Township of Washington, NJ
Gloucester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Washington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 7.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 55.
Fire subcode fees — See Ch. 80, Art. I.
Fire insurance claims — See Ch. 90.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 179.
Storage of tires — See Ch. 238.
[Adopted 10-26-1995 by Ord. No. 26-1995 as Ch. XIII of the 1994 Code]
A. 
The Uniform Fire Safety Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-192 et seq., was enacted for the purpose of establishing a system for the enforcement of minimum fire safety standards throughout the State of New Jersey.
B. 
The Uniform Fire Safety Act authorizes municipalities to provide for local enforcement and to establish local enforcement agencies for that purpose.
C. 
It is in the best interests of the Township of Washington, Gloucester County, to have the Uniform Fire Safety Act enforced locally.
D. 
Washington Township Fire District No. 1 has agreed to the plan, which is set forth herein, for the administration and enforcement of the Uniform Fire Safety Code.
Pursuant to Section 11 of the Uniform Fire Safety Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-202, the New Jersey Uniform Fire Safety Code shall be locally enforced within the established limits of Washington Township Fire District No. 1.
The local enforcing agency shall be the Bureau of Fire Prevention.
A. 
The local enforcing agency established by § 92-3 shall be part of the Washington Township Fire District No. 1. Such funds as may be necessary to support the operation of the agency shall be raised by the district in the manner provided by law.
B. 
The agency shall be under the supervision of the Board of Fire Commissioners.
A. 
Appointment of Fire Official. The Washington Township Board of Fire Commissioners shall appoint a Fire Official who shall enforce the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code as the agent for the local enforcing agency. In making this appointment, the Board of Fire Commissioners shall make the appointment from among those persons whom they shall consider qualified, which persons under consideration shall have been certified pursuant to the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:18A-4.
B. 
Term of office. The Fire Official shall serve a term of two years. Any vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:18A-4.
C. 
Inspectors and employees. Such inspectors and other employees as may be necessary in the local enforcing agency shall be appointed by the Board of Fire Commissioners upon the recommendation of the Fire Official.
D. 
Removal from office. The Fire Official, inspectors and other employees of the enforcing agency shall be subject to removal by the Board of Fire Commissioners for inefficiency or misconduct. The Fire Official, inspector or employee to be so removed shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard before the Board of Fire Commissioners or a designated hearing officer.
The local enforcing agency shall enforce the Uniform Fire Safety Act and the codes and regulations adopted under it in all buildings, structures and premises within the established boundaries of the Washington Township Fire District No. 1, other than owner-occupied one- and two-family dwellings, and shall faithfully comply with the requirements of the Uniform Fire Safety Act and the Uniform Fire Safety Code.
The Bureau of Fire Prevention shall carry out the periodic inspection of life hazard uses required by the Uniform Fire Safety Code on behalf of the Commissioner of Community Affairs.
Pursuant to sections 15 and 17 of the Uniform Fire Safety Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-206 and 208, any person aggrieved by any order of the local enforcing agency shall have the right to appeal to the Construction Board of Appeals of Gloucester County.
[Amended 11-13-1997 by Ord. No. 32-1997; 7-18-2002 by Ord. No. 12-2002]
A. 
The permit fees established by the Uniform Fire Code shall be the permit fees established in the Township of Washington.
B. 
Nonprofit organizations required to obtain a permit pursuant to the Uniform Fire Code to hold fund-raising or occasional public events shall not be required to pay a permit fee.
C. 
In addition to the above, the Fire Official and/or the District Chief shall be notified of any regular or special events or performance in any building located in Washington Township, and a permit fee shall be required in accordance with the Uniform Fire Code as herein established.
[Amended 11-13-1997 by Ord. No. 32-1997; 7-18-2002 by Ord. No. 12-2002]
A. 
The inspections and fees required pursuant to this article shall be those required pursuant to the Act and the regulations of the Department of Community Affairs, including any amendments or supplements thereto.
B. 
In addition to the inspections and fees established in Subsection A above, the Fire Official or the District Fire Chief may require inspections and continued monitoring to prevent overcrowding or to address other fire safety concerns for public safety during the occurrence of any regular or special events or performance in any building located in Washington Township. A fee shall be charged to the sponsor, entity owner or tenant of the building that is conducting the event or performance. The fee charged shall be the total hourly wage plus overtime, if applicable, paid by the Fire District to the respective Fire Inspector(s).
C. 
The inspections and fees required pursuant to this section for all buildings as defined in the Uniform Construction Code of New Jersey and not classified as life hazard buildings shall be as set forth in Chapter 80, Fees.
D. 
In the event a building, whether it be occupied by an assembly, business, factory, mercantile, residential, storage, utility or any combination thereof, is used by more than one legal entity, each legal entity shall be considered a separate user for purposes of payment of fees hereunder.
E. 
Any owner, agent or lessee who fails to pay the prescribed registration fee within 30 days of written notification shall be in violation of this section and shall be subject to a penalty equal to the amount of the unpaid fee.
F. 
Collection of said unpaid fee shall be enforced through a court of competent jurisdiction including but not limited to Municipal Court.
A. 
Permits. Permits, classified as follows, shall be required for the uses set forth:
(1) 
Type I permit.
(a) 
Bonfires.
(b) 
The use of a torch or flame-producing device to remove paint from, or seal membrane roofs on, any building or structure.
(c) 
Tents exceeding 1,200 square feet or 30 feet in any dimension, excluding canopies, whether single or made up of multiple smaller units, when used for the purposes which would constitute a life hazard use were the use to be found in a building.
(d) 
Individual portable kiosks or displays when erected in a covered mall for a period of less than 90 days and when not covered by a Type 2 permit.
(e) 
The use of any open flame or flame-producing device in connection with any public gathering for purposes of entertainment, amusement or recreation in places of public assembly.
(f) 
Welding or cutting operations, except where the welding or cutting is performed in areas approved for welding and is registered as a Type B life hazard use.
(g) 
The possession or use of explosives or blasting agents.
(h) 
Helistops.
(i) 
The occasional use in any building of a multipurpose room, with a maximum permitted occupancy of 100 or more, for amusement, entertainment or mercantile-type purposes.
(j) 
Use of a hydrant. The penalty for the unauthorized use of a fire hydrant shall be $100 for the first offense and $500 for each offense thereafter.
(2) 
Type 2 permit.
(a) 
Bowling lane resurfacing and bowling pin refinishing involving the use and application of flammable liquids or materials.
(b) 
Fumigation or thermal insecticide fogging.
(c) 
Membrane-covered cable and air-supported structures covering an area in excess of 120 square feet, erected for a period of less than 90 days.
(d) 
Carnivals and circuses employing mobile structures used for human occupancy.
(e) 
The use of a covered mall in any of the following manners:
[1] 
Placing or constructing temporary kiosks, display booths, concession equipment or the like in more than 25% of the common area of the mall.
[2] 
Temporarily using the mall as a place of assembly.
[3] 
Using open flame or flame devices.
[4] 
Displaying liquid or gas fuel-powered equipment.
[5] 
Using liquid petroleum gas, liquefied natural gas, or compressed flammable gas in containers exceeding five-pound capacity.
(3) 
Type 3 permit.
(a) 
Industrial processing ovens or furnaces operating at approximately atmospheric pressures and temperatures not exceeding 1,400º F., which are heated with liquid or gas fuel or which contain flammable vapors from the product being processed.
(b) 
Any wrecking yard or junkyard.
(c) 
The storage or discharging of fireworks.
(4) 
Type 4 permit.
(a) 
Storage or use at normal temperature and pressure of more than 2,000 cubic feet of flammable compressed gas or 6,000 cubic feet of nonflammable compressed gas.
(b) 
The production or sale of cryogenic liquids, the storage or use of more than 10 gallons of liquid oxygen, flammable cryogenic liquids or cryogenic oxidizers, or the storage of more than 500 gallons of nonflammable, nontoxic cryogenic liquids.
(c) 
The storage, handling and processing of flammable, combustible and unstable liquids in containers and portable tanks.
(d) 
Except for medicines, beverages, foodstuffs, cosmetics and other common consumer items when packaged according to commonly accepted practices, the storage or handling of:
[1] 
More than five gallons of corrosive liquids.
[2] 
More than 500 pounds of oxidizing materials.
[3] 
More than 10 pounds of organic peroxides.
[4] 
More than 500 pounds of nitromethane.
[5] 
More than 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate.
[6] 
More than one microcurie of radium or other radiation material not contained in a sealed source.
[7] 
More than one millicurie of radium or other radiation material in a sealed source.
[8] 
Any amount of radioactive material for which a specific license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is required.
[9] 
More than 10 pounds of flammable solids.
(5) 
Type 5 permit.
(a) 
Airports.
B. 
Permits, issuance. Permits shall only be issued for uses expressly designated as permitted uses under Chapter 285, Zoning, and upon the payment of the fees therefor.
C. 
Required inspections. In addition to the inspections provided pursuant to the Uniform Fire Code and regulations issued by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, additional inspections shall be required as follows:
(1) 
Inspection classification.
(a) 
Class I:
[1] 
All schools.
[2] 
All churches.
[3] 
All public buildings.
(b) 
Class II:
[1] 
All business use buildings less than 10,000 square feet.
[2] 
All eating establishments with a maximum occupancy load of less than 50 persons.
[3] 
All mercantile uses of less than 12,000 square feet.
[4] 
All factory uses of less than 2,500 square feet.
[5] 
All storage uses of less than 2,500 square feet.
(c) 
Class III:
[1] 
All mixed use buildings under 10,000 square feet.
[2] 
All business uses of more than 10,000 square feet but less than 20,000 square feet.
[3] 
All factory uses of more than 2,500 square feet but less than 20,000 square feet.
[4] 
All storage uses of more that 2,500 square feet but less than 20,000 square feet.
[5] 
All multiple dwellings containing from three to 25 units.
(d) 
Class IV:
[1] 
All mixed use buildings over 10,000 square feet.
[2] 
All business uses exceeding 20,000 square feet.
[3] 
All storage uses exceeding 20,000 square feet.
[4] 
All factory uses exceeding 20,000 square feet.
(e) 
Class V:
[1] 
All multiple dwellings containing 26 units or more.
(2) 
Time for inspections. All inspections shall be performed periodically to determine compliance with the provisions of the Uniform Fire Code and this article, but no less frequently than as set forth below:
(a) 
Class I through Class IV: once every 12 months.
(b) 
Class V, once every six months.
D. 
Fees. The permit and inspection fees established by the Uniform Fire Safety Code and this article shall be as set forth in Chapter 80, Fees, of this Code. All nonprofit organizations must take out a permit, but will not be required to pay a fee.
E. 
Multiple uses. In the event a building, whether it is occupied by a business, factory, mercantile, residential, storage or any combination thereof, is used by more than one legal entity, each legal entity shall be considered a separate user for purposes of payment of fees hereunder.
F. 
Failure to pay fees. Any owner, agent or lessee who fails to pay the prescribed registration fee within 30 days of written notification shall be in violation of this section and shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $5,000.
A. 
Findings.
(1) 
There are a number of areas in the Township where proper and efficient response of fire trucks and other fire equipment would possibly be impeded because of failure to designate certain areas as fire areas and regulate traffic and parking therein.
(2) 
N.J.S.A. 40A:14-53 provides that the governing body of any municipality may, by ordinance, authorize the officials in charge of fire prevention and regulation to establish fire areas, to regulate traffic and parking therein and provide penalties for violations.
(3) 
The Board of Fire Commissioners of Washington Township and the Fire Official thereof are the proper officials in charge as aforesaid.
(4) 
The Board of Fire Commissioners and the Fire Official have made a careful review of the Township to determine what areas should be so designated as fire areas.
(5) 
The Township Council is in agreement with the Board of Fire Commissioners and Fire Official in regard to what areas should be so designated.
(6) 
N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.46 gives the governing body of every municipality legal authority to make, amend, repeal and enforce ordinances to regulate vehicular and pedestrian traffic and the parking of vehicles in parking yards and parking places, which are open to the public or to which the public is invited, whether maintained or operated separately or in conjunction with any business or enterprise.
B. 
Designation of fire areas; parking prohibited. The areas described on the schedules attached to and hereby made a part of this article shall be and are hereby designated as fire areas. No parking shall be permitted in such fire areas.[1] All lane and area designations refer to sketches and/or site plans of the individual fire areas on file in the office of the Township Clerk.
[Amended 1-26-2006 by Ord. No. 6-2006]
(1) 
Parking.
(a) 
Upon a finding that such action is necessary for the public safety, the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Fire District of the Township of Washington within the district may require the owner or owners of any shopping center, commercial structure, place of public assembly, multiple dwelling group, industrial park, office building, hotel or motel or school to designate “Fire Lane” in the driveways of the premises leading to and from the parking areas, loading areas, public streets or rights-of-way leading to the above type buildings or structures. Such fire lanes shall be no less than 18 feet nor more than 50 feet in width and shall be striped and lettered in yellow on a paved surface, such striping and lettering to remain legible at all times. Metal “Fire Lane” signs, the letter of same to be legible at all times, shall be provided, erected and maintained by said owner or owners and placed at the discretion of the Board of Fire Commissioners. Said signs are to be of a design and quality and lettered in accordance with applicable state law and approved by the Board of Fire Commissioners or their designee.
(b) 
No person shall at any time park a vehicle or in any other manner obstruct any driveway or other area that has been designated as herein above provided as a “Fire Lane.”
(2) 
Special regulations for shopping centers.
(a) 
Fire lanes shall be established in all shopping centers to insure fire equipment and other emergency vehicles unobstructed means of ingress and egress and to insure the proper unobstructed ingress and egress of people to the properties and buildings located therein in the event of fire or other emergency and to insure that, further, fire hazards are not in the vicinity of the properties and buildings.
(b) 
The number, location, dimensions and markings of such lanes shall be determined by the Board of Fire Commissioners based upon the size, type and location of the buildings in such shopping centers; the types of uses contained therein; the number of motor vehicles operated and parked upon the property; the number of persons using and occupying the premises; the existing means of ingress and egress; the total area of the property; and other relevant factors.
(c) 
The Board of Fire Commissioners is authorized to regulate, restrict and prohibit the parking and operation of motor vehicles in and near such fire lanes and to impose other reasonable regulations necessary to insure that such lanes are free from obstruction.
(3) 
The Board of Fire Commissioners of the Fire District, the Fire Official and/or his designees and the Police Department of the Township of Washington shall have concurrent jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this subsection.
(4) 
Any violation of the provisions of this subsection shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 or by imprisonment of not more than 90 days, or both, which shall be enforceable in the Municipal Court of Washington Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey. All fines issued by Fire District personnel shall be made payable to the Washington Township Fire District. All fines issued by the Police Department personnel shall be made payable to the Municipality of the Township of Washington.
(5) 
The Fire Official shall cause to be issued a ticket book similar to a traffic ticket book for use in serving violations of this subsection.
(6) 
Notwithstanding the penalties hereinabove provided for violations of this subsection, the Fire District shall be entitled to pursue any other remedy available at law or equity to enforce the provisions hereof.
[1]
Editor's Note: The schedules are on file in the office of the Township Fire Official.
C. 
Plan of markings.
(1) 
Preparation. A plan indicating markings and signs to be made and erected, respectively, to designate the fire areas shall be prepared by the Township traffic safety officer after consultation with the Board of Fire Commissioners and Fire Official. The plans containing such markings and/or signs shall be placed on file in the office of the Township Clerk.
(2) 
Submission to property owner. After preparation of the plan by the traffic safety officer, it shall be submitted to the owner(s) of the real property which is to be designated as a fire area and the owner(s) of such real property shall have 90 days to make the markings and/or erect the signs as required therein. Failure to act within such 90 days shall be considered a violation of this section, and each day shall be considered a separate violation.
(3) 
Maintenance of markings and area. After the markings and/or signs are installed in accordance with the plan, the property owner shall be required to maintain the same in good condition so the public will always be kept aware that the fire areas are restricted.
A report of the Bureau of Fire Prevention shall be made quarterly and transmitted to the Township Council and the Board of Fire Commissioners. It shall contain a summary of proceedings under the Uniform Fire Safety Code and this article, with such statistics as the Board of Fire Commissioners may wish included therein.
A. 
Notice of violation. The Fire Official shall issue a notice of violation which shall contain a time period for the alleged violator to correct the violation, which time period shall not exceed 30 days, but the time specified shall be in the sole discretion of the Fire Official. The Fire Official shall also have discretion to grant extensions of time to an alleged violator once a notice of violation has been issued, but the total period of extension shall not exceed 60 days.
B. 
Penalty. Any violation of any of the provisions of this article, or of any of the codes adopted or enforced hereby shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, of this Code, unless another penalty is specifically set forth in this article, by state law or in such Code.
[Adopted 6-21-2001 by Ord. No. 16-2001]
Automatic fire sprinkler systems are to be installed in compliance with the National Fire Protection Association standards in all new buildings regardless of floor or occupancy type. For the purpose of this article, the floor area within the surrounding exterior walls shall be considered as one building. Area separation walls shall not be used in calculating allowable floor area for sprinkler requirements.
The following structures will be exempt from this article:
A. 
Detached carports.
B. 
Greenhouses.
C. 
Sheds and auxiliary structures under 200 square feet and not used for human habitation.
Whenever a new addition is added to any existing building which results in an increase of more than 50% in floor space or whenever total additions result in an increase of more than 1,000 square feet in total floor area including mezzanines or additional stories, or where alterations to existing buildings exceed 50% of the replacement value as determined by the Building Official, in that event the new construction will require an automatic fire sprinkler system. Alteration values and additional floor area shall be cumulative with each issuance of a building permit regardless of any change in ownership.
Violations of the provisions of this article shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I.