[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Ellington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-13-2000, effective 12-14-2000]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- EMERGENCY VEHICULAR TRAFFIC
- Includes fire apparatus, rescue vehicles, police vehicles, and private vehicles answering or working at emergency calls and shall also include any of the foregoing while such vehicles are on standby duty or any other official duty.
- FIRE LANE
- The same definition as the term "fire zone."
- FIRE MARSHAL
- The Town Fire Marshal and any of his deputies.
- FIRE ZONE
- Any area, space, lane, drive, path, or state, Town or private road or street so designated a fire zone by the Town Fire Marshal. Such designation shall cause that zone to become permanently available to emergency vehicular traffic and also available for large-scale fire-fighting evolutions.
- PROPERTY OWNER AND/OR OPERATOR
- Includes any and all persons who own, lease or operate any property or premises and/or any and all owners, lessees and/or operators and/or employees of such owner, lessee or operator upon any property or premises upon which a fire zone is established or designated to be established, including any and all owners, lessees and/or operators of motor vehicles or other materials or property being cited and their agents, employees and/or representatives.
- TEMPORARY FIRE ZONE
- A fire zone as specified above, except that it shall be established on a temporary basis to meet specific requirements in response to or in anticipation of a specific event.
The Fire Marshal shall designate all fire zones as he may determine appropriate in the interests of public safety.
No property owner or operator or other person shall establish any fire zone without a specific written or verbal fire zone designation by the Fire Marshal, whether that designation is for a permanent or temporary fire zone.
Fire zones may be designated and ordered established verbally or in letter format from the Fire Marshal.
The Fire Marshal shall establish requirements for the proper posting of any fire zone, which may vary between applications due to the particular circumstances.
The Fire Marshal shall furnish to the policing agency, from time to time, an updated listing of established fire zones in the Town. Said policing agency shall review this list and, in the process of patrolling the fire zones, shall report to the Fire Marshal any conditions found to exist which appear to be a hindrance or an impediment to the proper enforcement of this article.
Establishment of fire zone(s).
The Town Fire Marshal shall make reasonable requirements regarding the establishment of fire zones on any premises as specified in § 74-2 or as authorized by the Connecticut Fire Safety Code or the Connecticut General Statutes.
This article shall apply equally to all lands and property, public and private, including but not limited to the premises of any assembly, educational, health care, residential, mercantile, business, industrial, storage and/or unusual occupancies, including outside areas of public assembly and construction sites, except single- and two-family residential properties unless Chapter 17, Public Assemblies, Article II, Use of Outside Areas, of this Code is applicable.
Property owners and/or operators shall establish fire zones exactly as specified and required by any order of the Fire Marshal designating any fire zone and this shall be accomplished within the period specified in any such order.
Fire zones may be temporarily suspended only by the Fire Marshal when such suspension is in the best interests of the public and does not impact negatively upon the emergency services.
Design, construction and posting of fire zone(s).
Fire zones shall be of sufficient design, width, turning radius, and durability so as to assure safe passage, setup and operation of emergency vehicles.
Fire zones which are established within 50 feet of a principal building shall be interpreted and understood to include the area between the fire zone and the subject building.
Fire zones may be required to be of specific design so as to permit particular fire ground operations within their confines.
Construction requirements of fire zones shall consider severe weather conditions, such as snow, wind and flooding.
In an effort to establish traffic patterns so as to further secure fire zones, such items as signs, berms, curbing, painted lines, barriers and other means, separately or in combination, may be required.
All materials used in posting of or otherwise establishing a fire zone shall be professionally prepared materials designed for such use and application.
Maintenance of fire zone(s).
Property owners and/or operators shall supervise and maintain fire zones sufficiently to assure instant availability to the emergency services and shall not permit any obstruction to or encroachment upon any fire zone established upon their premises.
At any indoor or outdoor public assembly occupancy the Fire Marshal may require the owner or operator to hire private duty police officers in sufficient numbers and for sufficient duration so as to ensure proper enforcement of this article.
Snow shall be removed from any fire zone prior to the opening of the premises to the public when such snow is in excess of four inches. In circumstances where the premises are not normally open to the public, such snow shall be removed from any fire zone within three hours following the end of a storm.
No person shall cause or encourage or otherwise allow or permit any obstruction to or encroachment upon any fire zone.
Immediate hazards, obstructions and/or encroachments upon any fire zone may be ordered by the enforcing authorities to be removed forthwith, and refusal of any such order by the owner, lessee and/or operator of the premises and/or the owner, lessee and/or operator of the offending property or material shall be just cause for the enforcing authorities to effect the removal through any reasonable means.
In instances where the safety of the public is in immediate jeopardy due to a violation of this article, enforcing authorities or any fire officer may cause the immediate removal of any such hazards, obstructions and/or encroachments without providing prior notice to the owner, lessee and/or operator of the premises and/or the owner, lessee and/or operator of the offending property or material, except that as soon as is reasonably possible following such removal written notice shall be provided to the address(es) of record, if any, for the property thus removed.
This article shall be enforceable by the Town policing agency and by the Town Fire Marshal.
Persons directed under the provisions of this article to provide one or more fire zones may appeal the need for or particular requirements for a fire zone to the Town traffic authority in writing using forms developed by the Fire Marshal.
Appeal forms may be obtained from either the Fire Marshal, First Selectman or policing agency, and completed forms must be filed with the First Selectman within 15 calendar days of receipt of the order to establish the fire zone.
The Town traffic authority, after a hearing at which the appellant and Fire Marshal shall be invited to appear and give evidence, shall issue a written decision upon the appeal form which may uphold the directive, modify the directive, rescind the directive, or any combination thereof. The appellant(s) shall then be notified by said traffic authority and a copy of the fully executed appeal form shall be transmitted to the Fire Marshal.
Violation of this article shall be an infraction as defined in Connecticut General Statutes §§ 51-164m and 51-164n, as the same may be modified from time to time. In the event that a greater penalty is specifically set forth in the Connecticut General Statutes, then the greater penalty shall apply.
Any person who violates any provision of the Fire Safety Code shall be fined not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 29-295.
[Adopted 7-16-2001, effective 8-10-2001]
This article shall be applicable to the entire Town.
This article shall apply to all lands, public and private.
Nothing within this article shall be construed as restricting the duties and responsibilities of the Open Burning Official as may be prescribed by the General Statutes or the Commissioner of Environmental Protection.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ENCLOSED COOKING FIRE
- Includes charcoal, gas or wood fires in containers carrying recognized testing laboratory listing, acceptance or approval and constructed for the obvious and express purpose of cooking.
- A general term referencing all of the types of open outside fires and shall not be construed to include any type of fire normally kindled within a structure.
- FIRE MARSHAL
- Includes the Fire Marshal and any Deputy Fire Marshal or inspector.
- NONPERMITTED FIRE
- Includes any type of fire requiring approval or authorization as provided in § 74-10 but not having such approval or authorization; this shall include any fire deemed a hazard or nuisance as provided for in § 74-10.
- OPEN BURNING
- Includes fires for the control or destruction of bona fide disease and pests, agricultural burning or vegetation management on farms; fires by any resident to dispose of brush on the property where he resides; fires for Fire Department training; fires authorized by the Fire Marshal at the Town landfill or transfer station; clearing of vegetative debris following a natural disaster; fire breaks; and habitat or ecological sustainability on municipal property or on privately owned property permanently dedicated as open space and shall include no other fires.
- OPEN BURNING OFFICIAL
- The official appointed by the Board of Selectman to administer this article and open burning regulations of the Department of Environmental Protection.
- OPEN COOKING FIRE
- Includes all types of cooking fires kindled outside on single- or two-family property.
- PERMITTED FIRE
- Includes any fire that has been properly authorized by the Open Burning Official and/or the Fire Marshal and shall also include any other type of fire authorized by § 74-10.
- Includes any person to whom an open burning permit has been issued, any person authorized by the Fire Marshal to kindle a fire, and any agent thereof.
- RESPONSIBLE PERSON
- Includes the permittee and those persons designated or allowed by the permittee to kindle or maintain any fire under the provisions of this article and all of whom shall be considered agents of the permittee.
The Board of Selectman may designate one or more special annually recurring periods when open burning may be permitted under this article, there being no permitted burning during nondesignated times.
Subject to Subsection A above, the Open Burning Official may designate certain days and times as being those periods during which application may be made for an open burning permit.
Any violation of § 74-10 of this article shall be sufficient reason to deny any future application from the violator or from any other person acting as an agent of the violator for an open burning permit as issued by the Open Burning Official or for approval as granted by the Fire Marshal.
The Fire Marshal or any fire officer having jurisdiction, after having been made aware of a particular open fire and having satisfied himself as to the circumstances and applicable requirements, shall cause any fire not specifically permitted in § 74-10 or any fire deemed a hazard or nuisance to be immediately extinguished as a nonpermitted fire and may summon the fire service to accomplish this extinguishment.
Any fire officer who orders any fire to be extinguished shall cause the Fire Marshal to be notified immediately and shall provide sufficient details so as to assist the Fire Marshal in determining the need for investigation.
Upon receipt of any complaint concerning any open fire, the Fire Marshal shall cause an investigation to be made to determine the validity of the complaint and shall take enforcement action when deemed appropriate.
The Fire Marshal shall assume responsibility for notifying the Open Burning Official when enforcement action is taken in those instances where an open burning permit was in effect.
The Fire Marshal shall institute procedures necessary to accomplish the requirement of obtaining Fire Marshal approval as required in § 74-10.
A fee schedule shall be adopted by the Board of Selectmen for permit applications and may be amended as appropriate by that Board.
No person shall kindle any fire within the Town unless he has received a permit from the Open Burning Official for those fires defined as "open burning" in § 74-8 or as further excepted in Subsections A(1), (2) and (3) of this section.
An open cooking fire as defined in § 74-8 or a campfire properly maintained and kindled in a proper container on single- or two-family residential property and not containing pressure-treated wood shall be permitted without any prior notice or approval.
An enclosed cooking fire as defined in § 74-8 properly attended on any property shall be permitted without any prior notice or approval, except that such fires in forests and woodlands shall require Fire Marshal approval.
Any other fire of any type on any and all types of property whatsoever shall require Fire Marshal approval.
Any fire shall be considered a nonpermitted fire if it is determined to be a hazard or nuisance, whether an open burning permit has been issued or Fire Marshal approval has been granted or whether it is within a stated exception.
Sufficient tools and equipment necessary to extinguish any fire of any kind whatsoever must be present and readily available, and a responsible person, physically capable of using those tools and equipment, must be present and in control of any such fire.
The permittee or responsible person must be in physical possession of any written permit during the entire process of the open fire. Said person must present any written permit or authorization to the Fire Marshal, fire officer or police officer upon request.
The permittee shall extinguish any permitted fire prior to leaving the proximate area of said fire for any reason whatsoever or upon the order of the Fire Marshal, Open Burning Official, or any fire officer or police officer.
Insufficient or unsuitable equipment or insufficient manpower to control any fire, a change to unfavorable weather conditions, a determination that the fire is a hazard or a nuisance, a change in the Department of Environmental Protection forest fire index which would render the fire a violation, notice of an air pollution emergency, or any evidence of a type or magnitude of fire contrary to that which was specifically permitted or authorized or otherwise allowed by this article shall justify any order to extinguish such fire.
In lieu of any order to any person in charge of any fire to extinguish said fire or in the event of any refusal to comply with such an order, the Fire Department is authorized to extinguish said fire and shall immediately cause the Fire Marshal to be notified.
No permittee or responsible person shall allow a fire to extend in area beyond that which is specifically authorized or permitted or otherwise allowed.
No permittee or responsible person shall introduce or allow the introduction of any improper, unauthorized or otherwise illegal material into any open fire. Proper, authorized and legal materials shall be limited to:
Agricultural burning for vegetation management and for the prevention, control or destruction of diseases and pests.
Brush, the diameter of which is not greater than three inches at the widest point.
Other materials for which the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection has issued a permit, provided that the Fire Marshal also approves the burning of such materials.
The permittee or responsible person shall be liable for any suppression costs that may reasonably be brought forth in the name of the Town of Ellington which were incurred as a result of any open fire.
No landowner shall knowingly allow, permit, authorize or encourage any type of nonpermitted fire upon his property.
Any change in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) forest fire hazard index to "High" or greater shall cause any permit or authorization to be null and void without consideration of distance to woodland or grassland.
No DEP open burning permit shall be issued to any resident for any open burning when such open fire would occur upon any property or premises regulated by the Fire Safety Code of the State of Connecticut unless such permit is approved by the Fire Marshal, except this shall not be applicable to operating farms.
Violation of any condition set down as a part of any permit approval or other approval shall constitute a violation of this article.
Section 74-10 of this article shall be enforceable by the Fire Marshal and the policing agency having jurisdiction. The Fire Marshal may develop citation forms suitable for use by that office and for that purpose. The policing agency may utilize any forms it deems appropriate for that purpose.
Violation of this article shall be an infraction as defined in Connecticut General Statutes § 51-164m and 51-164n, as the same may be modified from time to time. In the event that a greater penalty is specifically set forth in the Connecticut General Statutes, then the greater penalty shall apply.
Any person who violates any provision of the Fire Safety Code shall be fined not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 29-295, as the same may be amended from time to time.