[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Hanover 1-20-1986 as Ch. 7, Part 1, of the 1986 Code; amended in its entirety 10-20-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-14. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Office of Fire Marshal is hereby created in West Hanover Township.
[Amended 4-2-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02]
The Fire Marshal shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors for a term of four years ending December 31 but may stay in office until a successor is appointed. Notwithstanding the aforesaid appointment for a specified term, the Board of Supervisors of West Hanover Township shall have the right to remove the Fire Marshal at its pleasure; and in such cases, vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment was made, for the unexpired portion of the term. The Fire Marshal shall receive compensation in the amount of $500 annually, which compensation may be modified by the West Hanover Township Board of Supervisors by resolution at the annual reorganizational meeting. Fire Marshal shall perform all duties and shall have and exercise all powers generally prescribed by this chapter or by ordinance of West Hanover Township.
Assistant Fire Marshal. From time to time, the Township Fire Marshal may recommend the appointment of an Assistant Fire Marshal(s) who shall serve to assist the Fire Marshal in the powers and duties established in this chapter or by ordinance of West Hanover Township. The Board of Supervisors of West Hanover Township shall appoint all assistant Fire Marshals for a term of two years ending December 31 but may stay in office until a successor is appointed. The Board of Supervisors of West Hanover Township shall have the right to remove any Assistant Fire Marshal at its pleasure, and in such cases, vacancies shall be filled upon recommendation by the Fire Marshal and shall serve for the unexpired portion of the term. Any Assistant Fire Marshal shall receive compensation in the amount of $250 annually, which compensation may be modified by the West Hanover Township Board of Supervisors by resolution at the annual reorganizational meeting.
The Fire Marshal shall have the power and shall be required to coordinate the following duties in accordance to the specifications herewith, and shall do so in a manner in coordination with the Township Manager, Code Official (AHJ) and appropriate code officials, and not inconsistent with the IFC codes and NFPA standards adopted by West Hanover Township Board of Supervisors:
Prepare written correspondence, newsletter articles and similar publications to Township residents to communicate fire protection and fire prevention practices that reflect applicable IFC codes and NFPA standards and are appropriate for the intended audience.
Identify and investigate requests (or service or complaints related to fire safety given a reported situation or unsafe conditions during Township inspection activities, and seek voluntary compliance or mediated settlement of these issues with the subject property owner/representative in a timely manner. Identify and record information and evidence of fire safety noncompliance for use in other appropriate levels of enforcement and procedures.
As may be necessary, investigate, or cause to be investigated, all fires, explosions and other similar incidents for the purpose of determining reason for the incident, possible code violations, and future preventive measures. In suspicious fire and related incidents, the Fire Marshal may engage the Pennsylvania State Fire Marshal or other appropriate law enforcement entities to investigate the matter.
As may be necessary, provide review comments on subdivision land development and building plans submitted for new multifamily or nonresidential construction in conjunction with the Township's SALDO plan review and the building permit review procedures of the Code Administrator.
Coordinate the issuance of Township burn permits in accordance with the requirements and procedures set forth in Chapter 85 of the Township Code of Ordinances, as amended.
Under certain dry weather conditions, monitor and issue official "burn bans" in the Township in accordance with general accepted principles for establishing burning bans and as specified by the Dauphin County EMA, PEMA or other sources.
As may he necessary, testify at legal proceedings, given the findings of a field inspection or a complaint and consult with legal council (if required for common pleas court) so that all information is presented accurately and the inspector's/Marshal's demeanor is appropriate for the proceeding.
Prepare, coordinate and conduct fire safety inspections independently and/or with the Township Code Official in accordance with a community inspection program/schedule to be performed on a timely or random basis throughout all multifamily or nonresidential structures within the Township. Coordinate the preparation of inspection checklists for given field observations and policies for inspections within the community inspection program/schedule in coordination or conjunction with inspection activity of the Township Code Official and as permitted in § 22-3I.
Inspections. The Fire Marshal may conduct the following inspections of new and existing structures and properties for construction, fire protection, and exposures.
Means of egress for emergency exit. Inspect means of egress elements, given observations made during a field inspection of an existing building.
Fire suppression systems. Determine the operational readiness of existing fixed fire suppression systems, given test documentation and field observations, so that the system(s) is in an operational state.
Fire detection systems. Determine the operational readiness of existing fire detection and alarm systems, given test documentation and field observations, so that the systems are in an operational state, maintenance is documented.
Fire extinguishers. Determine the operational readiness of existing portable fire extinguishers, given field observations and test documentation, so that the equipment is in an operational state, maintenance is documented, and all deficiencies are identified and documented.
Fire hazards. Identify hazardous conditions involving equipment, processes, and operations, given field observations so.that the equipment, processes, or operations are conducted and maintained in accordance with the IFC and the applicable NFPA standards and all deficiencies are identified, documented, and reported.
Structure emergency readiness and planning. Assess that emergency planning and preparedness measures are in place and have been practiced, given field observations, copies of emergency plans, and records of exercises, so that plans are prepared and exercises have been performed in accordance with the IFC and applicable NFPA standards.
Emergency access to site. Inspect emergency access for a site, given field observations, so that the required access for emergency responders is maintained or so that deficiencies are identified, documented, and corrected.
Lock boxes. Assess the installation and adequacy of lock boxes required by the Township for all structures with remote fire detection systems.
Fire drills. Coordinate scheduling and conduct of emergency drills for all schools and assemblies in conjunction with the jurisdiction of the assembly as well as the jurisdiction of the Township, given field observations, so that the drills and emergency procedures are in compliance with the IFC and applicable NFPA standards. All deficiencies are documented, identified and reported in accordance with the policies of the jurisdiction.
Act as a liaison for the Board of Supervisors and Township Manager to the West Hanover Township Fire Company related to Township fire prevention, fire safety concerns and related fire protection services.
Coordinate, prepare and present a Fire Marshal report on at a semiannual basis to the Board of Supervisors outlining the status of the community inspection program, duties and responsibilities accomplished throughout the year, and other records of activity, expenditures and similar information.
Attend Township meetings when requested by the Board of Supervisors or Township Manager from time to time.
Participate as required in public relations events and training of Township residents on fire safety techniques and strategies.
No person shall in any way obstruct or prevent or attempt to obstruct or prevent the Fire Marshal in the discharge of his duties, by denying or attempting to deny him access to any premises owned or occupied by such person, either failing or refusing correct information requested by him in the investigation into the cause, origin or circumstances of any fire.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof before a District Justice, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $1,000, and costs of prosecution. It is further provided that, upon judgment against any person by summary conviction, or by proceedings by summons on default of the payment of the fine or penalty imposed and the costs, the defendant may be sentenced and committed to the county prison for a period not exceeding 30 days.
Nothing in this chapter or in the code hereby adopted shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding impending in any court, or any rights acquired, or liability incurred, or any cause of action acquired or existing, nor shall any just or legal right or remedy or any character be lost, impaired or affected by this article.