Dingman Township
                           Pike County, PA        

 


                       

Fire Protection Ordinance

ORDINANCE NO. 01-2003

Legal Notice:  While every attempt has been made to be as accurate as possible, the material found on these pages represents an unofficial copy of the Dingman Township Fire Protection Ordinance.  When in conflict, the original signed official documents kept in the Township Building shall prevail.  Persons relying on this version shall do so at their own risk.

DINGMAN TOWNSHIP

FIRE PROTECTION ORDINANCE

Table of Contents

Article I              Title

Article II             Purpose

Article III           Definitions

Article IV           Outdoor Burning

Article V            Fire Protection

            Section 5.01     General Provisions

            Section 5.02     Static Waster Systems

            Section 5.03     Pressurized Water Systems

            Section 5.04     Fire Lanes

            Section 5.05     Additional Provisions

            Section 5.06     Exceptions

            Section 5.07     Maintenance

Article VI          Additional Provisions

            Section 6.01     Key Boxes

            Section 6.02     Gated Streets

Article VII         Penalties

            Section 7.01     Unlawful Action

            Section 7.02     Violations

            Section 7.03     Penalty

Article VIII       Fees

Article IX          Severability

 

DINGMAN TOWNSHIP

FIRE PROTECTION ORDINANCE

 Article I       TITLE

This Ordinance shall be known as and may be cited as the Fire Protection Ordinance of Dingman Township.

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Article II             Purpose

The purpose of this ordinance is to foster greater public safety by instituting policies, controls, rules, and laws that promote fire safety and enhance the ability of the Township’s Emergency Service providers to react with a semblance of order to a catastrophe or disaster.

The provisions of this ordinance shall not be construed to repeal or offer an alternative to existing zoning and/or building code requirements.  If conflict exists between the lawful statues or ordinances, the most stringent requirement shall prevail.

Redundancy in this document is intended to show the importance of specific items but is not intended to detract from other items or other Dingman Township Ordinances.

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Article III      DEFINITIONS

The Definitions found below are for the purpose of this Ordinance.  Any definitions not included below may be obtained from the Dingman Township Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance, the Dingman Township Zoning Ordinance, or the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.

Burning Ban                  An area-wide prohibition on outdoor burning imposed by a government body (local, state, or federal).

Contained Fire              A fire set or maintained in an outdoor fireplace, incinerator or other fireproof container.

Campfire                      An open outdoor fire contained in a fire ring of rocks or other similar barrier, having a diameter of four feet or less, and ignited for the purpose of cooking or aesthetic purposes.  Campfires do not include fires ignited for the purpose of burning trash or debris.

Developer                    The owner, or authorized agent of the owner, including but not limited to, any individual, partnership, or corporation that undertakes a subdivision, land development, or any of the activities covered by this Ordinance. 

Dry Hydrant                 An arrangement of pipe permanently connected to a water source other than a piped, pressurized water supply system that provides a ready means of water supply for fire-fighting purposes and utilizes the drafting (suction) capability of fire department pumpers.

Emergency Management

  Coordinator                The person(s) appointed by the Dingman Township Board of Supervisors in accordance with the PA Emergency Management Services Code.

Fire Department           The Fire Department having primary jurisdiction over the subject area.

NFPA                          National Fire Protection Association

Owner                          Responsible party for subject property, including, but not limited to the Developer, Property Owners’ Association, etc.

Pressurized Water        A system having water pipes serving hydrants that is under

  Systems                      continuous pressure and designed to furnish, over and above domestic consumption, a water supply for the purpose of fire fighting.

Static Water Source     A source of water that is stored in cisterns, ponds, streams, rivers, etc. that is made available for fire-fighting purposes through the use of dry hydrant systems.  The source must remain adequate and reliable every day of the year.

Uncontained Fire          Any fire not meeting the definition of a contained fire or campfire.

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Article IV      OUTDOOR BURNING

All outdoor fires, except for those maintained in a gas or charcoal cooking or heating appliances, shall conform to the requirements set forth in this Article.

Section 4.01        General Provisions

(a)No fire shall be set or contained within twenty-five (25) feet of any building or combustible material storage container.

(b)      No fire shall be set or maintained that may endanger any building or property, except in the instances in which the Fire Department has caused a fire to be set in a building or on a property under the direct supervision of the Fire Department, for the purposes of training exercises or when contracted by the property owner for the razing of a building, and where all applicable permits have been obtained.

(c)No fire shall be set, maintained, or allowed to smolder between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am except as provided for in this ordinance.

(d)      No fire shall be set, maintained, or allowed to smolder during such times that a Burning Ban has been placed into effect by the Supervisors of Dingman Township, the County of Pike, or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

(e)The burning of recyclable materials eligible for collection through the Pike County Recycling Program is prohibited.

(f)        Outdoor burning must be supervised by a responsible adult who shall remain within a reasonable distance of the fire.

(g)  An adequate supply of water, fire extinguishers, or other acceptable fire suppression materials, sufficient to extinguish the fire, must be kept in close proximity to the fire.  In addition, adequate equipment and/or personnel must be readily available on-site to extinguish the fire when necessary.

Section 4.02        Contained Fires

For the purpose of this ordinance, a contained fire is defined as any fire set or maintained in an outdoor fireplace, incinerator or other fireproof container.

(a)Contained fires shall be used only to burn readily combustible material not otherwise prohibited by any other applicable State or local regulations.

(b)      Nothing in this section shall be deemed to in any way restrict or alter the provisions of the Solid Waste Ordinance of Dingman Township.

 

Section 4.03        Campfires

For the purpose of this ordinance, a campfire is defined as an open outdoor fire contained in a fire ring of rocks or other similar barrier with a diameter of four feet or less.

(a)Campfires may be ignited and maintained only by an adult resident of the property on which the campfire is situated or in appropriately designated areas of government owned lands or public or private campgrounds.

(b)      The area around a campfire shall be raked of leaves, twigs, and other ignitable material for a distance of ten feet.

(c)An adequate supply of water or fire extinguishers sufficient to extinguish the campfire must be kept in close proximity to the campfire.

(d)      No campfires may be ignited, maintained, or allowed to smolder during a declared burning ban.  (See also Section 4.01(d) above).

(e)Campfires must be extinguished prior to the person maintaining it going to sleep or leaving the area.

 

Section 4.04        Uncontained Fires

For the purpose of this ordinance, an uncontained fire is defined as any fire not meeting the definition of a “contained fire” or a “campfire”.

(a)Prior to setting an uncontained fire, the Pike County Communications Center shall be notified of the location, planned duration, and name of contact person responsible for the uncontained burn.

(b)      No uncontained fire shall be maintained unless constantly attended to by at least one responsible adult.  In addition, no uncontained fire shall be permitted to burn in a manner which allows hot ashes or embers to leave the boundaries of the property upon which the fire has been set.

(c)Any uncontained fire permitted to burn 1) in an unsafe manner or under adverse weather conditions, 2) unsupervised, or 3) is determined to be unsafe by fire department or Township personnel who have been duly authorized by the Board of Supervisors to make such determinations, shall be extinguished immediately upon demand by such official.

(d)      Nothing in this section shall be deemed to in any way restrict or alter the provisions of the Solid Waste Ordinance of Dingman Township.

 

Section 4.05                      Exceptions

(a)In the event there is compelling reason(s) to have an uncontained fire, campfire, etc. at such time or in such a manner as to violate the provisions of Article IV of this Ordinance, such fire may be permitted by special permission of the Board of Supervisors only upon recommendation of the Fire Chief with jurisdiction over the property and proof of adequate insurance.

 

 

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Article V             Fire Protection

The provisions in this Article, and the provisions of other local and state regulations as may be referenced herein, shall apply to all new applications for any of the following:

1)   Residential subdivisions/land developments or multi-family housing projects consisting of 5 or more lots/units where the applications for same were submitted after the effective date of this ordinance (February 4, 2003) and additions to existing subdivisions or land developments in which five (5) or more additional lots or units are proposed after said effective date. In the case where lots or units are added which total five (5) after the effective date of this ordinance but are not proposed at one time, the requirement for compliance with this ordinance shall commence in the application where the fifth (5) lot or unit is proposed and shall apply to all lots or units included in that submission. The Township will presume that this ordinance applies to the lots or units in any subdivision submitted after the effective date and the burden shall be upon the applicant to submit adequate proof in the form of approved maps or plans to show that it does not apply under the provisions set forth herein.

2)        Commercial land developments proposing buildings(s) of an aggregate 5,000 square feet or more.

3)        All land developments proposing buildings or places of public assembly, regardless of size.

4)        All commercial structures, regardless of size, considered severe or high hazard occupancies (Occupancy Hazard Classification of 3 or 4) in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association Publication No. 1142.

The systems and facilities described in Article V herein shall be required improvements under the Zoning, Subdivision & Land Development, and Building Code Ordinances of Dingman Township upon the effective date of this ordinance.

Section 5.01        General Provisions

(a)Developments and subdivisions meeting the above criteria of this Article shall provide an adequate and reliable water source for fire protection.  The entire system design shall be submitted as part of any subdivision and/or land development application and shall conform with the standards set forth in this section.  The fire protection water source shall be provided by means of a pressurized water system, static water source, or a combination thereof.  Provisions of this section are for non-sprinklered structures; sprinklered structures shall be designed in accordance with NFPA 13 and may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for reductions of these standards at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors.

(b)      The plans submitted shall be reviewed by the Township Emergency Management Coordinator and the Fire Department having jurisdiction.  Plans may also be reviewed by the Township Engineer,  at the Township’s discretion, and at the Developer’s cost.

(c)Should the proposed subdivision and/or development be located in close proximity to an existing fire protection water source owned, operated, and/or located on property unrelated to the Applicant, an agreement between the two parties for the expansion and/or sharing of said existing source will be considered by the Township provided that all other provisions, especially maximum distances from the water source, of this ordinance are met and that such expansion and/or sharing does not compromise the functionability and reliability of the source.

(d)      Adequate access shall be provided to all types of water sources at all times.   In situations where the source is to be located more than 20 feet from an existing or proposed roadway, an access road meeting the standards of “Private Streets” in the Dingman Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance shall be provided.  If an existing roadway which does not meet the standards of “Private Streets” is to provide access to the system, said roadway shall be required to be improved to the standards for “Private Streets”.

(e)Access roads to water sources shall be maintained and kept clear of all debris, snow, or any impediment, which would limit access to, from, and/or around all water sources.  In the event of a storm, access to water sources shall be cleared within 24 hours following the storm, or not less than every 24 hours during the course of a multiple-day storm event.  To assure this end, an Agreement, between the Township and applicant, shall be duly recorded with the Pike County Recorder’s Office prior to Final subdivision and/or land development approval being granted by the Board of Supervisors.

(f)        Security measures shall be in place to eliminate or alleviate damage to the system and its components.

(g)      The definitions of technical terms contained herein, unless otherwise noted, may be found in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) publication 1142.

(h)  Water sources shall be available to fire companies for use in any fire event regardless of where the event is located so long as the use is reasonably related to the event and the water used in the event is restored and any maintenance required by virtue of said use is performed by the fire company or the property owner whose property was serviced in the event.

 

Section 5.02        Static Water Systems

(a)   Static water sources for the purposes of fire protection may include ponds, streams, tanks, swimming pools, etc.  Where streams and pools are proposed as a water source, applicant must be able to prove, to the satisfaction of the Fire Department and Board of Supervisors, that said source will prove reliable during all seasons.

(b)    For Fire Protection sources serving up to 9 residential lots/units, a minimum of 1000 gallons per lot/unit shall be provided, with each static water source containing at least 5,000 gallons of water.  Each static water source shall be located not more than 2000 feet from the center of the front lot-line.

(c)   For Fire Protection sources serving up to 9 multi-family units, a minimum of 1000 gallons per unit shall be provided, with each static water source containing at least 5,000 gallons of water.  Each static water source shall be located not more than 1000 feet from each multi-family structure.

(d)      For Fire Protection sources serving ten or more residential lots/units, a static water source containing a minimum of 5,000 gallons shall be located no more than 2000 feet from the center of the front lot-line.

(e)   For all of the following, all water source design (including sizing), and installation standards shall be in accordance with NFPA 1142, and the location of the static water source shall be no more than 1000 feet from any area of the proposed structure:

1)   multi-family housing consisting of ten or more units,

2)   commercial subdivisions and/or land developments proposing buildings(s) of an aggregate 5,000 square feet or more,

3)   all land developments proposing building(s) of public assembly/use, 

4)   all commercial structures, regardless of size, considered severe or high hazard occupancies (Occupancy Hazard Classification of 3 or 4) in accordance with NFPA 1142, year of latest revision,

(f)        Dry hydrants shall be installed at all static sources and located as required to satisfy the distance requirements stated above.

(g)      Dry hydrants shall be terminated with a 45-degree dry hydrant head with a six-inch female connection and cap.  Hydrant centerline shall be 3 feet from finished grade.  All piping shall be eight-inch diameter schedule 80 PVC and installed below the frost line (4 foot minimum cover).  The strainer shall be located a minimum of three feet below the average ice depth and no less than two feet above the source invert.  The vertical distance from the source to the centerline of the hydrant shall be fifteen feet maximum. 

 

  (h)  All static systems shall be designed and installed in accordance with NFPA 1142. 

 

(i)        Dry hydrants shall be tested and inspected at least two times per year by the Fire Department.  Nominal fees for said inspections may be instituted at the approval of the Board of Supervisors and shall be included in the Township Fee Schedule.  The Fire Department shall notify the Developer/Owner at least ten (10) days prior to conducting the inspection.  Should the Developer/Owner wish to retain a qualified independent contractor to conduct the inspection and testing (at the Developer’s expense), the Fire Department must be notified at least three days prior to the date the Department has scheduled to conduct their own inspection.  The Fire Department retains the right to ascertain any contractors chosen are qualified to conduct the necessary inspection and testing and to be present during said inspection and testing.  Within ten days following completion of the inspection/testing, the Developer/Owner shall submit a written report prepared by the contractor who conducted the inspection/testing and which includes the date performed, location and owner of dry hydrant, and the results of the inspection/testing to the Fire Department and the Township.

The Developer/Owner shall be informed of any maintenance and/or repairs found to be necessary, which are ultimately the responsibility of the developer/owner.  Said maintenance and/or repairs shall be completed within fifteen days of notification.   The Fire Department may elect to perform said maintenance and or/repairs, and may bill the developer/owner for reimbursement of expenses (materials and/or services purchased) incurred as follows:  1) at the Developer/Owners request if within fifteen days of notification to Developer/Owner, or 2) at any time following the expiration of the fifteen day period and verification that the maintenance and/or repairs have not been completed.  Should the Developer/Owner have the maintenance and/or repairs completed by someone other than the Fire Department, notification shall be provided to the Fire Department immediately upon completion.  In the event that the Developer/Owner fails to pay any sums due under this section within thirty (30) days of being sent an invoice for same, the total amount due plus the reasonable costs of collection shall be collected by the Township as a Municipal Lien.

The Fire Department shall provide the Township with written reports at least once each quarter of all inspections/testing and repairs conducted, which shall include the dry hydrant location, date, and description of work performed.

 

Section 5.03        Pressurized Water Systems

(a)      The design criteria for all pressurized water systems shall comply with this Section.

(b)      The system shall be designed to sustain a minimum flow of 1000 gpm with a residual pressure of 30 psi for a two-hour duration for all commercial structures and a one-half hour duration for all residential structures.  All system piping shall be a minimum of six inches in diameter.

(c)      Fire hydrants shall be provided in sufficient locations to enable the needed fire flow to be delivered to all required areas of the development.  In no case shall a structure requiring fire protection be located closer than 40 feet nor further than 600 feet from a fire hydrant.  All fire hydrants shall be of the dry barrel type with two 2-1/2 inch NST discharges and one 4-1/2 inch NST discharge and be acceptable to the Fire Department having jurisdiction.

(d)      When the system relies on electric pumping units for supply of fire flow, a reliable source of back-up power shall be provided.  This back-up power source shall be equipped with automatic transfer capabilities and be capable of sustaining back-up power for a minimum of two hours.

(e)The system shall be in accordance with NFPA 24, and must be reviewed and approved by the Township Engineer and the Fire Department having jurisdiction.

(f)        The Developer shall inspect and test all components of the pressurized water system at least twice per year and provide the Fire Department having jurisdiction with a copy of the result of that testing.  The Fire Department shall be notified at least one week in advance of all testing and shall be given the opportunity of being present when the testing is conducted.

(g)      The Developer shall provide the Fire Department and the Township with a copy of the annual maintenance schedule as well as notification of all maintenance performed, routine or emergency, outside that schedule.

Section 5.04        Fire Lanes

(a)All commercial buildings shall provide a fire lane immediately adjacent to and surrounding all structures to provide adequate access by fire department equipment and personnel.  Fire lanes shall be located a minimum of 125% and a maximum of 200% of the building height away from the building exterior and shall be not less than twenty feet of unobstructed width, have a minimum of thirteen feet six inches (13’ 6”) of vertical clearance, and be able to withstand live loads of fire fighting apparatus.  Fire lanes shall be marked with freestanding signs that have the words “Fire Lane – NO PARKING” painted in contrasting colors at a size and spacing approved by the Township.  Fire Lanes providing access to the rear of a building may also be used as short-term loading and unloading areas.  Fire lanes located at the front of buildings shall remain clear at all times without exception.

 

Section 5.05        Additional Provisions

(a)Where access to any commercial or multi-family structure(s) is a dead-end and in excess of one hundred and fifty feet in length, a turnaround with a minimum of a ninety-foot diameter shall be provided for fire fighting apparatus.  At the Fire Department’s discretion, travel lanes of parking areas providing a continuous loop may act as a turnaround, provided that the layout is conducive to the movement of fire fighting apparatus into, through, and out of the developed area.

 

Section 5.06        Exceptions

If an applicant, at a duly advertised public hearing held at a regularly or specially scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting, has shown that the application of any mandated provisions of Article IV of these regulations are unreasonable and cause extraordinary hardships as they may apply to his/her proposed application, the Board of Supervisors may, after consultation with the Fire Department, approve a reduction in the requirements set forth in Article IV as follows:

(a)   When the application of any provision of Article IV to a proposed application is found by the Board to be, due to unusual topography or conditions beyond the control of the applicant, impractical and unnecessary, the Board may, after consultation with the Fire Department, increase the distance and/or decrease the minimum water supply requirements set forth in Article IV as deemed reasonable and necessary.

(b)  Exceptions may be granted only on the majority vote of the entire Board of Supervisors, when such exception will not have the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of these regulations.  The Board may also impose any conditions which, in their judgment, are necessary to substantially secure the objectives of the standards or requirements so modified.

 

(c)       The Board may waive the duty to provide fire protection facilities completely only where the applicant shows a reasonable alternative source of water that is adequate for the proposed use, the water is accessible and it is located within an acceptable distance from the proposed use. The Board may also waive this duty completely where the lots proposed are ten (10) acres in size or greater and there is a permanent restriction against further subdivision.

 

Section 5.07        Maintenance

Approval of any application under this ordinance shall be contingent upon approval by the Township following review by the Township Solicitor of a Maintenance Agreement for the fire protection system and all parts thereof between the developer/owner and the Township.  Said Agreement shall provide for the continued maintenance of the system by the Developer or by a property owners’ association or tenant’s association as applicable.  The Agreement shall also provide that the Developer will indemnify and hold the Township harmless against any claims, including counsel fees,  made against the Township, its employees, appointed officials and elected officials, related to the fire protection facilities.

 

 

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Article VI            ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

 

Section 6.01        Key Boxes

(a)When access to or within a structure or an area is unduly difficult because of secured openings or where immediate access is necessary for lifesaving or firefighting purposes, one or more key boxes, padlocks, hazardous materials cabinets, or key switches shall be installed in accessible locations approved by the Township and/or the Fire Chief.  In the interest of uniformity and security, the box shall be a Knox Box (or approved equal) restricted key way, U.L. listed, and furnished with locks and keys for the exclusive use of the Fire Department having jurisdiction to gain necessary access.  The following occupancies/businesses shall install the key box, padlock, hazardous material cabinet, or keyswitch:  1) all occupancies (except single-family dwellings) served by an internal automatic fire/smoke detection system or fire suppression system;  2) All businesses that are required to file a business plan for using or storing hazardous materials;  3) all public and private schools and places of public assembly.

 

(b)      Within one (1) year of the effective date of this ordinance, all existing occupancies and businesses listed above shall come into compliance with this Section of the ordinance.

 

Section 6.02        Gated Streets

All the following provisions shall apply to Security, Private Street, and vehicle access gates.

(a)Sliding or swinging gates shall provide a minimum horizontal clearance of 15 feet and a minimum vertical clearance of 14 feet when the gate is at the full open position.  Horizontal distance shall be measured perpendicular to the direction of travel on the driveway.  Vertical distance shall be measured from the highest elevation of the driveway to the lowest overhead obstruction.

(b)      A fire keybox or keyswitch with an override switch to open the gate shall be installed at each gate control box location.  The keybox or keyswitch shall be installed on the gate control pedestal or on the gate control box, and shall be water resistant and for the exclusive use of the Fire Department having jurisdiction.

(c)The gate opening device shall have a disconnect feature for manual operation of the gate, or shall fail in the open position in the event of electrical power outages.

(d)      A minimum driveway length to the gate from the flow line of the public street shall be fifty feet for developments of twenty units/lots or less.  For each increment of twenty units/lots thereafter, an additional twenty feet shall be added to the driveway length to the gate from the flow line of the public street.

 

 

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Article VII         Penalties

 

Section 7.01        Unlawful Action

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation whether as owner, lessee, sub-lessee, or occupant, to erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, improve, remove, convert, demolish, equip, use, occupy, or maintain any building and their accessory structures in the jurisdiction or cause or permit the same to be done, contrary to or in violation of any of the provisions of this code.  It shall also be unlawful for any person to tamper with any hydrants, sprinklers, keyboxes or other components of the systems described herein.

 

Section 7.02        Violations

It is hereby declared that any violation of this code constitutes a public nuisance, and in addition to any other remedies provided by this code for its enforcement, the Township may bring civil suit to enjoin the violation of any of the provisions of this code.

Section 7.03        Penalty

Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this code shall upon conviction be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than One Thousand ($1,000.00) dollars. Any property owner or owners shall be responsible for the actions of all family members, tenants, guests and business invitees that violate the provisions of this ordinance on real property owned by them.  Each day a violation exists constitutes a separate offense.  In default of payment of the fine, such person, members of firms, shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than sixty (60) days.

 

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Article VIII           FEES

The Board of Supervisors may institute fees for all or parts of this Ordinance.  Any fees created shall be done by Resolution and shall be included in the Township Fee Schedule.

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Article IX            severability

Should any section or provisions of this Ordinance be declared by the courts to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the Ordinance as a whole, nor the validity of any other section or provision of the Ordinance than the one so declared.

Hereby adopted, this the ______ day of ____________________, 2003.

                                                                                    DINGMAN TOWNSHIP BOARD

                                                                                                OF SUPERVISORS

                                                                                    ______________________________

ATTEST:                                                                     Dennis L. Brink

                                                                                    ______________________________

_______________________________                      Allen J. Greening

                                                                                    ______________________________

                                                                                     Thomas E. Mincer


 

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