[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Rochelle Park 4-21-1986 by Ord. No. 517; amended in its entirey 6-15-2016 by Ord. No. 1101-16. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
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.
The Uniform Fire Safety Act ("the Act") authorized municipalities to provide for local enforcement and to establish Local Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to accomplish that purpose.
The Township Committee hereby determines it is in the best interest of the Township to have the Uniform Fire Safety Act enforced locally.
The local enforcing agency shall be the Bureau of Fire Code Enforcement.
The local enforcing agency shall enforce the Uniform Fire Safety Act, and the codes and regulations adopted under it in all buildings, structures, premises and places within the established boundaries of Rochelle Park, 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 Code.
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 52:27D-202.
The local enforcing agency established by § 102-2 of this chapter shall carry out the periodic inspection of life-hazard uses required by the Uniform Fire Code on behalf of the Commissioner of Community Affairs.
The Bureau of Fire Code Enforcement established pursuant to § 102-2 shall be a part of the Rochelle Park Fire Department and be under the direct supervision and control of the Bureau Chief who shall report to Township Administrator.
Appointment of the Bureau Chief. The Bureau Chief shall be appointed by the Township Committee of Township of Rochelle Park. The Bureau Chief shall be certified by the State of New Jersey as a Fire Official.
Inspectors and employees. Such inspectors and other employees as may be necessary in the local enforcing agency shall be appointed by the Township Committee of Rochelle Park, from a recommendation provided in writing by the Fire Official to the Bureau Chief and Township Committee. A Supervisor shall also be certified by the State of New Jersey.
Terms of office. The terms of office for the Bureau Chief and inspectors shall be for a period of three years, effective January 1 to December 31 annually. Any vacancy of the Bureau Chief shall be filled for the unexpired term. Terms of office for supervisors and inspectors shall be for a period of one year, effective January 1 to December 31 annually.
Removal from office. The inspectors and other employees of the enforcing agency shall be subject to removal by the Bureau Chief for inefficiency or misconduct. The inspector or employee to be removed shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard by the appointing authority or by a designated hearing officer. The Bureau Chief may be removed, with or without cause, by the Township Committee.
Identification. All inspectors will be provided with proper identification, which he or she will be required to wear on all assigned inspections within the Township of Rochelle Park. Property identification shall consist of a department-issued badge and Township-issued photo ID.
Pursuant to Sections 15 and 17 of the Uniform Fire Safety Act, any person aggrieved by any order of the local enforcement agency shall have the right to appeal to the Construction Board of Appeals of Bergen County.
The application fee for a permit shall be as follows; the permit types shall be known as defined in the Uniform Fire Code.
Inspection and fees. In addition to the inspections and fees required pursuant to the Act and the regulations of the Department of Community Affairs, the following additional annual inspections and fees shall be required. To provide a fire inspection service for all places described herein located within the Township of Rochelle Park, not classified as life hazard use the following inspection fees are required (all calculations of gross area shall be rounded to the nearest square foot).
Occupied residential homes, apartment buildings and condo complex structures.
[Amended 3-28-2018 by Ord. No. 1124-18]
Certificate of smoke detector, carbon monoxide alarm and fire extinguisher compliance certification. Before any residential structure, unit, apartment, condo or townhouse is sold, leased or otherwise made subject to a change of occupancy for residential purpose, the owner shall obtain certificate of compliance from the Bureau of Fire Code Enforcement. An application shall be completed and the property fee paid prior to the scheduling of an inspection. Failure to obtain a smoke detector, carbon monoxide alarm and fire extinguisher compliance certification will be punishable by a penalty of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000. Additionally, occupants found to be residing in a residential dwelling without a certificate of compliance may be forced to vacate such dwelling until such time a certificate is issued.
All municipal, Board of Education, religious buildings, structures and premises shall be exempt from inspection fees. This does not exempt the above-named from filing any required inspection forms or exempt any of the above-named from fire safety inspections and the obligation to comply with by law all fire code violations by this Bureau.
Cyclical inspection fees (once every five years, or as required by fire code or housing code). Inspections performed on a cyclical basis shall follow the fee schedule provided below.
Section F-311.0 of the BOCA Basic/National Fire Prevention Code, 1984, shall be enforced by the Bureau of Fire Code Enforcement and the Police Department of the Township of Rochelle Park and the complaints for the violation may be filed by any inspector of the Fire Prevention Bureau or the Police Department or the owner or occupant of the premises by which the fire lane in question is located or any other person.
Penalties of Section F-322-0 Fire Lanes, of the BOCA Basic National Fire Prevention Code, 1984, shall not be less than a fine of $110 plus court cots for a first offense and $110 for each and every subsequent violation. Any person, firm or corporation failing to respond to a locally required registration form shall, for each offense, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both, in the discretion of the judge before whom such conviction shall be obtained.
Systems out of service. Where a required fire protection system is out of service, the Fire Department and the Fire Code Official shall be notified immediately, and if there the Fire Code Office and Chief of the Fire Department determine that an imminent hazard exists, the building shall be evacuated or an approved fire watch shall be provided for all occupants left unprotected by the shutdown until the fire protection system has been returned to service. In addition, agreement to provide a fire watch may be entered into between a representative of the property owner and the fire chief or fire code official in those circumstances where such fire watch is desired.
Fire services. Members of the Fire Department may be available for service as fire watch personnel only at such time as will not interfere with the efficient performance of emergency duty for the Township, with the approval of the Fire Chief and Fire Official. The application for such services shall be made known to the Fire Chief and the Chief Financial Officer, either in writing or verbally. The application for fire watch by the reasonable building representative, as required by the Fire Official, shall set forth pertinent information concerning the location of the fire watch, the number of service personnel, and estimate the duration of such services. The application for such services probability that such outside employment will interfere with a members performance or compromise a member's position with the Township through a conflict of interest or if there is any reasonable probability that the particular service requested would reflect unfavorably upon the firefighter or the Fire Department.
Upon receipt of an application for such services and approval of same by the Fire Chief, Chief Financial Officer and Fire Official, the building representative shall execute an agreement to perform fire watch coverage in the form provided by the Fire Official, which shall provide, inter alia, for the building representative to pay to the Treasurer of the Township a certain amount in cash, check or money order as is set forth herein or as may be fixed from time to time by resolution of the Township Committee as compensation for such services.
The rate of compensation to the Township shall be determined based upon the fixed amount of pay, with an additional 20% surcharges of the total amount billed to cover administration, insurance, equipment and other related costs: ($35 + 20% = $42 per hour payment for such services per firefighter). The total amount of the cost to perform fire watch duty shall be paid to the Township within 15 days after such duty has been performed.
Collection of fees.
The Bureau Chief or his designee shall be responsible for the collection of the aforesaid fees and shall maintain an accurate accounting thereof and shall turn these funds over to the Township Treasurer as prescribed by state requirements.
The Township Treasurer then shall present a monthly accounting report to the Township Committee.
Fire report fees, per copy are as follows:
In all structures served by an internal automatic fire detection or suppression system, where access to the structure or within the structure or an area is unduly difficult because of secured openings, or where immediate access is necessary for lifesaving or for firefighting purposes, the Bureau Chief may require a key box to be installed in an accessible location to the fire department. The key box shall be a type approved by the Bureau Chief, so that all key access to this type within the township of Rochelle Park may be accomplished with one system. The key box shall contain keys to gain necessary access as required by the Fire Department.
Installation. Installation of the key box shall be in accordance with specifications maintained and approved by the Bureau Chief as required. The Bureau Chief shall have the authority to implement a uniform system throughout the Township, so that access to the designated key boxes may be accomplished by the utilization of one uniform key system.