Township of Bernards, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. #1210, § 2, 5-25-1999, added; Ord. #1578, 10-15-2002, amended]
In recognition that it may not be entirely possible to ensure complete fire protection to all areas in the Township, and to provide the Basking Ridge and Liberty Corner Fire Departments with minimum fire-fighting capability, all major subdivisions and major site plan applications for development shall provide for a source of water for fire-fighting purposes pursuant to systems approved by the Township Fire Official and in accordance with the following criteria:
a. 
Fire-fighting water supply.
1. 
Residential subdivisions of 20 or more lots shall bring public water to the site if the site is within 3,000 feet of a public water source.
2. 
Residential subdivisions having 10 to 19 lots shall bring public water to the site if the site is within 1,500 feet of a public water source.
3. 
Fire hydrants shall be installed along the route to a residential subdivision in accordance with Paragraph b.
4. 
Residential subdivisions located in areas where public water is neither available nor required to be provided in accordance with the criteria herein shall provide a fire-fighting water supply source in accordance with Paragraph c. (Minor subdivisions in accordance with the land use ordinance are excluded from this requirement.)
5. 
All commercial, industrial and mercantile buildings shall have a public water supply capable of delivering water pursuant to the National Fire Codes Protection Association Standards.
b. 
In all areas where an existing public or private central water supply is available and has been approved by the Township Fire Official for minimum fire-fighting purposes or where an extension of a public water supply is required pursuant to Paragraph a of this subsection, the following standards shall apply:
1. 
Fire hydrants shall be supplied by not less than an eight-inch water main.
2. 
Fire hydrants shall be installed at appropriate locations as recommended by the Township Fire Official, after consulting with the appropriate Fire Chief. The distance between any dwelling and a hydrant shall not exceed 400 feet when measured along the street right-of-way in compliance with the New Jersey Residential Site Improvement Standards, N.J.A.C. 5:21-5.4(a).
3. 
Fire hydrants located in parking areas shall be protected by barriers that will prevent physical damage from vehicles.
4. 
Fire hydrants shall be located within three feet of the curbline of fire lanes, streets or private streets when installed along such accessways in new developments.
5. 
The entire existing central water supply system and each new hydrant shall have the capacity to provide a minimum flow rate of 1,000 gallons per minute at 20 pounds per square inch residual pressure for a minimum duration of two hours. Hydrants shall be installed in accordance with ANSI.AWWA C 502, "Dry Barrel Fire Hydrants," latest edition; painted as directed by the Township Fire Official; and tested in accordance with The National Fire Codes Protection Standards, "Recommended Practice for Fire Flow Testing and Marking of Hydrants," latest edition, to ensure compliance with fire flow requirements. Acceptance test data shall be provided to the Township Fire Official for review and approval. In areas where public or private central water supply is available, but such water supply does not have the capacity to satisfy the foregoing minimum standards, such central water supply system shall be supplemented with additional measures to satisfy the minimum fire protection requirements of the Township. Such additional measures may involve any one or a combination of the following measures: installation of underground water storage tanks or cisterns with appurtenances, creation of drafting points with appurtenances or such other means of increasing fire-fighting capability as may be recommended or approved by the Township Fire Official.
c. 
Underground Water Storage tanks, Cisterns and Dry Hydrants.
1. 
Where a public or private central water supply is not available, underground water storage tanks or cisterns shall be installed to provide a source of water for fire-fighting purposes. For subdivisions in residential zone districts, underground water storage tanks or cisterns and dry hydrants connected to the water supply shall be located and installed so that no dwelling is farther than 800 linear feet from any such tank, cistern or dry hydrant as measured along the street, either public or private, and the access driveway to the dwelling. For site plans, underground water storage tanks or cisterns shall be located and installed not farther than 800 feet from any principal structure. The minimum capacity of every underground storage tank or cistern within residential zone districts shall be 30,000 usable gallons. Tank or cistern capacities for nonresidential developments shall be based upon the degree of hazard of the proposed structures to be protected but shall in no event be less than 30,000 usable gallons.
2. 
The underground water storage tank or cistern shall provide for drawing water directly from an opening on the top or, if the topography permits, from an attached hydrant with sufficient head and size of connecting pipe to permit a flow of 1,000 gallons per minute for 30 minutes. Suitable access for a fire-fighting apparatus must be provided to the tank, cistern or hydrant without blocking the passage of other equipment. The tank or cistern must provide a method for determining the water level, an alarm system to warn of low levels, a pump activation alarm and attachments suitable for filling from a Fire Department engine. When dry hydrants are used in conjunction with a storage tank, they shall be limited to two hydrants per tank spaced no more than 800 feet apart. A structure may not be more then 500 feet from the most remote dry hydrant. The tank or cistern must be designed and installed in accordance with the National Fire Codes Protection Association Standards.
3. 
Unless an equivalent alternate fire protection system is authorized by the Board and the Township and the Fire Official, underground water storage tank or cistern systems shall be provided and shall be constructed and installed in accordance with the National Fire Codes Protection Association Standards and the following:
(a) 
All tanks and cisterns shall be installed in accordance with manufacturer's specifications for installation and shall be provided with all necessary appurtenances and equipment which shall be readily accessible to fire-fighting equipment. Riser connections shall be capable of producing 1,000 gallons per minute for a minimum of 75% of the tank or cistern capacity. All underground tanks and cisterns shall have a system for maintaining a refill capacity supplied by a dedicated well or other approved means which must be able to withstand drought conditions and shall be equipped with means for preventing accumulations of silt and debris. The design, location and installation of underground water storage tanks and cisterns shall be approved by the Township Fire Official in conjunction with the Township Engineer. A permanent sign, approved by the Township Fire Official, shall be installed at every tank and cistern location to show the existence and capacity of such tank or cistern. In addition, "No Stopping or Standing" zones shall be delineated at each tank and cistern location for a distance of 75 feet in each direction from the water outlet device of such tank or cistern on both sides of the street. Such delineation shall be appropriately identified by signs meeting Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, New Jersey Department of Transportation, design standards. If the tank or cistern is located on private property, the owner shall be required to give the Township the right-of-way to enforce these requirements under Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes.
4. 
Any underground tank or cistern to be located within 800 linear feet of a building must be operational in accordance with the National Fire Codes Protection Association Standards
d. 
If approved by the Board and the Township Fire Official, ponds, retention basins, lakes, streams and residential automatic sprinklers may serve as equivalent alternate fire protection systems. The National Fire Codes Protection Association Standards will apply where the following is not specific:
1. 
For ponds or retention basins, the minimum capacity to supply an adequate source of water for fire protection is 30,000 gallons in a volume excluding the bottom two feet of water in the pond. The minimum capacity must be available throughout the year, even during drought conditions. Suitable access for a fire-fighting apparatus must be provided to a dry hydrant or suitable drafting point connected to the pond or basin at all times.
2. 
Lakes or streams may be used, subject to the applicant's demonstration that the lake or stream meets the criteria set forth above for ponds.
3. 
Residential automatic sprinklers must be installed throughout a house in accordance with the National Fire Codes Protection Association Standards 13D and 13R.
e. 
Means of access for Fire Department apparatus shall be constructed in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:21-4. The National Fire Codes Protection Association Standards will apply where the following is not specific:
1. 
Means of access for Fire Department apparatus shall consist of fire lanes, private streets, streets, parking lot lanes or a combination thereof.
2. 
Means of access for Fire Department apparatus shall be provided to all commercial, industrial and multifamily dwelling units on at least two sides.
3. 
Fire access lanes, which are not otherwise required to be constructed, shall be constructed with minimum six-inch thickness of dense graded aggregate placed on geofabric to a minimum width of 18 feet. If desirable for aesthetic reasons, a four-inch topsoil layer may be placed over the stone layer, in which case the edges of the lane shall be marked with permanent markers acceptable to the approving authority and the Fire Department. The engineering of this surface must be capable of supporting fire-fighting apparatus.
4. 
"No Parking - Fire Lane (with directional arrows)" signs or other designation indicating that parking is prohibited shall be provided at all normal and emergency access points to structures and within 40 feet of each fire hydrant, sprinkler or standpipe connection.
5. 
All buildings shall have fire lanes in front of their public entrance which shall be at least 25 feet in width with the road edge closest to the structure at least 20 feet from the structure. Single-family residential buildings are exempted from this requirement.
6. 
"Fire Lane - No Parking/Tow-Away Zone" signs shall be posted in accordance with local Ordinance No. 821 and N.J.S.A. 39:4-197.
7. 
Fire lanes connecting to public streets, roadways or private streets shall be provided with curb cuts extending at least two feet beyond each edge of the fire lane.
8. 
Chains or other barriers may be provided at the entrance to fire lanes or private streets, provided that they are secured using a Knox key and installed according to the requirements of the Fire Department.
9. 
At least 16 feet of nominal vertical clearance shall be provided and maintained over the full width of streets, private streets, fire lanes and other means of vehicular access.
10. 
Landscaping or other obstructions shall not be placed around structures in a manner so as to impair or impede accessibility for fire-fighting and rescue operations.
f. 
In all cases where automatic sprinkler systems are required to be installed pursuant to the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq., the standards set forth in the National Fire Codes Protection Association Standards shall govern.
g. 
The location of all fire service systems and appurtenances shall be approved by the Township Fire Official at the time the development application is pending before the Planning and Zoning Board. In all cases where a fire service system is required, no construction permit shall be issued for a dwelling or principal structure upon any lot within the subdivision or site plan until, to the extent necessary to afford fire service water to such dwelling or principal structure, such system is installed and its operability tested and approved by the Township Fire Official.
h. 
A developer shall be required to include a provision in all deeds to property purchasers providing a right-of-way to the Township and the local Fire Departments as may be needed for access to any such fire service device. Until the release of the maintenance bond, the developer will be held responsible for any and all tests and maintenance which may become necessary or as ordered by the Fire Official in coordination with the local Fire Chief, exclusive of hydrants connected to a public water supply. Following the release of the maintenance bond, the tank, its appurtenances, and the area of required access will become the property of the Township. Under the direction of the local Fire Chief, his company shall test the system for proper function. The Fire Official shall review such test records and assist in coordinating any needed repairs with municipal crews.
i. 
Penalties. Failure to comply with any provisions of this section shall be considered as a failure to comply with Section 14-6 of the Revised General Ordinances of the Township. Penalties shall be assessed by the Fire Official in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Fire Code, N.J.A.C. 5:70-1 et seq.