
$240
TYPE 3
$479
TYPE 4
$720
TYPE 5
(Reserved)
Any permit inspection or reinspection required on a Saturday, Sunday after hours or holiday will require an additional fee of $75 per hour.
d. 
Certificate of fire code status. There shall be a $10 fee charged for the issuance of a certificate of fire code status, in accordance with the Uniform Fire Code, N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.2.
e. 
Application for variance. There shall be submitted with each application for a variance to the Code, a fee of $25.
f. 
Fire investigation reports. There shall be a fee of $25 charged for a copy of any fire investigation report.
g. 
Certificate of smoke detector, carbon monoxide alarm and fire extinguisher compliance. The application fees for a certificate of smoke detector, carbon monoxide alarm and fire extinguisher compliance (CSDCCMAC), as required by N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.3, shall be based upon the amount of time remaining before the change of occupant is expected as follows:
1. 
Requests for CSDCCMAC received more than 10 business days prior to the change of occupant shall be $50.
2. 
Requests for CSDCCMAC received four to 10 business days prior to the change of occupant shall be $90.
3. 
Requests for CSDCCMAC received fewer than four business days prior to the change of occupant shall be $161.
Should more than two inspections be required, an additional $50 shall be charged per inspection.
All funds collected or received shall be appropriated by the township committee for the enforcement of the Uniform Fire Safety Act and the Uniform Fire Code.
The fire official shall be responsible for the collection of all local registration fees for non-life hazard uses, permit application fees, variance application fees, copies of fire report fees, penalties, and fire code status fees. The fire official shall have the authority, upon the approval of the township committee, to proceed with legal counsel for the collection of overdue fees.
The following are additional technical requirements of the Fire Safety Code.
a. 
Each fire department connection for a structure's fire suppression system shall have a sign with 12 inch letters of white reflective material on a red background placed in an approved position. The sign shall read "FDC" and the placement of same said sign shall meet with the fire official's approval.
b. 
Each fire suppression system wall mounted control valve shall be labeled with a sign of four inch letters. The lettering shall be of white material on a red background. The sign shall label the specific location of the part of the structure protected. The placement of the sign shall meet with the fire official's approval.
c. 
Each post indicator valve (PIV) of an underground water supply system for a structure's fire suppression system shall have a sign indicating what part of the water line that valve controls. The sign shall have four inch letters of a white material on a red background. The placement of the sign shall meet with the fire official's approval.
d. 
There shall be no parking within 10 feet of any fire hydrant, fire department connection, or fire water suction pipe. There shall be no obstructions within 10 feet of any fire hydrant, fire department connection, or fire water suction pipe.
e. 
Each standpipe or fire water suction pipe shall have a sign indicating what the pipe is used for. The sign shall have four inch letters of white material on a red background and placed in a position that meets with the fire official's approval.
f. 
All solid fuel burning appliances shall have a spark arrestor device installed at the top of their flue, or the approved equivalent as specified by the manufacturer.
g. 
Each fire lane access shall have a sign indicating "Fire Lane No Parking." The sign shall have four inch letters of white reflective material on a red background. The sign shall be located as close to the fire lane entrance as possible.
[Ord. #91-617]
A board or body to be known as the Branchburg Township Bureau of Fire Prevention is hereby established to regulate the fire suppression activities and other activities as may be necessary to provide proper fire protection throughout the township. The Branchburg Township Bureau of Fire Prevention shall assist the fire official in his enforcement activities as may be necessary.
a. 
Members. The bureau of fire prevention shall consist of the fire official, the duly elected fire chief and duly elected assistant fire chief of each duly constituted fire company serving the township, and the township committee person appointed by the township committee to serve as liaison.
b. 
Voting privileges. Each fire company shall have one vote at any Bureau of Fire Prevention meeting. If the fire chief and the assistant fire chief of the same fire company cannot agree on the vote for same said fire company, the vote of the fire chief shall govern. In the absence of the fire chief, the assistant fire chief shall cast a vote for the fire company he represents. The fire official, or his duly appointed senior fire inspector, shall have one vote. If the fire official and his duly appointed senior fire inspector cannot agree, the vote of the fire official shall govern.
The Bureau of fire prevention shall assist the fire official in the review of all site plans submitted to the planning board or board of adjustment. The fire official shall submit to the planning board or board of adjustment, written comment on such site plans reviewed by the bureau of fire prevention. The bureau of fire prevention shall update or change the standard operating procedures of the bureau of fire prevention as the bureau of fire prevention deems necessary.
The bureau of fire prevention shall submit, near the end of the appointed fire official's term, on or before the first of November, to the township committee, its written recommendation of a qualified person to be appointed by the township committee to the position of fire official. The current fire official shall not have a vote in this matter. The bureau of fire prevention shall submit, near the end of any appointed fire inspector's term, on or before the first of November, to the township committee, its written recommendation of a qualified person to be appointed by the township committee to the position of fire inspector. The current fire inspector, of which their term is to expire, shall not have a vote in this matter. The bureau of fire prevention shall submit annually a report, to the township committee, summarizing all of the bureau of fire prevention proceedings during the calendar year concerning fires, explosions or other like events. The bureau of fire prevention shall submit annually, to the township committee, any amendatory or supplementary ordinances to this code.
[Ord. #91-617]
For the purpose of fire suppression within the Township of Branchburg, the township is hereby divided into the following four fire zones serviced as follows:
Zone 1
Neshanic Fire Company
Zone 2
Readington Fire Company
Zone 3
County Hills Fire Company
Zone 4
North Branch Fire Company
The geographic boundaries of the above zones are hereby established as shown on the most recently revised map entitled "HYDRANT LOCATIONS and FIRE COMPANY ZONES". The map is on file in the office of the township engineer and is available for inspection between regular office hours. Copies thereof are available to the public upon request.
Zone boundary lines are intended to follow street center lines. The exact location of any disputed zone boundary line shall be determined by the bureau of fire prevention.
[Ord. #2012-2105]
As used in this section:
FIRE LANE
Shall mean:
a. 
Any road, area or passageway designated by the fire official to allow clear access to buildings for firefighting in the event of an emergency; and
b. 
The area surrounding and within 10 feet of a fire hydrant or fire department connection.
a. 
The fire official shall designate fire lanes for the efficient and effective operation of firefighting equipment, access to building openings by firefighters or egress of occupants, and access to building fire department connections, standpipes and fire hydrants.
b. 
Drawings, maps or pictures of properties delineating fire lanes shall be kept on file and available for inspection in the bureau.
a. 
All fire lanes designated by the fire official shall be identified by the posting of signs as required by the code and the marking of pavement is required by the fire official.
b. 
Every property owned shall keep all required signs and pavement markings in good condition and clearly legible at all times at the property owner's expense.
a. 
Notice that a property has designated fire lanes which require the posting of signs or painting of pavement shall be sent to the property owner by the fire official by personal delivery or certified mail.
b. 
Within 30 days of receipt of notice, the affected property owner shall install all required signs and paint pavements as required by the fire official at the property owner's expense.
All fire lanes designated by the fire official prior to May 31, 2012 shall continue to be designated fire lanes. The fire official shall have discretion as to the need for any maintenance or modifications required on fire lanes designated prior to May 31, 2012 and not in conformance with this section. Under no circumstance shall a modification be permitted that creates a lesser standard than required by this section.
The bureau shall have jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this section.
a. 
Property owners failing to install signs or paint pavement within 30 days of receipt of notice shall be subject to fine not to exceed $500 per violation per day.
b. 
Fines shall be imposed on complaint and conviction in the municipal court and shall be paid to the bureau.