[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Rotterdam as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Carnivals
Article II Tent Shows
The applicant, at the time of applying for a license to conduct or take part in an itinerant carnival, exhibition or show in the Town of Rotterdam, must furnish to the Town Board an affidavit setting forth the precise nature of such carnival, exhibition or show and any additional matter which may be required by the Town Board.
[Amended 3-12-1986 by L.L. No. 4-1986; 1-25-1989 by L.L. No. 1-1989]
Said applicant, at the time of applying for said license, shall pay to the Town of Rotterdam a license fee as set forth in Ch. 126, Fees.
This article shall be known and quoted as the "Rotterdam Fire Ordinance," regulating itinerant shows, circuses, carnivals and tent shows within the corporate boundaries of the Town of Rotterdam.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- An application in writing for a permit to hold a tent show or exhibition in accordance with the provisions of this article.
- FIRE CHIEF
- Includes the Fire Chief of any duly organized fire district in the Town of Rotterdam, and includes his assistants or deputy chiefs and/or assistant fire chiefs.
- FIRE POLICE
- Includes fire police officers as specified in Subdivision 10 and members and/or officers of fire police squads as specified in Subdivision 13 of § 176 of the Town Law; also officers and patrolmen of Rotterdam Police Department, and the Sheriff and his deputies.
- FIRE WARDEN
- A person designated as Fire Warden by the Supervisor of the Town of Rotterdam in accordance with Subdivision 3 of § 52 of the Conservation Law. 
- ITINERANT SHOWS
- Includes a circus, carnival, bazaar, midway and any other public performance, show, spectacle or exhibition using, operating and/or maintaining one or more tents or temporary enclosures designed for housing and/or public assembly of two or more persons.
- Includes a written authorization given permittee by permit authority pursuant to the provisions of this article.
- PERMIT AUTHORITY
- Includes the Town Board of the Town of Rotterdam, which is the duly constituted licensing agency of the Town of Rotterdam.
- TOWN CLERK
- The Town Clerk of the Town of Rotterdam and/or his deputy.
Editor's Note: The Conservation Law has been repealed and replaced by the Environmental Conservation Law.
No itinerant show, tent show, circus, carnival, bazaar, midway or any other exhibition, performance or entertainment as specified in § 98-3 herein, shall be held in the Town of Rotterdam without a permit duly issued as provided in this article.
Application for a permit shall be made in writing by the owner or his duly appointed agent in writing, or if the applicant be a corporation, by a duly authorized officer of such corporation, upon a proper form to be secured from the Town Clerk of the Town of Rotterdam, which application shall set forth the following:
The name and address of the person, firm, or corporation who or which shall hold, or intends to hold, the carnival, circus or any other exhibition as specified in § 98-3.
The date and time of day at which the exhibition is to be given or held.
The location of such exhibition.
Such other information as the permit authority may deem necessary to protect persons or property.
All applications for permits shall be filed with the Town Clerk of the Town of Rotterdam at least five days prior to the date fixed for such exhibition.
Such application shall contain the approval of the Fire Chief of the fire district wherein such exhibition is to be held or given, and if it be held or given outside the corporate boundaries of any fire district, it shall bear the approval of a Fire Warden of the Town of Rotterdam, and the head of the Police Department of the Town of Rotterdam.
Before granting and issuing a permit, the permit authority shall require an adequate bond from the applicant in a sum to be fixed by the permit authority, which bond, however, shall not be less than $50,000 issued by a surety or insurance company, duly authorized to do business in New York State, conditioned for the payment of all damages which may be caused to a person or persons, or to property, by reason of the giving or holding of such exhibition, performance, entertainment or assemblage under any term designated in § 98-3, so permitted, and arising from any acts of the permittee, his agents, employees, contractors or subcontractors. Such bond shall run to the Town of Rotterdam, the fire district in which such performance or exhibition is held, the permit authority, and for the use and benefit of any person or persons, or any owner or owners of any property so injured or damaged, and such person or persons or such owner or owners are hereby authorized to maintain an action thereon, which right of action shall also accrue to the heirs, executors, administrators, successors or assigns of such person or persons or such owner or owners.
The permit authority may accept in lieu of such bond, an indemnity insurance policy with liability coverage and indemnity protection equivalent to the terms and conditions upon which such bond is predicated, and for the purpose herein provided.
Any bond or policy of indemnity insurance issued in compliance with this section shall specifically provide that all motor vehicles used in conjunction with itinerant shows shall be covered by said bond or policy of indemnity insurance for all damages caused thereby in and about the grounds wherein said show operates and on all private roads, rights-of-way and means of egress and ingress to said grounds.
A motor vehicle for the purposes of this section shall be deemed to be any vehicle propelled by any other power than muscular power, without exception.
In the application for permit specified in § 98-6 hereof all applicants shall designate, in writing, that the Town Clerk of the Town of Rotterdam shall be his or their agent to receive process in his or their behalf in any action or proceeding, whether in contract or in tort arising directly or indirectly out of the presentation or exhibition of the show. The application shall set forth the permanent address of the exhibitor and shall indicate the state of domicile if the exhibitor is a corporation.
The permit authority shall not issue any permit until and unless the following precautions for safety to life and property have been taken by the applicant:
Location, construction and material. Tents exceeding 120 square feet in area shall not be erected within 20 feet of any buildings. All tents shall be constructed and erected to withstand a wind pressure of 10 pounds per square foot. All canvas, curtains, cloth, rope, netting and decorative material shall be rendered flameproof, a test being made of the tent by the Fire Department prior to each erection and on the decorative and other materials before they are attached to or placed therein.
In lieu of such tests, the Fire Department may accept a certificate from the manufacturer that the material has been tested by Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., or some other recognized laboratories, and found to be permanently flameproofed provided the material has proper identification markings and is not more than three years old or has not been waterproofed subsequently by a process which increases its flammability.
Where tents are used as places of assembly with a capacity of 200 or more persons, the seats, chairs, jacks and other appurtenances, if of wood, must be suitably treated to reduce the fire hazard by a suitable application of a surface treatment or by impregnation.
No tier of seats shall rise to a height exceeding 12 feet.
All lighting shall be by electricity, with lamps properly guarded to prevent ignition by radiation, and all bulbs to be at least 12 inches from any canvas. In places of assembly, emergency lighting facilities must be as provided in the Building and Electrical Codes for theaters.
All wiring conductors shall be of a type approved for the class of service and be protected against overcurrent. Loads for feeders and branch lines shall be limited in accordance with the carrying capacities as specified in the electrical standards currently applicable in the Town. When deemed necessary by the Electrical Inspector, conductors shall be trenched and covered.
[Amended 3-12-1986 by L.L. No. 4-1986]
Tents in which persons sleep, and mess tents, shall not be used for any exhibition purpose.
Exits, aisles and seats. A minimum of two exits shall be provided where a tent is used as a place of assembly with a capacity of 100 or more persons, in any tent where 10 or more persons sleep and in any tent involving conditions hazardous to life. Where tents are used as a place of public assembly with a capacity in excess of 500 people, each exit shall be not less than nine feet wide, and the number of exits shall be based upon the ratio of one exit to each 500 persons or major fraction thereof which the tent is designed to seat or hold. Such exits shall be placed not over 75 feet apart and exitways serving such exits shall be not less than nine feet in clear width.
Aisles not less than 44 inches in width shall be provided so that there are not more than 10 seats between any seat and an aisle. Where individual seats are not provided, a distance of 18 inches along any bench or platform shall constitute one seat in computing required aisles and exits. Every aisle shall lead directly to an exitway, or to a cross aisle running parallel with the seat rows and leading to an exitway. Such aisles shall not be less in width than the combined width or aisles that they connect. In tents having a capacity of 1,000 or over, facilities must be provided for admitting patrons on opposite sides or ends convenient to their seating locations. (The purpose of this requirement is to prevent congestion during the seating period and familiarize patrons with exits closest to their seats.)
Aisles and exitways shall be used only for passage to and from seats and for vendors carrying their wares. No poles or ropes shall be permitted in aisles and exitways and all exitways and exits shall be kept unobstructed at all times and so maintained as to not present a hazard from fire. The area for a distance of 20 feet beyond any exit shall be kept free and clear and be made readily passable.
Where two or more tents adjoin, with an opening between, an exit to the outside shall be provided at the point of juncture.
Marking and lighting of exits. All required exits, other than those normally used for entrance, shall be plainly marked during hours of darkness, as to be readily distinguished. Required exitways shall also be kept adequately lighted at such time, including the immediate area outside the exits.
No smoking. Signs prohibiting smoking shall be prominently displayed at all entrances and at other locations within any tent used as a place of assembly, so that they may be clearly visible to all occupants. Frequent announcement regarding such prohibition shall be made, preferably over a public-address system if available. Suitable noncombustible containers shall be provided at all entrances for the proper disposition of cigar or cigarette butts and pipe dottle, and a uniformed fireman shall be stationed at such locations to advise patrons of the no-smoking regulations.
Motion pictures. No motion-picture film of the nitrocelulose type shall be used, stored or exhibited within a tent. Such exhibitions, when held within a tent, shall be restricted to the use of safety film only.
Automobiles, trucks, tractors, lighting equipment and other equipment using gasoline. All such appliances shall be filled with approved safety cans or by hose from fixed pumps, from wheeled tanks with pumps, or pump from a tank wagon located not closer than 25 feet to any tent.
Fire appliances. The Chief of the Fire Department shall survey or cause to be surveyed each tent for which a permit has been granted, after it is erected, and if it is to be used as a place of assembly, before it is to be used as a place of assembly, before it is occupied. He shall require the installation of such fire appliances as are deemed necessary, and designate their location. Such fire appliances may consist of water tanks, pumps, hose, water buckets, extinguishers and fireproof blankets.
All fire appliances shall be kept in working condition and all pump and hose, when used in connection with tank wagons, shall be inspected and tested, if deemed necessary, prior to the occupance of the tent. Portable extinguishers and similar appliances shall be properly distributed and readily accessible. It shall be the duty of the owner or manager of each exhibition to properly train sufficient responsible employees in the use of fire equipment so that it can be quickly put in operation; the Chief of the Fire Department may require these employees to prove their fitness.
Inspection and supervision by Fire Department. Firemen shall be detailed to all circuses, carnivals or other exhibitions where large crowds assemble. They shall familiarize themselves with all fire protection facilities and fire prevention features and with the condition of exits, and shall patrol the entire area of the tent during the time it is occupied. Special policemen or firemen should see that overcrowding is not permitted, that aisles and exitways are kept open and that no-smoking rules are observed.
[Amended 3-12-1986 by L.L. No. 4-1986]
The holding or giving of any exhibition mentioned or described in this article without a permit therefor, is hereby declared to be a violation, punishable in the manner hereinafter set forth. Any violation of the provisions of this article following the issuance of a permit is hereby declared to be a violation and shall constitute grounds for summary revocation of the permit by the permit authority, and shall subject the applicant and/or the person, firm or corporation guilty of such violation, to punishment as provided in the following section.
[Amended 3-12-1986 by L.L. No. 4-1986]
Any person, firm or corporation holding or giving any exhibition without a permit duly obtained, shall be guilty of a violation and shall pay a fine of not more than $250 or be imprisoned for a term not to exceed 15 days, or both, for each violation. The permit authority shall, in addition to imposing such fine or punishment upon evidence of any violation of the provisions of this article, forthwith summarily revoke any permit granted the applicant for the holding or giving of any exhibition provided herein.