PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY FIRE SAFETY LAW
Sec. 11-1O2. Definitions.
Definitions of words defined in this Section apply only to this Subtitle. Whenever definitions are set forth in any code, standard, manual or model law adopted by reference in this Subtitle or under the authority of this Subtitle, such definitions shall apply to the particular code, standards, manual or model law adopted by reference in which the definition appears. Any conflict between definitions set forth in an adopted code, standard, manual or model law and those expressly set forth in this Section shall be resolved by reference to the definition in this Section.
As used in this Subtitle:
Alternative means a system, condition, arrangement, material or equipment submitted to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative as a substitute for a Subtitle requirement.
Approved or Approval means in accordance with standards or requirements set forth in this Subtitle. The approval by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, inspection agency, or other recognized agency or organization concerned with product evaluation, shall be presumed to meet such standards unless there is evidence to the contrary.
Authorized display means the discharge of fireworks for which a permit has been issued by the State Fire Marshal.
Authorized representative means a person duly appointed to administer or enforce this Subtitle in the name of the Fire Chief.
Authority having jurisdiction means the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
Boardinghouse means "boarding house" as defined under "Dwellings" in the BOCA Code Basic Building (Basic Code) adopted in Subtitle 4 of this County Code.
Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center means the public fire service communication facilities operated by the Prince George's County Fire Department receiving fire alarms or other emergency calls from the public, retransmitting these alarms and emergency calls to fire companies and other interested agencies and operating the fire and rescue services radio base stations and landline communications equipment.
Burning means lighting, igniting, kindling or setting fire to combustible materials, adding fuel to a fire or permitting combustible materials to burn.
Central station means an approved office to which remote alarm and supervisory signaling devices are connected where persons are in attendance at all times to supervise the circuits and investigate signals.
Central station system means a system, or group of systems, the operations of which are signaled to, recorded in, maintained and supervised from, an approved central station, in which there are competent and experienced observers and operators in attendance at all times whose duty it shall be, upon receipt of a signal, to take such action as shall be required under the rules established for their guidance. Such systems shall be controlled and operated by a person, firm, or corporation whose principal business is the furnishing and maintaining of supervised protective signaling service and who does not have interest in the unprotected properties.
Contractor includes a subcontractor.
Dangerous rocket means any model rocket or model rocket engine which does not comply with the construction requirements of NFPA-41L. For purposes of this Subtitle, a "dangerous rocket" is subject to the regulations governing fireworks.
Distribute as used in this Subtitle with reference to fire extinguishers shall include renting, leasing and giving away as a prize or a premium.
Dormitory means "dormitory" as defined under "Dwellings" in the BOCA Basic Building Code (Basic Code) adopted in Subtitle 4 of this County Code.
Dwelling or Dwellings means any living unit or units as defined under "Dwellings" in the BOCA Basic Building Code (Basic Code) adopted in Subtitle 4 of this County Code.
Dwelling Unit means "Dwelling Unit" as defined in the BOCA Basic Building Code (Basic Code) adopted in Subtitle 4 of this County Code.
Emergency alarm means giving, signaling or transmitting to the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center, any fire station, any central station, any rescue station or any emergency message center, or to any member of the foregoing, or a fire official or police officer, whether by telephone, spoken word or otherwise, information to the effect that there is a fire, explosion, injured person, sick person, person trapped, building collapse, gas leak or other emergency to which the Fire Department or rescue apparatus normally responds.
Excavate or excavation. See definition at Section 2-385 of this County Code.
Existing condition means any situation, circumstance or physical makeup of any structure, premises or process which was ongoing or in effect prior to the adoption of this Subtitle.
Explosive means a chemical compound or mechanical mixture that is commonly used or intended for the purpose of producing an explosion that contains any oxidizing and combustible units or other ingredients in such proportions, quantities or packing that an ignition by fire, friction, concussion, percussion or detonation of any part of the compound or mixture may cause such a sudden generation of highly heated gases that the resultant gaseous pressures are capable of producing destructive effects on contiguous objects or of destroying life and limb.
Fire alarm system. See "fire warning system."
Fire apparatus means a vehicle such as a fire pumper, aerial ladder truck, elevated platform, rescue squad or similar firefighting or rescue equipment.
Fire Chief means the head of the Prince George's County Fire Department as established by the Charter.
Fire Department means the Prince George's County Fire Department.
Fire Department connection means a connection for Fire Department use in supplementing or supplying water for standpipes and sprinkler systems.
Fire drill means an exercise by which the occupants or users of a structure practice a planned evacuation route from the said structure.
Fire hazard means any thing, condition or act which in the absence of fire, persons regularly engaged in preventing, suppressing or extinguishing fire recognize as liable to increase or cause an increase in the hazard or menace of fire, or which, in the event of fire, may obstruct, delay, hinder or interfere with the operations of the Fire Department or with the egress of occupants.
Fire hydrant means an approved valved outlet on a water supply system with one (1) or more threaded outlets and used to supply Fire Department hoses and pumpers with water.
Fire lane means the space, road, path or other passageway developed to allow the placement and passage of fire apparatus on and through congested areas including private property.
Fire Marshal means the bureau chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention, Prince George's County Fire Department.
Fire Official means any person serving as a designated employee, representative or agent of the Prince George's County Fire Department under authority granted by the Fire Chief.
Fire protection system means systems, devices and equipment used to detect fire, actuate an alarm, suppress or control a fire, or any combination thereof.
Fire separation means construction of rated fire resistant material(s) or the maintenance of clear area to resist the spread of fire; including but not limited to "fire door", "fire resistance", "fire separation", "exterior fire exposure", "fire separation wall", "fire wall", and "fire window" as defined in the BOCA Basic Building Code (Basic Code) as adopted in Subtitle 4 of this County Code.
Fire suppression system means a device, devices or system of devices which detects a phenomenon of fire including, but not limited to, heat, smoke, flame, visible or invisible particles, or infrared, ultraviolet or invisible radiation and, upon detection, automatically extinguishes or attempts to extinguish a fire.
Fire warning system means a device, devices or system of devices which detects a phenomenon of fire, including, but not limited to, heat, smoke, flame, visible or invisible particles, or infrared, ultraviolet or visible radiation and which upon detection transmits an audible, visible, or other sensory alarm to occupants and/or the Fire Department.
Fireworks, except as hereinafter provided, means (1) any combustible or explosive composition; (2) any substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation; (3) blank cartridges, toy pistols, toy cannons, toy canes, or toy guns, in which explosives as defined by State law are used; (4) unmanned balloons which require fire for propulsion; (5) firecrackers, squibs, rockets, sparklers, roman candles, torpedoes, bombs, grenades, fire balloons, signal lights, fountains, wheels, dipsticks, dangerous rockets, novelties composed of two (2) or more of the foregoing, and any device of like construction; and (6) tablets or other devices containing any explosive, explosive substance or flammable compound. Notwithstanding the foregoing definition, for purpose of this Subtitle, "fireworks" shall not include (1) model rockets or model engines which are designed, sold and used for the purpose of propelling recoverable aero models; (2) toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which are used toy paper or plastic caps manufactured in
accordance with the United States Department of Transportation regulations for packing and shipping of toy paper or plastic caps; (3) toy paper or plastic caps manufactured in accordance with the regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation, except that each package of toy paper or plastic caps offered for retail sale must be labeled to indicate the maximum explosive content per cap; (4) flare guns used by railroads or other transportation agencies for signal purpose or illumination; and (5) blank cartridges used either in public entertainment by performers or for signal or ceremonial purposes at athletic or sports events or by military organizations.
Fireworks shooter means a person or persons who may supervise an authorized display upon the prior written approval of the State Fire Marshal.
Gallon means one United States standard gallon.
Grade when used with respect to the exterior of buildings means the reference plane representing the average elevation of finished ground level adjoining the building at all exterior walls.
Hazardous chemicals shall include, but are not limited to, such materials as flammable solids, corrosive liquids, radioactive materials, oxidizing materials, potentially explosive chemicals, hazardous substances, highly toxic materials and poisonous gases.
Hazardous substance means any matter that conveys toxic, lethal or sublethal effects to plant, aquatic or animal life, or which may be injurious to human health, or persists in the environment, or which causes sublethal alterations to aquatic, plant, animal or human systems through their cumulative or immediate reactions. The term includes any matter identified as a hazardous substance by the Environmental Protection Agency in Regulation 4O CFR Part 116.
Household fire warning system shall mean a system of devices which produces an audible alarm signal in a dwelling for the purpose of notifying the occupants of the presence of a fire so they may evacuate the premises. A "household fire warning system" shall not include alarm systems where the signal is extended to another location such as a fire station or a central station service.
Hotel means hotel as defined under dwellings in the BOCA Basic Building Code (Basic Code) adopted in Subtitle 4 of this County Code.
Multifamily apartment house means any building or portion thereof, which is designed, built, rented, leased, sold, let or hired out to be occupied, or which is occupied as the home or residence of three (3) or more families, each living in a separate dwelling unit, and shall include flats and apartments.
NFPA means National Fire Protection Association. When followed by a number, e.g., NFPA-1O1, the term refers to a model code, standard or law promulgated by the NFPA.
One-family dwelling means "one-family dwelling" as defined under "dwellings" in the BOCA Basic Building Code (Basic Code) adopted in Subtitle 4 of this County Code.
Permit means an official document or certificate issued by the Fire Chief or other permit-issuing authority for the purpose of authorizing the performance or conduct of a specified activity.
Permit holder or permittee means the person in whose name a permit is issued.
Person means an individual, an executor, administrator, trustee, receiver or other representative appointed according to law, or a corporation, firm, partnership, association, organization or any other group acting as a unit. Whenever a violation of this Subtitle constitutes an unlawful act, "person" may include the partners or members of a partnership or association and the officers, agents, employees or members of a corporation who are responsible for the violation.
Process means the manufacturing, handling, blending, conversion, purification, recovery, separation, synthesis or use, or any combination of any commodity or material regulated by this Subtitle.
Repair means the reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing building or structure for the purpose of its maintenance. The term "repair" shall not apply to any construction which changes or alters an existing building or structure or part thereof.
Siamese Connection. See "Fire Department connection."
Sleeping area means the area or areas of the dormitory, dwelling unit in a multifamily dwelling, or guest rooms in a hotel or motel, in which the bedrooms or sleeping rooms are located. Rooms habitually used for sleeping which are separated by other use areas (including, but not limited to, kitchens or living rooms, but not bathrooms or closets) shall be considered as separate sleeping areas for the purposes of this Subtitle.
Smoke detector means an approved device capable of sensing visible or invisible particles of combustion.
Smoking means lighting, igniting, holding or possessing any lighted cigar, cigarette or pipe, or carrying, throwing or depositing any lighted or smoldering cigar, cigarette or pipe.
Street means a public thoroughfare which has been dedicated for vehicular use by the public.
System means several items of equipment assembled, grouped or otherwise interconnected for the accomplishment of a purpose or a function.
Unprotected combustible fiber storage vault means a room with a capacity not exceeding one thousand (1,000) cubic feet separated from the remainder of the building by a two (2) hour occupancy separation, constructed as specified in the Building Code adopted by Subtitle 4 of this County Code and provided with approved safety vents to the outside.
Utility line. See definition at Section 2-385 of this County Code.
Sec. 11-1O3. Procedures in case of fire.
(a) Notify Fire Department.
Any person who discovers evidence of any actual, impending or extinguished, dangerous or destructive, or potentially dangerous or destructive, fire shall immediately cause notice of the existence of such fire, circumstances of same and the location thereof to be given to the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center. This requirement shall not be construed to forbid that person or the person in control of a building or premises on which a fire exists from using all diligence necessary to extinguish such fire prior to the arrival of the Fire Department.
(b) Evacuation of buildings.
Whenever a fire occurs in a building or there is reason to believe a fire exits in a building, the building shall be immediately evacuated and not reoccupied without the permission of the fire official in charge. If the building is provided with a manual fire warning system, it shall be the duty of any person who has knowledge of the fire to activate the manual fire warning system. Complete evacuation is not required when alternative procedures have been detailed in a fire plan which has been approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
Sec. 11-1O4. Prohibited acts; interfering with or obstructing officials during fire or other emergency.
It shall be unlawful for any person willfully to interfere with or obstruct the operations of the Fire Department, or any member thereof, or any fire official, while extinguishing a fire or proceeding to a fire or other emergency. Such interference or obstruction shall include disobeying the lawful command of a police officer assisting the Fire Department at a fire or other emergency.
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, issue, post or maintain any regulation or order, written or verbal, requiring any other person who discovers evidence of an actual, impending or extinguished, dangerous or destructive, or potentially dangerous or destructive, fire to delay reporting the existence of such evidence to the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center.
Sec. 11-1O5. Same; gas leaks.
It shall be unlawful for any officer, agent or employee of any utility company, permit holder (permittee), builder, developer or contractor, who is in charge of any excavation and who, during such excavation, discovers evidence of or knows of a break or rupture in the containment system for natural gas or other flammable gas to delay making immediate notification of such condition to the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center.
It shall be unlawful for any person who discovers evidence of or knows of a concentration of natural gas or other flammable gas mixture within an enclosed structure or in the atmosphere to delay making immediate notification of such evidence or condition to the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center.
Sec. 11-1O6. Same; false emergency alarms.
It shall be unlawful for any person to deliberately, recklessly or maliciously give, signal or transmit, or to cause or permit to be given, signalled or transmitted, an emergency alarm when in fact that person knows that no such emergency exists.
Sec. 11-1O7. Same; negligent fires.
It shall be unlawful for any person, by any means whatsoever, through carelessness or negligence to set fire to, or to cause the burning of, any bedding, furniture, rug, curtain, drape or other house or household furnishings or fittings, or any other part of any hotel, rooming house, dormitory, motel, lodging house, multifamily dwelling, tenement house, convalescent home, hospital, child care facility or similar place of abode in such manner as to endanger the safety of any person or property.
Sec. 11-1O8. Same; setting fire to waste or refuse.
It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully and maliciously set fire to, burn or cause to be burned, or aid, counsel or procure the burning of any combustible waste or refuse located in a chute, bin, compactor, room, container or other facility provided for the collection of waste or refuse.
Sec. 11-1O9. Same; access to utilities.
No person shall place, keep or store any material on or before any gas, electrical, or water service, the presence of which would interfere with the ability of the Fire Department to shut off the utility.
Sec. 11-11O. Same; impersonation of fire officials.
It shall be unlawful for any unauthorized person to use a badge, uniform or other credentials so as to impersonate a fire official in Prince George's County.
Sec. 11-111. Same; compliance with fire safety law orders or notices.
It shall be unlawful for any owner, agent, contractor, permit holder or permittee or any other person to violate or fail to comply with any order or notice issued or served by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative pursuant to the provisions of this Subtitle.
Sec. 11-112. Same; condemned appliances or devices; use and removal or mutilation of tags.
It shall be unlawful for any person to use any device or appliance which has been marked or tagged as condemned by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative under the provisions of Section 11-16O of this Subtitle.
It shall be unlawful for any person to mutilate or remove from any device or appliance, the mark or tag of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative placed on or attached to the said device or appliance under the provisions of Section 11-16O of this Subtitle, unless the Fire Chief or his authorized representative has given permission to remove such mark or tag.
Sec. 11-113. Same; tampering with fire safety equipment.
It shall be unlawful to deliberately operate, actuate or use any fire suppression system required to be installed by this Subtitle for purposes other than emergencies, maintenance or prescribed testing.
It shall be unlawful to tamper with, or willfully and maliciously render inoperative, any fire warning system installed pursuant to the requirements of this Subtitle.
It shall be unlawful to willfully and maliciously activate any installed fire warning system for purposes other than emergencies, maintenance or prescribed testing without proper notification to the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center.
It shall be unlawful to use, tamper with or willfully and maliciously render inoperative, any portable fire extinguisher other than during emergencies, maintenance or testing.
No person shall willfully and maliciously molest, tamper with, damage or otherwise disturb any apparatus, equipment or appurtenance belonging to, or under the supervision and/or control of, the Fire Department without authority from the fire official in charge or his authorized representative.
No person shall willfully and maliciously remove, tamper with, or otherwise disturb any fire hydrant or fire equipment, required to be installed or maintained under the provisions of this Subtitle except for the purpose of extinguishing fire, training, recharging, testing or making necessary repairs. Whenever fire equipment is removed as herein permitted, it shall be replaced or reinstalled as soon as the purpose for which it was removed has been accomplished.
No person, other than fire officials in the performance of official duties, shall use or operate any fire hydrant without the permission of the owner of such hydrant.
Sec. 11-114. Criminal penalty for violations.
A violation of any provision of this Subtitle shall constitute a misdemeanor and any person, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100) and not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000), or sentenced to not more than six (6) months in jail, or both. Each day that such violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
Sec. 11-115. Civil relief for violations.
The County may enforce or correct the violations of any provision of this Subtitle by instituting injunction, mandamus or any other appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity in any court of competent jurisdiction.
Editor's note - Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, Sec. 4-4O1, provides the District Court has exclusive civil jurisdiction in a petition of injunction filed by a county for enforcement of its fire code.
Sec. 11-116. Damage or injury liability.
No officer, agent or employee of the County charged with enforcement of this Subtitle while acting within the scope of his authority and without malice shall be personally liable for any damage which may occur to persons or properties as a result of any act required or permitted under this Subtitle or as a result of the institution or assistance in the prosecution of a criminal proceeding under this Subtitle. Any suit brought against any such officer, agent or employee of the County as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this Subtitle shall be defended by the County Attorney until the final termination of the proceedings. Further, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall not be liable for costs in any action, suit or other proceeding which may be instituted and which arises out of any act required, instituted or permitted under this Subtitle; and any authorized representative of the Fire Department acting on good faith and without malice shall be free from liability for acts performed under any of the provisions of this Subtitle or by reason of any act or omission in the performance of his official duties under this Subtitle.
The County shall not be liable for any damage to persons or property either by reason of the inspection or reinspection of buildings, structures or things, authorized by this Subtitle, or by reason of failure to inspect or reinspect such buildings, structures or things, or by reason of any permit issued or the approval or disapproval of any permit issued pursuant to this Subtitle, or by reason of the approval or disapproval of any equipment authorized by this Subtitle.
Sec. 11-117. through Sec. 11-149 Reserved.
DIVISION 2. ADMINISTRATION.
Sec. 11-15O. Authority of Fire Chief.
The Fire Chief is hereby authorized and directed to administer the provisions of this Subtitle. The Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as are set forth in this Subtitle and as may be conferred and imposed from time to time by law. The Fire Chief may delegate any of his powers or duties under this Subtitle to the Division of Fire Prevention or to other fire officials.
In case of an emergency, where in the opinion of the Fire Chief, or his authorized representative, life or property is in immediate danger of fire or explosion, the Fire Chief, or his authorized representative, is hereby authorized to take such actions as are necessary to protect such life or property.
(c) Enforcement assistance.
All County agencies, offices and departments shall render necessary assistance in the enforcement of this Subtitle when requested to do so by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
Sec. 11-151. Bureau of Fire Prevention.
To assist in the performance of the responsibilities and the duties placed upon the Fire Chief, a Bureau of Fire Prevention is established within the Fire Department, which shall be responsible for enforcing laws and ordinances in effect in Prince George's County covering the following
the prevention of fires;
the storage, use and handling of explosive, flammable, toxic, corrosive and other hazardous gaseous, solid and liquid substances;
the installation and maintenance of automatic, manual and other private fire alarm systems and fire extinguishing equipment;
the installation, maintenance and regulation of fire escapes;
the maintenance of fire protection and the elimination of fire hazards on land and in buildings, structures and other property, including those under construction;
the means and adequacy of each exit in the event of fire from factories, schools, hotels, lodging houses, asylums, hospitals, churches, halls, theaters, amphitheaters and all other places in which people work, live or congregate from time to time for any purpose;
the investigation of the cause, origin and circumstances of fires and explosions within Prince George's County, Maryland;
the fire safety aspects of the Building Code as adopted in Subtitle 4 of this County Code; and
other duties as assigned by the Fire Chief.
Sec. 11-152. Investigation of fires.
(a) Authority of Fire Chief or his authorized representative generally.
The Fire Chief and his authorized representative shall have the authority to investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of every fire, explosion or other emergency in which the Fire Department has a reasonable interest. When the Fire Chief or his authorized representative has reason to believe that a fire or explosion may be the result of a violation of any law, he shall immediately take custody of and safeguard all physical evidence in connection therewith, and shall have the authority to prohibit the disturbance or removal of any material, substance, device or utility in, or upon, any building or property wherein, or whereon, a fire or explosion has occurred until the investigation of the fire or explosion is complete.
(b) Authority of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative to enter and examine.
The Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall have the authority at all times, in performance of the duties imposed by the provisions of this Subtitle, to enter upon and/or examine any area, building or premises, vehicle or other thing when there is probable cause to believe that fires or attempt to cause fires exist or which at the time may be burning. He shall have the authority to enter, at any time, any building or property adjacent to that on which the fire or attempt to cause fires has occurred should he deem it necessary in the proper discharge of his duties; and may, at his discretion, take full control and custody of such buildings and premises and place such person in charge thereof as he may deem proper until his examination and investigation shall be completed.
Sec. 11-153. General authority at fires or other emergencies.
The fire official conducting operations in connection with the extinguishment and control of any fire, explosion or other emergency, who is authorized by the Fire Chief, shall have full power and authority to direct all operations of fire extinguishment or control and to take the necessary precautions to save life, protect property, and prevent further injury or damage. In the pursuit of such operation, including the investigation of the cause of such emergency, the fire official may control or prohibit the approach to the scene of such emergency by any vehicle, vessel or thing and all persons not involved in other actions germane to the emergency.
Sec. 11-154. Arrest powers.
The Fire Chief and such other personnel as are designated in writing by the Fire Chief shall have and exercise, and are hereby invested with, the same general police powers including arrest powers as regular members of the Prince George's County Police Department for the express purpose of enforcing the fire safety laws in effect in Prince George's County, including, but not limited to, this Subtitle. This power shall extend to any arrest or other lawful action necessary to permit the peaceful completion of any lawful action by the Fire Department.
Sec. 11-155. Evacuation of persons.
When, in the opinion of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, there is actual danger to the occupants or those in the proximity of any building, structure or premises, because of apparent danger of collapse or inadequacy of any exit way, the presence of explosives, explosive fumes or vapors, flammable liquids, vapors, gas or other presence of toxic fumes, gases or material, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may order the immediate evacuation of such building, structure or premises. Upon issuance of the said order, all occupants shall immediately leave the building, structure or premises and no one shall enter or reenter until authorized to do so by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
Sec. 11-156. Fire reports.
Every fire shall be reported in writing to the Fire Department by the senior fire officer in whose service area such fire has occurred. The report shall be in such form as shall be prescribed by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative and shall contain a statement of facts relating to the cause, origin and circumstances of such fire, factors contributing to the spread of fire, injury to persons and extent of such injuries, response personnel, and such other information as may be required. Reports shall be submitted in accordance with the schedule prescribed by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(b) Suspicious circumstances.
The fire official in charge of the scene of a fire emergency of incendiary or suspicious nature, of undetermined cause, or where loss of life or injury occurs, shall immediately report such circumstances to the Bureau of Fire Prevention.
Sec. 11-157. Resolution of Code disputes involving fire safety.
Nothing in this Subtitle shall be construed as rendering other applicable laws invalid. In any situation where a conflict exits between a provision of this Subtitle and another County code, law or regulation, the Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention and appropriate head of the agency responsible for enforcing the conflicting provisions shall in concert resolve the conflict with reference to the circumstances of the case by determining which provisions shall apply. Conflicts which are unreconcilable shall be referred to the Fire Chief. The decision of the Fire Chief shall be final and in any matter relating to structures exclusive of fire safety, the decision of the Building Official shall be final, except that any person aggrieved by a decision of the Fire Chief shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Appeals.
Sec. 11-158. Right of entry.
The Fire Chief or his authorized representatives, upon exhibiting the proper credentials or proof of identity on request, shall have the right to enter any building, structure or premises for the purpose of enforcing this Subtitle.
Sec. 11-159. Inspections.
The Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall inspect, or cause to be inspected, by the Bureau of Fire Prevention, other fire officials or Fire Department members as often as may be necessary all buildings and premises including such other hazards or appliances as the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may designate. Such inspections shall be for the purpose of ascertaining and causing to be corrected, any condition which would reasonably tend to cause fire or contribute to its spread, or constitute any violation of this Subtitle, or other laws of the County or State of Maryland affecting fire safety.
(b) Implied consent.
Any application for or acceptance of any permit or license requested or issued pursuant to this Subtitle, constitutes agreement and consent by the person making application or accepting the permit to allow fire officials to enter the premises to conduct such inspections as required to enforce this Subtitle.
(c) Advance notice.
It shall be the responsibility of the permittee or contractor to request each required inspection at least one working day in advance of the desired inspection time. If reinspection is required due to a failure by the permittee or contractor to have completed all work for which an inspection is requested, the permittee or contractor shall be subject to a reinspection fee of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00), payable to Prince George's County, Maryland, prior to such reinspection.
Sec. 11-16O. Notice to repair, alter; condemnation tags.
Whenever the Fire Chief or his authorized representative deems any chimney, smoke stack, stove, oven, incinerator, furnace or other heating device, electric fixture or any appurtenance thereto, or any item regulated under provisions of this Subtitle in or upon any building, structure or premises, to be defective or unsafe so as to create an immediate hazard, he shall serve upon the owner or the person having control of the property written notice to repair or alter as necessary and shall notify any other authority enforcing codes, laws or regulations regulating such equipment. He may affix a condemnation tag prohibiting the use thereof until such repairs or alterations are made. When affixed, such tag may be removed only by the order of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative and may be removed only when the hazard to which the order pertains has been eliminated in an approved manner. Until removed, that item or device which has caused the hazard shall not be used or permitted to be used.
Sec. 11-161. Orders to abate dangerous conditions.
(a) Ordering dangerous materials or conditions removed.
Whenever the Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall find any building or other structure which, for want of repairs, lacks sufficient fire escapes, automatic or other fire alarm apparatus or fire suppression equipment or by reason of age or dilapidated conditions or from any other cause, is liable to fire so as to endanger other property or the occupants thereof, and whenever he shall find in any building combustible or explosive matter or flammable conditions dangerous to the safety of such building or the occupants thereof, he shall order such dangerous conditions or materials to be remedied or removed immediately. Such conditions or materials shall include but are not limited to:
dangerous conditions which are liable to cause or contribute to the spread of fire in or on said premises, building or structure, or endanger the occupants thereof;
conditions which would interfere with the efficiency and use of any fire protection equipment;
obstruction to or on fire escapes, stairs, passageways, exit ways, doors or windows, liable to interfere with the egress of occupants or the operations of the Fire Department in case of fire;
dangerous accumulations of dust or waste material in air conditioning or ventilating systems or the grease in the kitchen or other exhaust ducts;
dangerous accumulations of grease in kitchen cooking equipment, or oil, grease or dirt upon, under or around any mechanical equipment;
dangerous accumulations of rubbish, waste, paper, boxes, shavings or other combustible materials;
hazardous conditions arising from defective, inadequate or improperly used or installed electrical wiring, equipment or appliances;
hazardous conditions arising from defective, inadequate or improperly installed equipment for handling or using combustible, flammable, explosive or otherwise hazardous substances;
dangerous or unlawful amounts of combustible, flammable explosive or otherwise hazardous substances;
reduced effectiveness of any fire wall, fire separation wall, fire partition or any opening protective assembly provided therein;
hazardous conditions arising from defective or improperly installed or maintained fire protection systems, internal communications systems or fire ventilation systems; or
in occupancies of an especially hazardous nature or where special hazards exist in addition to the normal hazard of the occupancy or where access for fire apparatus is unduly difficult, additional safeguards may be required by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative consisting of additional fire appliance units, more than one type of appliance, or special systems suitable for the protection from the hazard involved. Such devices or appliances may include but are not limited to automatic fire alarm systems, automatic sprinkler or water spray systems, standpipe and hose, fixed or portable fire extinguishers, suitable asbestos blankets, breathing apparatus, manual or automatic covers, or carbon dioxide, foam or other special fire extinguishing systems. Where such systems are installed, they shall be in accordance with the applicable standards of the National Fire Protection Association. Where the special hazard arises from the mere possibility of fire (such as, but not limited to, a cylinder of poison gas), other appropriate safeguards or protective equipment may be required.
b) Vacating of premises; locking, latching or securing premises.
Whenever the Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall find any building or other structure which, for want of repairs, or because of damage done by storm, fire, explosion, natural wear and tear or other causes of damage or deterioration, is in such condition as to constitute an immediate and present danger to life, property or public safety, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative is authorized to order the premises vacated immediately, if occupied, and is further authorized to post notice on the property and to order the property locked and boarded to prevent any person from entering onto the premises. If the unsafe and dangerous conditions are not corrected in accordance with the order of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative and no appeal has been taken as provided in this Subtitle, the building or structure may be secured and boarded by the County or may be removed by the County, whichever shall be required to remedy the unsafe condition. If the owner has not maintained or has been unable to maintain the building in a safe, locked and boarded condition as previously ordered, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may order the demolition of the building, the filling of any excavation and the clearing of the property so that it will be in a safe condition. The cost of removal or securing by the County shall be charged to the owner of the property in the manner of taxes, and such charge shall be a lien on the property. The cost to the County for removal or securing may also be collected as other debts.
(c) Notice and order generally.
Whenever the Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall issue a notice and order directed to the owner of record of a building to abate a dangerous condition, the notice and order shall contain:
the street address and legal description sufficient for identification of the premises upon which the building is located;
a statement that the Fire Chief or his authorized representative has found the building to be dangerous with a brief and concise description of the conditions found to render the building dangerous;
a statement of the action required to be taken as determined by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative;
a statement advising that if any required repair or demolition work is not commenced within the time specified the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may proceed to cause the work to be done and charge the costs thereof against the property or its owner; and
a statement advising: (i) that any person having any record title or legal interest in the building may appeal from the notice and order to the Board of Appeals, provided that the appeal is made in writing as provided in this Code and filed within ten (10) days from the date of service; and (ii) that failure to will constitute a waiver of all right to administrative hearing and determination of the matter.
d) Method of service of notice and order.
Service of the notice and order shall be made upon all persons entitled thereto either personally or by mailing a copy of such notice and order by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to each such person at his address as it appears on the last assessment roll of the County or as known to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. If no address of any such person so appears or is known to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, then a copy of the notice and order shall be so mailed, addressed to such person, at the address of the building involved in the proceedings, and a copy shall be posted at or near the main entrance to the building. In addition, a copy shall be posted at the door of the Prince George's County Courthouse in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, or on a bulletin board in the immediate vicinity thereof. The failure of any such person to receive such notice shall not affect the validity of any proceedings taken under this Section. Service by certified mail in the manner herein provided shall be effective on the date of the mailing.
(e) Posting and form of notice to vacate.
Every notice to vacate shall be served as provided in Subsection (d) of this Section, be posted at or upon each exit of the building, and be in substantially the following form:
DO NOT ENTER
UNSAFE TO OCCUPY
It is a misdemeanor to occupy this building
or to remove or deface this notice.
Fire Department of
Prince George's County, Maryland
(f) Compliance with notice to vacate.
Whenever such notice is posted, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall include a notification thereof in the notice and order issued by him under Subsection (e) of this Section reciting the emergency and specifying the conditions which necessitate the posting. No person shall remain in or enter any building which has been so posted, except that entry may be made to repair or demolish.
(g) Stay of notice and order during appeals.
Except for orders to vacate, enforcement of any notice and order of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative issued under this Section shall be stayed pending an appeal therefrom which is properly and timely filed.
(h) Failure to obey order.
After any order of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative or the Board of Appeals made pursuant to this Section shall have become final, no person to whom any such order is directed shall fail, neglect or refuse to obey any such order. Any such person who fails to comply with any such order is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(i) Authority of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative on failure to obey final order.
If, after any order of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative or the Board of Appeals made pursuant to this Section has become final, and the person to whom such order is directed
shall fail, neglect or refuse to obey such order, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may (1) cause such person to be prosecuted under Subsection (h) of this Section, or (2) institute any appropriate action to abate such building as a public nuisance, or both.
Upon receipt of any application from the person required to conform to the order and an agreement by such person that he will comply with the order if allowed additional time, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may, in his discretion, grant an extension of time, not to exceed an additional one hundred twenty (120) days within which to complete said repair, rehabilitation or demolition if the Fire Chief or his authorized representative determines that such an extension of time will not create or perpetuate a situation dangerous to life or property. The authority of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative to extend time is limited to the physical repair, rehabilitation or demolition of the premises and will not in any way affect or extend the time to appeal his notice and order.
Sec. 11-162. Service of orders and notices generally.
Except as otherwise provided, any order or notice issued pursuant to this Subtitle shall be served upon the owner, operator, occupant, agent or other person responsible for the condition or violation, either by personal service or by delivering the same to and leaving it with some person of responsibility upon the premises, or by affixing a copy thereof in a conspicuous place at or near the entrance to such premises, or by mailing a copy thereof to such person by registered or certified mail to the last known address with return receipt requested.
DIVISION 3. PERMITS, CERTIFICATES, AND LICENSES.
Sec. 11-201. Permit for explosives.
The provisions of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 38A, Sections 26 to 36, subtitle "Explosives," are fully applicable in Prince George's County. (See Sections 32 and 34 thereof for State licensing requirements and penalty provisions.)
Sec. 11-2O2. Building permits.
(a) Fire Chief approval.
No building permit for construction, modification, addition to or other changes in any building, except ordinary repairs as defined in Subtitle 4 of this County Code, shall be issued without the approval of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(b) Review of plans prerequisite to issuance of a building permit.
Before a building permit for construction, modification, addition to or other changes in any building, except ordinary repairs as defined in Subtitle 4 of this County Code, may be issued by the Department of Environmental Resources, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall inspect and approve all plans, specifications or details to insure compliance with this Subtitle, the fire safety aspects of the County Building Code adopted by Subtitle 4 of this County Code and the State Fire Prevention Code, Article 38A, Annotated Code of Maryland.
(c) Authority to require exposure or stop work.
Whenever any installation requiring Fire Department inspection is covered or concealed without first being inspected, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, after exhausting other reasonable means to establish compliance, may require upon written notice that such work is exposed for inspection. Any cost of such exposing and recovering shall be borne by the permittee. When any construction work is being performed in violation of this Subtitle, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may issue a written notice to the responsible party to stop construction or repairs on that portion of the work in violation. The notice shall state the nature of the violation and that it shall be unlawful to continue to work on that portion until the violation has been corrected.
(d) Use and occupancy permits issued by the County Department of Environmental Resources.
Before a Use and Occupancy permit may be issued to occupy a building which has been issued a County building permit, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall inspect and approve the construction for compliance with the approved plans.
Sec. 11-2O3. Certificates of approval for fire warning systems.
It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or through an agent, to sell, offer for sale, rent, lease or install any type of fire warning system until a certificate of approval has been issued by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(b) Certificate of approval.
Application for a certificate of approval shall be in a form specified by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. The applicant shall submit complete copies of the report of any nationally recognized testing laboratory which has examined the device. If, upon application, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative finds that the fire warning system submitted will function dependably and that the device has been tested and approved or listed by a recognized testing laboratory, he shall issue a certificate of approval subject to the conditions that the system or device be properly installed. Should the Fire Chief or his authorized representative find that the fire warning system will not operate dependably or if he shall find that the system or device has not been tested and approved or listed by a recognized testing laboratory, he shall mark the application "disapproved" and return same to the applicant.
Sec. 11-2O4. Fire protection system; approval required.
(a) Required for installation of system.
Before any fire protection system is installed, the agent, contractor or installer shall apply to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative for approval of the system. Two complete sets of drawings and specifications shall accompany the application for approval. This shall not waive any permit requirement otherwise imposed by law. When similar household fire protection systems are being installed in more than one dwelling unit under the control of a single owner, developer or management, a single approval may be requested. However, any variation in floor plan, number of detectors, or model number of components, shall be specified. Should the Fire Chief or his authorized representative find that any part of the fire alarm system will not function dependably or does not conform with specific requirements found elsewhere in this Subtitle or other laws or ordinances of the County, he shall immediately notify the applicant of specific discrepancies and assist him in gaining compliance. Review and approval by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative for combination systems shall be limited to the operation of the system for fire warning purposes and shall not be construed to be approval of any other function of the combination system.
(b) Required for connection of system.
When the Fire Chief or his authorized representative has approved the installation of a fire alarm system, and when such system requires connection to a source of energy which is regulated under the Electrical Code adopted by Subtitle 9 of this County Code, a permit for the necessary connection shall be obtained from the Department of Environmental Resources.
When an approval required by this Section has been denied, the applicant may note an appeal to the County Board of Appeals within five (5) working days.
Sec. 11-2O5. Burning cross or other religious symbol prohibited.
No person shall burn or cause to be burned any cross or other religious symbol upon any private or public property within Prince George's County without the express consent of the owner of such property and without having first obtained a permit for such burning from the Prince George's County Fire Chief or his authorized representative. Any person or persons who violate the provisions of this Section shall, upon conviction, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall suffer punishment by imprisonment in the County jail for a period not to exceed one (1) year or shall be fined an amount not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) or shall suffer both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.
Sec. 11-2O6. Failure to obtain permit, approval or certificate.
Any person who sells, offers for sale, installs, operates, maintains or uses any appliance, device, equipment, system or process or who constructs any building or modifies, excluding repairs, any existing structure, which actions require a permit, approval or certificate under this Subtitle from the Fire Chief, and has not obtained the same shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Any person who stores, handles or uses any material for which a permit is required and who has not obtained the same shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Sec. 11-2O7. Operation under expired, suspended or revoked permits.
Any permittee who engages in any business, operation or occupation or uses any premises after the permit issued therefor has been suspended or revoked or has expired, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Sec. 11-2O8. through Sec. 11-25O Reserved.
DIVISION 4. FIRE PREVENTION CODE.
Sec. 11-251. Purpose; intent.
The purpose and intent of this Division is to prescribe minimum requirements and controls to safeguard life, property and the public welfare from the hazards of fire and explosion.
The provisions of this Division shall not prevent the use of any material or method of construction not prescribed by this Division when the permittee can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Fire Chief, that the proposed method or material is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of the material or method otherwise prescribed, in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety.
Where existing standards or requirements, adopted herein, have been updated or superseded by the promulgating authority, such revised standard or requirement shall be deemed as prima facie evidence of compliance with the intent of the Subtitle.
Whenever it is determined, however, that there is documentary evidence that the use of a material or method approved herein would constitute a distinct hazard to life or property, the Fire Chief shall have the authority to administratively suspend approval granted herein of such material or method. The Fire Chief shall, within five (5) working days, request the County Council to confirm such administrative suspension by resolution of the Council. Such written request of the Fire Chief shall be accompanied by sufficient technical data and record of national or local testing to substantiate that the use of an approved method or material would constitute a distinct hazard to life or property.
Sec. 11-252. Construction and scope of Division.
The provisions of this Division shall apply to existing conditions as well as to conditions arising after the adoption thereof, except that conditions legally in existence at the adoption of this Division and not in strict compliance therewith may be permitted to continue only if, in the opinion of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, they do not constitute a distinct hazard to life or property.
The provisions of this Division shall not apply to any building, area or premises within the County which is owned by any department or agency of the government of the United State of America or the State of Maryland.
Nothing in this Division shall be construed to limit the authority of any fire official who has been appointed Deputy or Special Deputy State Fire Marshal in accordance with Article 38A of the Annotated Code of Maryland or the authority granted by other laws or codes.
Sec. 11-253. Standards adopted.
The following enumerated codes, standards and model laws published by the National Fire Protection Association, International, 47O Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts O221O, are adopted in their entirety as supplements and additions to the text of this Division. The text of these adopted codes, standards and model laws shall be fully enforceable as other regulations adopted under the provisions of this Division as if the same were incorporated and set forth at length therein. If any provision of the codes, standards, and model laws enumerated in Subparagraph (a)(1) through (1O) below, is less restrictive than the provisions of either Subtitle 4 of the County Code, or other provisions of this Subtitle, or the National Fire Protection Association 1O1 Code, then the conflicting provision of the following codes, standards, or model laws shall not apply. The dates or editions of the individual codes and standards shall be listed in the National Fire Codes of the National Fire Protection Association and being particularly the 1978 edition thereof, and such later editions as may be adopted by the County Council and noted in Subparagraph (a)(1) through (1O) below. A copy of the said codes, standards and model laws shall be marked as a master copy and maintained by the Clerk of the County Council.
(1) Occupancy protection.
NFPA-32. Standard for Drycleaning Plants.
NFPA-1O1. Code for Safety to Life from Fire in Buildings and Structures (1981 Edition)
NFPA-1O2. Standard for Tents, Grandstands and Air-Supported Structures used for Places
(2) Flammable and Combustible Liquids.
NFPA-3O. Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code
NFPA-321. Standard on Basic Classification of Flammable and Combustible Liquids
NFPA-327. Standard Procedures for Cleaning and Safeguarding Small Tanks and Containers
NFPA-329. Underground Flammable and Combustible Liquids Tanks, Leakage from
NFPA-385. Recommended Regulatory Standard for Tank Vehicles for Flammable and
NFPA-386. Standard for Portable Shipping Tanks
(3) Flammable gases.
NFPA-5O. Standards for Bulk Oxygen Systems at Consumer Sites
NFPA-5OA. Standard for Gaseous Hydrogen Systems at Consumer Sites
NFPA-5OB. Standard for Liquified Hydrogen Systems at Consumer Sites
NFPA-51. Welding and Cutting, Oxygen-Fuel Gas Systems
NFPA-51B. Cutting and Welding Processes
NFPA-56A. Standard for the Use of Inhalation Anesthetics (Flammable and Nonflammable)
NFPA-56B. Standard for Inhalation Therapy
NFPA-56D. Standard for Hyperbaric Facilities
NFPA-56E. Standard for Hypobaric Facilities
NFPA-56F. Standard for Nonflammable Medical Gas Systems
NFPA-58. Standard for the Storage and Handling of Liquified Petroleum Gases
NFPA-59. Standard for the Storage and Handling of Liquified Petroleum Gases at Utility Gas
NFPA-59A. Standards for the Production, Storage and Handling of Liquified Natural Gas
(4) Hazardous materials and processes.
NFPA-33. Standard for Spray Finishing Using Flammable and Combustible Materials
NFPA-34. Standard for DIP Tanks Containing Flammable or Combustible Liquids
NFPA-35. Standard for the Manufacture of Organic Coatings
NFPA-4O. Standard for the Storage and Handling of Cellulose Nitrate Motion Picture Film
NFPA-41L. Code of Model Rocketry
NFPA-42. Standard for the Storage, Handling and Use of Pyroxyline Plastic in Warehouses
and Wholesale, Jobbing and Retail Stores
NFPA-43A. Code of the Storage of Liquid and Solid Oxidizing Materials
NFPA-49. Hazardous Chemicals Data
NFPA-51. Standard for the Installation and Operation of Oxygen Fuel Gas Systems for
Welding and Cutting
NFPA-51B. Standard for Fire Prevention in Use of Cutting and Welding Processes
NFPA-56C. Safety Standard for Hospital Laboratories
NFPA-57. Standard for Fumigation
NFPA-325A. Flash Point Index of Trade Name Liquids
NFPA-325M. Fire Hazard Properties of Flammable Liquids, Gases and Volatile Solids
NFPA-49O. Code of the Storage of Ammonium Nitrate
NFPA-491M. Manual of Hazardous Chemical Reactions
NFPA-495. Code for the Manufacturing, Transportation, Storage and Use of Explosive
NFPA-654. Standard for the Prevention of Dust Explosions in the Plastics Industry
NFPA-7O4M. Fire Hazards of Materials, Identification System for
NFPA-88B. Standard for Repair Garages
NFPA-4O7. Standard for Aircraft Fuel Servicing Including Aircraft and Fueling Hose,
Aircraft Fuel Servicing Tank Vehicles, and Airport Fixed-Fueling Systems
NFPA-5O1A. Standard for Mobile Home Parks
NFPA-5O5. Standard for Type Designations, Areas of Use, Maintenance and Operation of
Powered Industrial Trucks
(6) Fire extinguishing systems.
NFPA-11. Standard for Foam Extinguishing Systems
NFPA-11A. Standard for High Expansion Foam Systems (Expansion Ratios from 1OO:1 to
NFPA-11B. Standard on Synthetic Foam and Combined Agent Systems
NFPA-12. Standard on Carbon Dioxide Extinguishing Systems
NFPA-12A. Standard on Halogenated Fire Extinguishing Agent Systems - Halon 13O1
NFPA-12B. Standard on Halogenated Fire Extinguishing
NFPA-13. Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
NFPA-14. Standard for the Installation of Standpipes and Hose Systems
NFPA-15. Standard for Water Spray Fixed Systems for Fire Protection
NFPA-16. Standard for the Installation of Foam-Water Sprinkler Systems and Foam-Water
NFPA-17. Standard for Dry Chemical Extinguishing Systems
NFPA-2O Centrifugal Fire Pumps
NFPA-24 Outside Protection
(7) Portable fire extinguishers.
NFPA-1O. Standard for the Installation of Portable Fire Extinguishers
NFPA-1OA. Portable Fire Extinguishers, Maintenance and Use of
(8) Fire warning systems.
NFPA-71. Standard for the Installation, Maintenance and Use of Central Station Protective
Signaling Systems for Guard, Fire Alarm and Supervisory Service
NFPA-72A. Standard on Installation, Maintenance and Use of Local Protective Signaling
Systems for Watchmen, Fire Alarm and Supervisory Service
NFPA-72B. Standard for the Installation, Maintenance and Use of Auxiliary Protective
Signaling Systems for Fire Alarm Service
NFPA-72C. Standard for the Installation, Maintenance and Use of Remote Station Protective
NFPA-72D. Standard for the Installation, Maintenance and Use of Proprietary Protective
Signaling Systems for Watchmen, Fire Alarm and Supervisory Service
NFPA-72E. Automatic Fire Detectors
NFPA-74. Standard for the Installation, Maintenance and Use of Household Fire-Warning
NFPA-81. Standard for Fur Storage, Fumigation and Cleaning
NFPA-231. Standard for Indoor General Storage
NFPA-231B. Standard for Storage of Cellular Rubber and Plastics Materials
NFPA-231C. Standard for Rack Storage of Materials
NFPA-232. Standard for the Protection of Records
(1O) Building Construction and Facilities.
NFPA-54. Standard for the Installation of Gas Appliances and Gas Piping
NFPA-54A. Standard for the Installation of Gas Piping and Gas Equipment on Industrial
Premises and Certain Other Premises
NFPA-68. Explosion Venting
NFPA-7O. National Electrical Code
NFPA-76A. Essential Electrical Systems for Health Care Facilities
NFPA-8O. Fire Doors and Windows
NFPA-82. Standard on Rubbish Handling and Incinerators
NFPA-86A. Standard for Ovens and Furnaces, Design, Location and Equipment
NFPA-86B. Standard for Industrial Furnaces, Design, Location and Equipment
NFPA-9OA. Air Conditioning and Ventilation System
NFPA-91. Standard for the Installation of Blower and Exhaust Systems for Dust, Stock,
Vapor Removal or Conveying
NFPA-96. Standard for the Installation of Equipment for the Removal of Smoke and
Grease-Laden Vapors from Commercial Cooking Equipment
NFPA-2O4. Guide to Smoke and Heat Venting
NFPA-1231. Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural Firefighting
Sec. 11-254. Exits and means of egress in buildings, generally.
Exits shall be provided and maintained as required by this Division and the applicable sections of the Prince George's County Building Code.
All doors in or leading to exits shall be maintained operable from the inside, without the use of a key or any special knowledge or effort, at all times when the building or area served hereby is occupied.
Special purpose door alarms, window bars or bolting devices shall be approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative prior to installation. Manually operated edge or surface mounted flush bolts are prohibited.
In other than individual dwelling units, no person shall place, store, or keep or permit to be placed, stored or kept any materials, the presence or burning of which would obstruct or render hazardous an exit.
No person shall at any time place an encumbrance of any kind before or upon any fire escape, balcony or ladder intended as a means of escape from fire.
All fire exit doors which open into stairways or exit passageways and any doors which are installed across corridors to provide fire or smoke barriers shall be self-closing and shall be so maintained or shall be automatic doors which will close upon activation of a fail-safe type of approved smoke detection device.
It shall be unlawful to block, obstruct or otherwise impair the operation of any door required to be self-closing or automatic.
All doors which are installed to provide protection of openings in exit stairways or exit corridors shall be equipped with a positive-latching device to prevent the spread of smoke and fire.
No person shall block, impede or obstruct any aisle, passageway, hallway, lobby, foyer or stairway, leading to or from an entrance or exit required by law, which will prevent, delay, hinder or interfere with the free use of such passageway by any person.
The following exceptions are provided to the requirements to provide free and unobstructed egress from all parts of all buildings and structures at all times.
In mental, penal or corrective institutions where supervisory personnel are continually on duty and effective provisions, approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, are made to remove occupants in the case of fire or other emergency.
When approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, in buildings occupied only by personnel whose principal duty is the security of the building and when each such person has keys to an adequate number of exits the prohibition against the use of keys in exit doors may be waived.
Sec. 11-255. Fire drills.
(a) Educational occupancies.
Fire drills shall be conducted at least once during each month in which classes are held in educational occupancies where such occupancies constitute the major occupancy of the building, and the following regulations shall be observed:
fire drills shall include complete evacuation of all persons from the building or structure; and
a record of all fire drills conducted shall be maintained and made available upon request to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative; and
the agent in charge of such occupancies shall notify the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center prior to and immediately after each fire drill.
(b) Institutional occupancies.
Fire drills shall be conducted at least once each month for each work shift in institutional occupancies such as hospitals, nursing homes and jails where such occupancy constitutes the major occupancy of a building, and the following regulations shall be observed.
Fire drills shall be conducted to familiarize operating personnel with their assigned positions of emergency duty.
Employees of such institutional occupancies shall receive fire safety training at least once every six (6) months. One (1) such training program each year shall be conducted by personnel from the Bureau of Fire Prevention. Training programs shall be based upon, but not limited to, the emergency fire safety manual for the institution which has been approved by the Bureau of Fire Prevention. Agents in charge of such institutions shall forward a written report of each training program to the Bureau of Fire Prevention.
Complete evacuation of occupants from the building at the time of the fire drill shall be required only where it is practicable and does not involve moving or disturbing patients under medical care.
A record of all fire drills conducted shall be maintained and made available upon request to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
The agent in charge of such occupancy shall notify the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center prior to and immediately after each fire drill.
During severe weather, fire drills may be postponed.
Sec. 11-256. Places of assembly.
(a) Occupancy load certificate generally.
In every place of public or private assembly, there shall be an occupancy load certificate permanently posted in a conspicuous place in the room near the entrance. Such certificate shall be furnished and signed by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, and such certificate shall read generally as follows:
Not more than______________________________________________________________
persons permitted in_______________________________________________________
By Order of Fire Department
Prince George's County, Maryland
Fire Official Date
(b) Capacity in excess of occupancy load certificate.
No owner, operator, or manager, or person in charge, or agent, or employee shall permit, within a place of public or private assembly, any persons in excess of the number allowed by the occupancy load certificate for such place. Where there is any doubt as to the computation of occupancy load, the certificate shall control.
(c) Sale of tickets in excess of occupancy load certificate limit.
No owner, operator, manager, agent or employee of any place of public or private assembly hereto referred, shall sell or permit any employee, agent or servant to sell for a single performance, or between the beginning and end of any single performance or show (including short or extra attractions in the case of motion pictures), more tickets or admissions than the number of persons allowed within such place by the occupancy load certificate. Such sale of an excess number of tickets or admissions shall be prima facie evidence of the violation of this Division.
(d) Posting of occupancy load certificate.
It shall be unlawful to operate or use any place of assembly unless the certificate required by Subsection (a) of this Section is conspicuously posted.
(e) Audiences to be informed of exits.
It shall be the duty of the person in charge of any theater or place of public assembly to call the attention of those present, immediately prior to the beginning of the play, address or other matter of proceedings for which the people are assembled, to the number and location of the several exits in the building or hall and to state that the doors to all such exits are unlocked. Before making such announcement, it shall be the duty of such person to make an actual inspection to verify the fact or to see that said doors are unlocked.
It shall be the duty of the person in charge of every public or private assembly to call the attention of everyone present at a performance, address, exhibition or other matter of proceeding to the exits by displaying or announcing the following:
For your own safety, LOOK for your
nearest EXIT. In case of emergency
WALK, do not RUN, to that EXIT.
The requirement for calling the attention to everyone present in any public or private assembly shall be considered complied with by one of the following:
Oral announcement of the above notice from stage, platform or floor at the beginning of every
performance, address, exhibition, contest or other matter of proceedings.
Showing the above notice on cinema screen where moving or stereopticon pictures are shown.
Printing the above notice in bold-type letters not less than one-fourth (1/4) inch in height on the
back of programs for such performances, matters or other proceedings, and nothing but the
said notice shall be place thereon.
Having a fixed sign or signs displaying the above notice printed in letters of a size and clearness
that can be easily read from any and every point in the assembly room.
(f) Interior finish.
Walls, ceilings and floor covering shall be in accordance with the interior finish requirements listed in NFPA-1O1, Life Safety Code.
(g) Decorations, defined.
Decorative material shall include, but not be limited to, all such materials as curtains, draperies, streamers, surface coverings applied over interior finish for decorative, acoustical or other effect and also cloth, cotton batting, straw, vines, leaves, trees and moss used for decorative effect, but it shall not include floor coverings, ordinary window shades, and materials one twenty-eighth (1/28) of an inch or less in thickness applied directly and adhering tightly to a noncombustible base.
(h) Use of flammable material.
No decorative materials shall be used which, as applied, will ignite and allow flame to spread over the surface or allows burning particles to drop when exposed to a match-flame test applied to a piece removed from the material and tested in a safe place. The piece shall be held in a vertical position and the bottom edge exposed to a flame from a common match held in a horizontal position, one-fourth (1/4) inch underneath the piece, and at a constant location for a minimum of twelve (12) seconds.
(i) Renewal of flameproofing treatments.
Treatments used to accomplish this flameproofing shall be renewed as often as may be necessary to maintain the flameproof effect.
(j) Pyroxylin-coated fabrics.
Pyroxylin-coated fabric used as a decorative material in accordance with Subsection (g) of this Section or as a surface covering on fixed furnishings, shall be limited as follows: Such fabrics containing 1.4 ounces or more cellulose nitrate per square yard shall not be used in excess of a total amount equivalent to one (1) square foot of fabric surface to fifteen (15) cubic feet of room volume. Each square foot of such fabric which contains 1.7 ounces or more of cellulose nitrate per square yard shall be counted as two (2) square feet in making this computation.
(k) Flammable screens.
In places of assembly no motion picture screen or screen masking shall be used which will ignite and allow flame to spread over the surface when exposed to the match-flame test described in Subsection (h) of this Section.
(l) Checking egress facilities.
The operator or the person in charge of operation of use of any place or assembly shall check egress facilities before such place of assembly is occupied for any use to determine compliance with the provisions of this Section.
(m) Locking of egress doors.
During the period of occupancy, an egress door shall not be locked, bolted or otherwise fastened or obstructed by any means so that the door cannot be opened from the inside by the use of the ordinary door latch or knob or by pressure on the door or on a panic release device.
In each room where chairs, tables and chairs or lounges and benches are used, the arrangement shall be such as to provide for ready access to aisles to each egress door. Aisles leading directly to an egress door shall have not less than thirty-six (36) inches clear width which shall not be obstructed by chairs, tables or other objects.
A part of a stairway, whether interior or exterior, or of a hallway, corridor, vestibule, balcony or bridge leading to stairway or exitway shall not be used in any way that will obstruct or restrict its use as a means of egress, or that will present a hazardous condition.
(p) Stopping of performance by Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
The Fire Chief or his authorized representative, upon finding any overcrowding conditions or obstructions in aisles, passageways, or other means of egress or upon finding any condition which constitutes a serious menace to life shall cause the performance, presentation, spectacle or entertainment to be stopped until such condition or obstruction is corrected.
(q) Failure to leave premises when requested to do so.
Any person who fails to leave any premises that is overcrowded, when told to do so by the management of the premises or any authorized representative of the Fire Department, shall be deemed in violation of this Subtitle.
Sec. 11-257. Fire safety instructions for multi-residential occupancies.
Hotels, motels, multifamily dwellings, lodging houses and all other residential occupancies except one- and two-family dwellings shall have a printed copy of fire safety instructions permanently and conspicuously posted in each occupancy unit and at such other locations as required by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. The text and posting location shall be subject to the approval of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. Unauthorized removal of such signs shall be a violation of this Subtitle.
(b) Fire Plans.
Upon request of the Fire Chief, the person responsible for fire safety in all buildings more than seventy-five (75) feet in height above average grade, buildings serving as housing for senior citizens, buildings housing institutional or educational occupancies, or such other buildings as may be required by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, shall prepare a written plan which details adequate procedures for occupants in case of fire. The plan shall be transmitted to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative for approval. After approval, the plan shall be distributed to appropriate occupants of the building.
Sec. 11-258. Smoke detectors.
(a) Requirements for multifamily apartment houses, hotels, motels, and dormitories
(1) Multifamily apartment house.
It shall be the responsibility of the owner of each new or existing multifamily apartment house to install smoke detectors in each such multifamily dwelling unit intended to be used or originally built or designed to be used for residential purposes, not to include any dwelling unit within any structure which has been wholly converted to a nonresidential use. They shall be installed by July 1, 1978, in the manner hereinafter provided unless any other provision of County, State or federal law shall require installation before that date.
(2) Hotels, motels and dormitories.
The owner of each new or existing hotel, motel and dormitory shall install smoke detectors in each sleeping area. They shall be installed in existing buildings by July 1, 198O, in the manner hereinafter provided, unless any other provision of County, State or federal law shall require installation before that date.
At least one (1) smoke detector shall be installed in close proximity to the access for each sleeping area.
Smoke detectors may be directly hard wired to the building's power supply or operated on a plug-in outlet which is fitted with a plug restrainer device, provided that said outlet is not controlled by any switch, and further provided that there is no switch or cord switch on the detector. Monitored battery-supply units may be substituted.
(d) Maintenance of smoke detectors in multifamily apartment houses, hotels, motels and dormitories.
It shall be the responsibility of the property owner or agent to annually inspect and maintain any smoke detector device, installed in compliance with the provisions of this Section, in accordance with the manufacturer's warranty and/or suggested maintenance schedule. In addition, the property owner shall provide any tenant access to a copy of the maintenance schedule, operating manual and any other instructional or precautionary literature which the manufacturer may supply with the unit.
In new multifamily apartment houses, motels, hotels and dormitories which have a required manual fire alarm system, a heat detector shall be installed next to the required smoke detector(s) and the heat detector shall be connected to the manual fire alarm system.
(f) Certification at change in occupancy.
At every change of occupancy or tenancy in any multifamily dwelling unit occasioned by or incidental to a sale, lease, sublease or change in tenancy, it shall be the duty of the grantor thereof to certify to the tenant, at the time of conveyance and before occupancy, that all smoke detectors as required by this Section (or other applicable laws) are installed and in proper working condition.
(g) Other standards applicable.
This Section is intended to be used with and supplemented by the applicable provisions of National Fire Protection Association Standards NFPA-71, NFPA-72 E and NFPA-74.
(h) Requirements for one- and two-family residential dwellings.
The requirements for installation and maintenance of smoke detectors in one-and two-family residential dwellings shall be as prescribed by Article 38A, Section 12A, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, as may be amended from time to time. As of July 1, 1982, Section 12A, as amended by Chapter 34O of the Acts of the General Assembly of 1982, requires that in one- and two-family residential dwellings the occupant of each dwelling unit shall be responsible for installing and maintaining at least one approved battery or AC primary electric-powered smoke detector.
Sec. 11-259. Underground storage tanks.
(a) Compliance required.
The owner, lessee or person(s) in control of the facilities for the storage and dispensing of flammable liquids shall follow the provisions of NFPA-3O and NFPA-329 as adopted under this Division and the procedures hereinafter set forth, and shall assume any cost related thereto; provided, however, that where compliance requires the making of additions to or changes in the structure of the facility, such as would immediately become real estate and be the property of the owner of the real property, the order shall affect the owner and not the lessee or other person(s) in control of the facility, unless it is otherwise agreed between the owner and lessee or other person(s) in control of the facility. This Section shall apply to any facility used for the storage of flammable liquids when in the judgment of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative there is evidence of a leak and hazard to life. Farm operations shall be exempt from this Section. The determination of a farm operation shall be the same as shown by the Board of Assessments for the State of Maryland.
(b) Tanks to which requirements apply.
Unless otherwise indicated, testing requirements of this Section shall not apply to tanks and equipment made of fiberglass or other noncorrosive material subject to the approval of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(c) New or replacement installation.
Before any tanks and equipment for the storage and dispensing of flammable liquids are covered from sight following installation, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall inspect the installation and give approval therefor if the requirements of this Section have been met. Tanks that have been glass lined (fiberglass) shall be tested as if a new tank. A record of tank size, name of manufacturer and serial number shall be placed on a correction order after test for tightness is finished.
(d) Tanks in service, inventory records and pressure testing pipe.
Accurate inventory control records for the purpose of detecting system leakage shall be maintained by the person(s) or company in control of the premises for each underground storage facility in accordance with NFPA-3O and NFPA-329 as adopted by this Division. The person(s) or company in control of the premises shall promptly report any significant loss of product to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, in accordance with standards established by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative for the facility. The person(s) or company shall make and record daily measurements of product inventory. These inventory control records shall be available for checking by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative upon request. All piping in remote pumping installations in existence on March 1, 1977, shall be subjected to a pressure test for at least thirty (3O) minutes pneumatically to 11O% of the maximum anticipated pressure of the system, but not less than five (5) pounds per square inch at the highest point of the system within two (2) years of March 1, 1977. Such tests shall be repeated on all such systems at intervals no greater than five (5) years. The date of the test, the pressure to which the system was tested, the duration and the results thereof shall be recorded and maintained until the date of the next test and shall be available upon request for inspection by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(e) Tanks in service; storage testing.
All underground flammable liquid storage tanks which will have been buried for ten (1O) years or more on March 1, 1977, and all those tanks for which no buried installation date can be reasonably determined, shall be tested for tightness according to the standards set forth in NFPA-329 as adopted by this Division. In the event that a "final test" is required on any buried storage tank prior to the expiration of the ten (1O) years, a later test will not be required without cause until the expiration of five (5) years from the date of the test or the expiration of the tenth year of its installation, whichever occurs later. After the tenth year, "final tests" shall be repeated on all such tanks at intervals no greater than five (5) years without cause. The date of the test, the model and the type of the tester, the name of the operator of the equipment, the duration and results thereof shall be recorded and maintained until the date of the next test and shall be available for inspection by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(f) Testing for cause.
Notwithstanding the foregoing requirements for testing piping and underground storage tanks, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may require a "final test" or its equivalent on any such system when he finds any of the following conditions exist:
That inventory control records are improperly kept so that it cannot be determined whether a shortage of product exists.
Inventory control records indicate a shortage of product.
There is a detection of leakage.
There is a persistent odor or presence of flammable liquids in any structure, building, vault, well, or unapproved location within Prince George's County.
(g) Underground flammable liquids storage tanks out of service.
Underground tanks which are not in active service shall be treated as "temporarily out of service" by taking the following steps:
Notify the Bureau of Fire Prevention of intent to render the tank inactive.
Secure the fill-line cap, gauge-opening cap and pump suction or discharge line, if disconnected, against tampering and product leakage.
Assure that the vent line is open.
Purge the tank. An underground tank shall not be left in "temporarily out of service" condition in excess of twelve (12) months. If it is to be returned to service, the final test shall be applied as outlined in Section VI of NFPA-329.
(h) Abandoned underground flammable liquid tanks.
Underground tanks which are not in active service and which do not comply with Section VII of NFPA-329 shall be removed in accordance with Appendix C-4 and C-5 of NFPA-30. Tanks shall not be abandoned by leaving in place without the express approval of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(i) Corrosion protection.
Corrosion protection for tanks and piping shall be provided by one (1) or more of the following methods:
corrosion resistant materials or construction;
use of protective coating or wrappings.
Selection of the type of protection to be employed should be based upon the corrosion history of the geographical soil area and the judgment of a qualified corrosion engineer.
All establishments storing or handling flammable materials shall be plainly marked with signs at entrances to storage or use areas and at such other points as may be recommended by the Fire Chief. Filling and emptying connections for Class IA, IB and IC liquids which are made and broken shall be located outside of buildings at a location free from any source of ignition and not less than five (5) feet away from any building opening. Such connections for any liquid shall be closed and liquid tight when not in use and shall be properly identified by color and/or wording or other means approved by the Fire Chief.
The dispensing of gasoline, or any product mixing gasoline with another flammable or combustible liquid, into any portable container, and the transportation of such product in a portable container, is subject to the limits of Class I-A liquids under Table IV-1, NFPA-3O, with the exception that glass and plastic containers are prohibited unless they bear a label of approval to contain gasoline from a recognized testing laboratory approved by the Fire Chief.
Storage of Class I liquids, as defined in NFPA-3O, in any tank or container that is fixed rather than portable, is prohibited on any residential property which does not include farm operations. The determination of a farm operation shall be the same as shown by the Board of Assessments for the State of Maryland.
Storage of Class I liquids, as defined by NFPA-3O, is prohibited in a single-family dwelling except for the following:
The storage or use of flammable or combustible liquids in the fuel tank of a motor vehicle, aircraft, motorboat, mobile power plant or mobile heating plant.
The storage or use of paints, oils, varnishes, or similar flammable mixtures when such liquids are stored for maintenance, painting or similar purposes for a period of not more than thirty (3O) days.
Up to five (5) gallons of such Class I liquids in a garage or other attached storage area.
Storage of Class I liquids, as defined by NFPA-3O, is prohibited in any multiplefamily dwelling.
Sec. 11-26O. Above-ground tank storage of flammable liquids.
Above-ground storage tanks for the storage of Class I flammable and Class II liquids, as defined in NFPA-3O, shall be prohibited except as provided for in Subsections (b), (c) and (d) of this Section.
(b) Existing tanks.
Existing above-ground tanks approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may be continued, provided that the installation does not constitute a hazard. The Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall periodically inspect the installation for safety; if he determines the installation or operation is no longer conducted or maintained in a safe manner, he shall have the authority to require their removal or replacement with underground tanks.
(c) Agricultural storage.
On-farm portable tanks not exceeding six hundred sixty (66O) gallons of Class I liquid are hereby permitted, if stored fifty (5O) feet or more away from buildings and adjoining property lines.
(d) Temporary use of portable tanks.
The provisions of Subsection (a) of this Section shall not prohibit the temporary use of portable tanks less than six hundred sixty (66O) gallons capacity in conjunction with the dispensing of flammable or combustible liquids into the fuel tanks of motor vehicles or other motorized equipment on premises not normally accessible to the public, not to exceed six (6) months use.
(e) Outside tanks supplying oil burning equipment.
Outside above-ground tanks not exceeding five hundred fifty (55O) gallons capacity may be used to supply oil burning equipment in one- or two-family detached dwellings.
(f) Bulk storage.
Above-ground tanks for bulk storage of Class II combustible liquids may be established in noncongested areas when the Fire Chief or his authorized representative finds that installation will not adversely affect the safety of surrounding property. These installations shall be equipped with fixed fire extinguishing systems and such other safeguards as may be deemed necessary by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
Sec. 11-261. Parking and garaging of vehicles used for transportation of flammable liquids.
No tank vehicle used for the transportation of flammable liquids shall be left unattended on any street, highway, avenue or alley; provided that this shall not prevent a driver from the necessary absence from the truck in connection with the delivery of his load; except that during actual discharge of the liquid some responsible person shall be present at the vehicle. This Section shall not be construed to prevent stops for meals during the day or night if the street is well lighted at the point of parking.
Tank vehicles containing flammable liquids shall not be parked out of doors at any point for longer than one (1) hour, except off the streets, and at least twenty-five (25) feet from any building used for assembly, institutional or residential occupancy.
Sec. 11-262. Use of certain gasoline stoves.
The use in buildings, private residences and trailers of gasoline stoves or other similar appliances using Class I liquids as defined in NFPA-3O for cooking or heating is prohibited.
Sec. 11-263. Liquified petroleum gas.
(a) Safeguarding of premises.
All spaces at bulk storage plants within which liquified petroleum gases are transferred or stored, including all connections to storage tanks, shall be segregated with fences approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. The gates in such fences shall be kept locked at all times when no responsible person or agent is present.
(b) Safeguarding of customers' supply tanks.
Tanks supplying customers' installations shall be located outside of buildings. All valves and connections thereon shall be safeguarded by an enclosure approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. Installations with an aggregate water capacity of greater than two thousand (2,000) gallons shall have the area, which includes the tank and container appurtenances, enclosed with at least six (6) foot high industrial-type fence unless otherwise adequately protected. Gates shall be locked at all times when no responsible person or agent is present.
(c) Special requirements in the case of bulk storage (two thousand (2,000) gallons aggregate water capacity or more) in heavily populated or congested areas.
Determination as to individual tank capacity, total storage, distance to property lines, underground storage, fixed fire suppression systems, or other reasonable protective measures shall be made by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(d) Containers in residential buildings.
Liquid petroleum gas containers stored in a building housing residential occupancies shall be limited to two (2) ICC-DOT cylinders with a water capacity not exceeding two and one-half (2 1/2) pounds which shall be part of an approved, self-contained hand torch assembly or similar appliance.
Sec. 11-264. Gas shutoff.
(a) Notice when gas is shut off.
Any person shutting off gas to any building or structure shall notify the company supplying such gas within thirty (3O) minutes.
(b) Shutoff valves are to be accessible; curb keys.
No person shall make gas shutoff valves inaccessible to the Fire Department. The local provider of gas or gas utility, upon request, shall furnish appropriate curb keys to the Fire Department.
Sec. 11-265. Compressed gases generally.
(a) Storage containers.
Cylinders and pressure vessels for compressed gases shall be designed, constructed, tested and maintained in accordance with nationally recognized good practice. Each cylinder, pressure vessel or group of containers shall be marked with the name of the gas contained therein in accordance with approved methods.
(b) Storage and use.
All compressed gas cylinders in service or in storage shall be secured to prevent falling or being knocked over.
Sec. 11-266. Fumigation.
The Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center shall be notified, in writing, at least twenty-four (24) hours before any fumigation operation in accordance with the provisions of NFPA-57.
Sec. 11-267. Fireworks.
(a) Use and possession of fireworks, prohibited with exception.
It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, possess, store, offer for sale, expose for sale, sell, discharge, use, burn or explode any fireworks in Prince George's County, Maryland, except that an authorized display may be conducted by a fireworks shooter.
(b) Storage for purposes of authorized display.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Division, fireworks brought into Prince George's County, Maryland, by a fireworks shooter for the purpose of an authorized display may be stored under the following conditions:
The place or places to be used for storage of fireworks have been previously approved by the Bureau of Fire Prevention for Prince George's County.
The Bureau has received notification from the fireworks shooter at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the time that fireworks for an authorized display will be brought into the County.
Sec. 11-268. Open fires generally.
Where permitted by the provisions of Section 19-123, 19-124, and 19-125 of this County Code, burning by open fires shall be subject to the following conditions:
Open fires shall be attended at all times until completely extinguished.
Garbage, dead animals, animal waste, tires, plastic, rubber and other materials which create dense smoke or emissions injurious or noxious to people or property shall not be burned.
It shall be unlawful for any person to kindle any open fire except leaf burning, cooking fires or recreational fires without first notifying the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center of such burning. Where burning continues for more than one (1) day, the Fire Department shall be notified prior to 8 a.m.on each day of burning.
The Fire Chief or his authorized representative may prohibit such burning at any time he determines that the kindling of an open fire creates a fire hazard.
Except for those fires used for cooking food on property occupied by a single-family dwelling, open fires shall be not less than thirty (3O) feet from any building or structure. A clear space free of ignitable materials not less than ten (1O) feet in diameter shall be maintained around the fire.
The burning of materials of any kind on public roads, streets, highways, alleys, sidewalks and public rights-of-way shall be prohibited at all times.
Where open burning is being conducted under the term of a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Health, the permittee shall be personally responsible for the fire at all times. The permit shall be in the possession of the person supervising the burning at all times.
No persons shall kindle a fire upon the land of another without permission of the owner thereof or his agent.
Sec. 11-269. Use of certain cooking equipment adjacent to multifamily dwellings.
The use of charcoal burning, other fuel-burning or electric-cooking equipment outside of any multifamily dwelling shall be prohibited unless such cooking equipment is at least thirty (3O) feet from every part of the building, including contiguous patios and balconies. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to townhouses, row houses, or other multifamily dwellings where all dwelling units are side by side and none are superimposed above another.
Sec. 11-27O. Use of charcoal-burning equipment in buildings.
In buildings, trailers and other confined areas, the use of charcoal fire stoves or cooking appliances shall be prohibited, except where such appliance is provided with a U.L. or other nationally recognized approved system to vent gaseous combustion products directly to the outside.
Sec. 11-271. Use of portable heaters.
Portable heaters shall be designed and located so that they cannot be easily overturned. The Fire Chief or his authorized representative may prohibit use of portable heaters in occupancies or situations in which such use or operation would present danger to life or the property of others.
Sec. 11-272. Water supply and fire hydrants, generally.
All premises, other than those for one- and two-family dwellings where buildings or portions of buildings are constructed and located in such a manner that access to public fire hydrants is minimal or of a distance such that the Fire Chief or his authorized representative finds that firefighting operations would be impaired, shall be provided with approved fire hydrants connected to a water supply system capable of supplying the water flow required by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. The location of these hydrants shall be as specified by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. Paved access to fire hydrants shall be as specified by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. Paved access to fire hydrants shall be provided and maintained to accommodate fire apparatus.
All premises, other than those for one- and two-family dwellings where buildings or portions of buildings are constructed and located more than three hundred (300) feet from the public street providing access to such premises and said public street has fire hydrants, shall be provided with approved fire hydrants connected to a water system capable of supplying the water flow required by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. In no case shall the water flow be less than one (1) gallon per minute for each one hundred (100) cubic feet of interior building space; the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may require a greater minimum flow for high-hazard occupancies. The location of such hydrants shall be as designated by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. Access to fire hydrants shall be provided and maintained to accommodate firefighting apparatus.
All flammable and combustible liquid tank farms, lumber yards, amusement parks and similar occupancies, where combustible or flammable storage or structures are located more than three hundred (300) feet from public fire hydrants, shall be provided with approved fire hydrants connected to a water system capable of supplying the water flow required by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. The location of such hydrants shall be as designated by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative. Suitable access to fire hydrants shall be provided and maintained to accommodate the fire apparatus.
Supplemental water supply facilities shall be provided in those cases where the water supply obtainable from the public water supply system is insufficient to meet the requirements of this Section. The Fire Chief or his authorized representative may establish water supply requirements in those cases where specific provisions are not provided in this Section.
Sec. 11-273. Obstructing fire hydrants or Fire Department connections.
No person shall place or keep any post, fence, growth, trash or other material or thing near any fire hydrant or Fire Department connection, which would prevent fire officials from discerning such hydrant or connection, or would in any other manner deter or hinder them from immediate access to and use thereof.
Sec. 11-274. Multiple address; conspicuous numeral display.
All structures, presently standing and those to be constructed which contain more than one (1) numerical address, and are used for either commercial, industrial or residential purposes, are required to have displayed in a conspicuous place numerals at least eight (8) inches in height designating the building numbers in sequence. Such numerals shall be placed facing each vehicular access route from which they are reasonably visible.
Sec. 11-275. Fire hydrant maintenance.
All private fire hydrants shall be tested, maintained and serviced annually by the property owner. A report of this maintenance shall be made available to the Bureau of Fire Prevention upon request.
Sec. 11-276. Required access for fire apparatus.
All premises which the Fire Department may be called upon to protect in case of fire or other emergencies and which are not readily accessible to fire apparatus from public streets shall be provided with suitable gates, access roads and fire lanes so that all buildings on the premises are accessible to fire apparatus.
Private roads or fire lanes shall be provided for all buildings which are set back more than one hundred fifty (15O) feet from a public street or exceed thirty (3O) feet in height and are set back over fifty (5O) feet from a public street. Private roads or fire lanes shall be: (1) along the longest side of the buildings, (2) at least twenty (2O) feet in width; and (3) at the road edge nearest to the building no closer than ten (1O) feet and no further than forty (4O) feet from the building. When buildings or any portion thereof are located one hundred fifty (15O) feet or more from a public street or access way and there is not suitable access for fire apparatus as determined by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, there shall be provided approved fire protection system or systems as required and approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
All buildings, parts of buildings or other obstructions extending over access driveways shall have a vertical clearance of a least fourteen (14) feet from the finished driveway surface. Where approved fire protection systems are provided, the above required clearances may be modified or waived by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
When any portion of the first story of any building is more than three hundred (300) feet from the nearest point of a public street or public access way, the building shall be made accessible to fire apparatus by an all-weather access way approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, unless the entire building is served by an approved fire protection system.
The provisions of Subsection (b) of this Section shall not apply to buildings for which building permits were issued before the effective date of this Section.
The provisions of this Section shall not apply to residential occupancies as defined in the BOCA Basic Building Code (Basic Code) adopted by Subtitle 4 of this County Code which both are not physically attached or touching and also contain two or fewer dwelling units each.
Sec. 11-277. Fire lanes.
The owner of any property or his agent may remove or cause to be removed all obstructions or vehicles which are:
liable to interfere with the operations of the Fire Department or egress of occupants in the event of a fire or other emergency; or
in violation of any fire, health or safety ordinance.
Where the obstruction is a motor vehicle which is to be towed from the premises, the owner or agent must specifically, in each case, give prior written authorization to the person towing, setting forth the tag number of the motor vehicle or an adequate description and the certification that the owner or agent (other than person towing) has found the motor vehicle in an area clearly marked as a fire lane or has blocked an access to an area which is clearly marked as a fire lane.
The aforesaid owner or agent may impound or cause to be impounded all such obstructions or vehicles removed or caused to be removed under this Section. The impoundment of a motor vehicle pursuant to this Subsection is subject to the right to a hearing as prescribed in Division 18 of Subtitle 26 of this Code except that the owner of the premises shall carry the burden of establishing that there was probable cause to impound the vehicle in question and shall be liable for all charges incident to the impoundment and the hearing if the hearing officer determines that there was not probable cause to impound the vehicle in question. The owner or his agent, upon failure to have removed all such obstructions or vehicles within a reasonable time after actual knowledge thereof, shall be guilty of a violation of this Subtitle.
Whenever the Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall find that any private entrance, exit sidewalk, vehicular driveway, interior private driveway, sidewalk, fire lane or fire hydrant is obstructed by snow, debris, construction material, trash containers, vehicles or other matter likely to interfere with the ingress or operation of the Fire Department or other emergency vehicles in case of fire, he may order the obstruction removed. To effectuate this Subsection, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may order "no parking" fire lane signs erected and may designate the placement thereof. He may order that curbs be painted a distinctive color. Any vehicle which is located within the area controlled by such signs or marking, on private property or otherwise, whether or not the owner, operator or custodian of such vehicle has actual or constructive notice of the vehicle location or posted signs or markings, shall be deemed parked in violation of this Subtitle. Any vehicle, on private property or otherwise, which is located in such a manner that it would obstruct or interfere with the connection of a hose to a fire hydrant, whether or not the owner, operator or custodian of such vehicle has actual or constructive notice of the vehicle location, shall be deemed parked in violation of this Subtitle. Any person responsible for the parking of a vehicle in violation of this Subsection or any person refusing to obey a lawful order of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative under this Subsection shall be guilty of a violation of this Subtitle. Upon violation, any police officer or fire official shall have the authority to remove or cause to be removed such vehicle parked in violation of this Subsection and impound it pursuant to Division 18 of Subtitle 26 of this Code. All persons towing vehicles while enforcing this Subsection shall be required to report the impoundment of said vehicles to the Police Department in compliance with Section 26-142 of this Code and to comply with any other applicable County laws.
Any person issued a citation for a violation of this Section shall, in addition to any other penalties, be subject to a fine of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) for each violation. The violator shall pay the fine at the Treasury Division, Office of Finance, within fifteen (15) days from the date of notice of violation.
The first Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000) of revenue collected from fines imposed by this Section shall be used for operating and capital expenses related to Advanced Life Support (Paramedic) Mobile Intensive Care Unit services provided by Prince George's County. Thereafter, one half of the revenue collected shall be used for this purpose.
After the first Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000) is collected, one half of the revenues from the fines imposed by this Section shall be used for operating and capital expenses of the Police Department.
(CB-107-1979; CB-111-1979; CB-35-1981; CB-124-1982; CB-77-1986; CB-58-1988.)
Sec. 11-278. Construction and demolition of buildings or structures.
All construction and demolition operations for buildings that exceed five hundred (500) square feet in floor area shall be conducted in accordance with NFPA-241, Safeguarding Building Construction and Demolition Operations.
(b) Combustible waste and refuse.
Debris, trash or other combustible waste or refuse which creates or tends to create an undue fire hazard shall not be allowed to accumulate in, on, or about, any building or structure in the process of construction or demolition.
(c) Fire extinguishing equipment.
Whenever any building or structure which is being constructed or erected is over two (2) stories in height and the construction reaches a height of twenty-five (25) feet above average grade, at least one (1) approved Class ABC fire extinguisher of 2-A:1O-B:C Rating shall be provided for every three thousand (3,000) square feet, or fraction thereof, of floor area under construction.
Whenever the Building Code requires a standpipe system, such system shall be carried up each floor and shall be installed and ready for use by the Fire Department as each floor progresses. Standpipes shall not be more than (1) floor below the highest forms or staging.
(e) Standpipes and fire extinguishing systems in buildings under demolition.
When a building is being demolished and a standpipe or fire extinguishing system is existing within such building, such standpipe and/or fire extinguishing system shall be maintained in an operable condition so as to be available for use by the Fire Department. Such standpipe and/or extinguishing system shall be demolished with the building, but at no time during demolition shall the system or systems be more than one (1) floor below the floor being demolished.
(f) Installation of fire protection facilities for new construction.
When fire protection facilities are to be installed for new construction, such facilities, including all surface access roads and public water mains with appropriate fire hydrants, shall be installed and made serviceable prior to and during the time of any combustible construction.
Sec. 11-279. Hazardous chemicals and substances, generally.
(a) Applicability of Section.
This Section shall apply to chemicals or substances not otherwise covered in this Division which are highly flammable, or which may react to cause fires or explosions, or which by their presence create or augment a fire or explosion hazard, or which because of the toxicity, flammability, or liability to explosion render firefighting abnormally dangerous or difficult. This Section shall apply also to flammable or combustible liquids which are chemically unstable and which may spontaneously form explosive compounds or undergo spontaneous reactions of explosive violence or with sufficient evolution of heat to be a fire hazard.
(b) Safeguards for manufacture, storage, handling and use.
The manufacture, storage, handling and use of hazardous chemicals or substances shall be safeguarded by such protective facilities as public safety requires, including, but not limited to, the following:
The Fire Chief or his authorized representative may require the separation or isolation of hazardous chemicals or substances or any chemical or substance that in combination with other substances may bring about a fire or explosion or may liberate a flammable or poisonous gas. The Fire Chief or his authorized representative may require hazardous chemicals or substances to be separated from other storage, occupancies or buildings when the quantity stored constitutes a danger to life or property.
Defective containers which permit leakage or spillage of hazardous chemicals or substances shall be disposed of or repaired in accordance with recognized safe practices; leakage or spillage of hazardous chemicals or substances shall not be allowed to accumulate on floors or shelves. For purposes of this Section, regulations developed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources shall constitute "recognized safe practices".
Where kept for retail sale in containers or packages usual to the retail trade, storage of hazardous chemicals or substances shall be neat and orderly and shelves used for such storage shall be of substantial construction.
Legible warning signs and/or placards stating the nature and location of the hazardous chemicals or substances shall be posted at all entrances to areas where such chemicals or substances are stored or used.
Sec. 11-28O. Combustible waste and refuse.
(a) Storage facilities required.
Every building, except a one- or two-family dwelling, shall be provided with a specifically designated room or container in or on the premises for the temporary storage of combustible waste or refuse. The owner of said building shall provide the facilities for the storage of combustible waste or refuse.
(b) Storage of combustible waste.
Combustible waste and refuse shall be stored in:
approved containers which are constructed of noncombustible materials equipped with a tight-fitting cover; or
an approved bin constructed of noncombustible materials having a self-closing cover that will operate automatically in case of fire inside the bin; or
rooms used exclusively for such storage; or
such other containers or isolated areas either inside or outside of buildings that are approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(c) Automatic fire extinguishing system.
An automatic fire extinguishing system shall be provided in all inside storage rooms or areas, chute discharge rooms or areas, compactor rooms and rubbish chutes designated for the temporary storage of combustible waste or refuse.
(d) Closure of containers.
Storage containers for inside use not equipped with approved automatic closing covers shall be closed at all times except when trash is actually being loaded or unloaded.
(e) Accumulation in trash chutes.
Combustible waste or refuse shall not be stored or permitted to accumulate in trash chutes and shall be removed from the chute continuously or as often as necessary to prevent accumulation.
Sec. 11-281. Smoking, generally.
(a) Designated areas where smoking prohibited.
Where smoking constitutes a fire hazard in any area of piers, wharves, warehouses, stores, industrial plants, institutions, schools, places of assembly and/or open spaces where combustible materials are stored or handled, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative is empowered and authorized to order the owner or occupant, in writing, to post "no smoking" signs in each building, structure, room or place in which smoking shall be prohibited. Such signs shall be conspicuously and suitably located. The Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall designate specific safe locations, if necessary, in any building, structure or place in which smoking may be permitted.
(b) Form of "no smoking" signs.
The lettering, size, color and location of legally required "no smoking" signs shall be subject to the approval of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(c) Removal of signs prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person to remove, mutilate or destroy any legally required "no smoking" sign.
(d) Compliance with "no smoking" signs.
It shall be unlawful for any person to smoke, throw or deposit any lighted or smoldering substance in any place where "no smoking" signs are posted or in any other place where smoking would occasion or constitute a fire hazard.
Sec. 11-282. Sale of unapproved portable fire extinguishers prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or through an agent to sell, offer for sale, distribute, rent or lease in the County any make, type or model of fire extinguisher, either new or used, unless such make, type or model of extinguisher has first been tested and is approved or labeled by the Factory Mutual Laboratories, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., or other testing laboratory approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative as providing adequate and reliable tests and examination. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the sale or trade of fire extinguishers to any person or firm engaged in the business of selling or handling such equipment for junk, to be used for other than fire protection.
Sec. 11-283. Electrical wiring.
It shall be unlawful to maintain any electrical wiring appliance, apparatus or device in violation of Subtitle 9 of this County code.
(b) Notice and discontinuance of fire hazard.
When any hazardous electrical installation is brought to the attention of the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, he shall notify the Department of Environmental Resources and may order use of such installation discontinued immediately.
Sec. 11-284. Lumber yards and woodworking plants.
(a) Storage area.
The area for storage of each lumber pile, whether in the open or under cover, shall not exceed four thousand (4,000) square feet. Such areas shall be so arranged that all lumber storage piles are separated either by a distance of fifteen (15) feet, a fire wall, storage of noncombustible materials, or any other approved fire break. No lumber pile shall be higher than its clear distance from the nearest adjoining property line and in no case shall the maximum height exceed fifteen (15) feet.
Sec. 11-285. Tire-rebuilding plants.
The equipment, processes and operation of automobile tire rebuilding and recapping plants shall comply with the applicable requirements of this Division and the provisions of this Section.
Buffing machines shall be located in a room separated from the remainder of the plant as required under Subtitle 4 of this County Code, and fire doors in such separations shall be maintained free of all obstructions at all times. Each machine shall be connected to an ample dust-collecting system in conformity with NFPA-91.
Each room where rubber cement is used or mixed or flammable or combustible solvents are applied shall be equipped with approved mechanical or natural ventilation.
Sec. 11-286. Matches.
(a) Wholesale storage, generally.
At wholesale establishments and wherever matches exceeding sixty (6O) matchman's gross (fourteen thousand four hundred (14,400) matches each gross) are stored, shipping containers containing matches shall be arranged in piles not exceeding ten (1O) feet in height nor one thousand five hundred (1,500) cubic feet in volume with aisles at least four (4) feet wide.
Where other materials or commodities are stored on the same floor with matches, a portion of the room shall be devoted to match storage exclusively, and a clear space of not less than four (4) feet shall be maintained between match storage and such other materials or commodities.
(b) Storage not to be near vertical openings.
No matches shall be stored within ten (1O) feet of any open elevator shaft, elevator shaft opening, open stairway or other vertical opening.
(c) Match bins required for broken containers.
Where shipping containers containing matches are opened, the contents of such broken containers shall be removed and stored in metal or metal-lined bins equipped with self-closing metal or metal-lined covers.
(d) Storage by retailers.
Where matches are sold at retail, original sealed packages may be stored on shelves. When such packages are broken, individual boxes shall be stored in metal-lined bins as described above.
Sec. 11-287. Scrap, waste and junk yards and collection stations.
All buildings or areas where waste paper, rags or other combustible materials are handled or stored, or where old motor vehicles or other old machinery are dismantled, stored, handled, sold or exchanged, shall comply with this Section.
(b) Construction and protection requirements.
Buildings housing combustible junk or materials shall have windows or other openings for access for firefighting and clear aisles tributary to them shall be provided. No materials shall be located in a yard, nor shall any yard be operated, in a manner to expose adjoining properties to a fire hazard.
(c) Fire extinguishers.
One approved Class ABC fire extinguisher of 2-A: 1O-B:C rating shall be provided for each two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet, or fraction thereof, of the junk yard.
(d) Access to area.
No motor vehicle, or any part thereof, junk, or other waste material, shall be stored, displayed or kept in such a manner as to unnecessarily hinder or endanger firefighting operations. Aisles, driveways or passageways suitable for fire apparatus shall be provided to permit reasonable access to within one hundred fifty (15O) feet of all parts of the yard for firefighting operations.
Sec. 11-288. Operation of gasoline-powered equipment in certain structures.
It shall be unlawful to store any motor vehicles or any other gasoline-powered equipment in any multifamily, hotel, motel, office, educational or institutional occupancy, or any balcony attached thereto, except as follows:
In a garage constructed in accordance with Subtitle 4 of this County Code.
In a storage room, not containing other combustible materials, separated from other parts of the building by construction having a fire resistance rating of at least one (1) hour and communicating openings protected by approved self-closing fire doors and equipped with automatic fire extinguishing system.
Sec. 11-289. Protection of hood and duct ventilation systems and related commercial cooking appliances.
All occupancies containing cooking equipment in commercial, industrial, institutional, assembly and similar cooking applications, other than installations for residential use, shall:
have hoods, ducts and grease removal equipment installed in conformance with this Division and other applicable provisions of this County Code; and
have installed and maintain an automatic fire extinguishing system approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(b) Installation of automatic fire extinguishing systems.
The system shall be installed by a contractor who has been certified by the manufacturer as competent to install the equipment. Such certification shall be available to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(c) Plans and specifications.
Working plans and specifications shall be submitted to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative for review and approval prior to installation. The plans shall include:
a diagram of the area and equipment to be protected, including the dimensions of the hood and duct and all surfaces and appliances;
manufacturer and model number of the system or systems proposed; and
a diagram of system piping and all component parts, including:
size and length of piping and pipe schedule;
size and number of elbows and tees;
model numbers and location of nozzles;
location and temperature of fusible links;
location of system canister;
location of manual means of activation; and
location and identity of any auxiliary equipment including gas and power (electric) shutoffs.
(d) Installation manual provided.
At least one (1) current manufacturer's installation manual shall be provided to the Fire Chief for each system installed.
(e) Change from approved plans.
Where field conditions necessitate change from the approved plans, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall be consulted.
A final inspection of the installed system shall be made by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, which shall include witnessing of a test of the automatic and manual operating devices.
The Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall be notified twenty-four (24) hours prior to the test.
Extinguishing systems shall be inspected at intervals required by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
The periodic inspection required in paragraph (3) above shall be accomplished by a licensed fire extinguisher dealer or his representative. Said inspection shall generate, on a form approved by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative, a report on the condition of the system. The report shall be signed by this inspector and shall be forwarded to the Bureau of Fire Prevention within five (5) days after inspection or servicing.
All ducts, hoods and grease collection equipment shall be cleaned not less than four (4) times a year.
Sec. 11-29O. Bowling alleys.
Bowling alleys shall conform to provisions of this Section and all other applicable requirements of this County Code.
Resurfacing and refinishing operations shall not be carried on while the establishment is open for business. Approved ventilation shall be provided.
Heating, ventilation or cooling systems employing recirculation of air shall not be operated during resurfacing and refinishing operations or within one (1) hour following the application of flammable finishes.
All electric motors or other equipment in the area, which might be a source of ignition, shall be shut down and all smoking and use of open flames are prohibited during the application of flammable finishes and for one (1) hour thereafter.
Sec. 11-291. Inspection and test of fire protection systems, devices and equipment.
(a) Acceptance test, generally.
It shall be unlawful to occupy any building, structure, or any portion thereof, until all required fire protection systems have been tested, accepted and approved by the appropriate fire official.
Inspection and tests of fire protection systems, devices and equipment shall be conducted by and at the expense and risk of the owner or his authorized representative.
(c) Notification of Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center.
When testing any fire protection system, device or equipment which is connected to a central supervisory station or directly to the Fire Department, notification shall be given to the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center at least thirty (3O) minutes prior to initiation of the test.
The test pipe at the top of all fire extinguishing systems so equipped shall be operated at least once a year to determine that there is free flow at adequate pressure and that the supervisory service, if any exists, is operating properly.
(e) Fire pumps.
All fire pumps that automatically supply water to fire extinguishing systems or standpipes shall be operated periodically and at least once every thirty (3O) days to assure that the fire pumps are operating properly.
(f) Fire alarm systems (manual-pull stations).
All interior fire alarm systems within all buildings shall be tested at least once every thirty (3O) days. The use of the system for fire drill purposes shall be accepted as a test of only those parts of the system actually used in the drill procedure. Accurate logs shall be maintained on the premises indicating box number, location, date and type of device tested. Any defect, modification or repair shall be logged, and the log shall be available to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(g) Fire alarms (automatically activated).
Fire warning systems and all alarms which monitor control valves and flow switches for fire protection and fire alarm equipment, and which transmit a signal to a central supervisory station, must be tested at least once a year. Notification shall be given as required under Subsection (c) of this Section.
(h) Fire safety devices.
Special fire safety devices including automatic smoke venting equipment, emergency generators and any other special fire safety equipment required to be installed in any building, structure or premises, shall be tested by the owner or his authorized representative as prescribed by the Fire Chief or his authorized representative.
(i) Test records.
A complete written record of all tests and inspections required under this Section shall be maintained on the premises by the owner or occupant in charge of said premises and all such records shall be submitted to the Fire Chief or his authorized representative when requested for his inspection and evaluation.
Sec. 11-292. Maintenance of fire safety equipment.
All fire protection systems, fire alarm systems, fire detection systems, fire and smoke ventilation systems, fixed fire and smoke ventilation systems, fixed fire communications systems, emergency lighting systems, devices or units installed in compliance with any permit, law or regulation shall be maintained in operative condition at all times, and it shall be unlawful for any owner or occupant to reduce the effectiveness of the fire protection system so required. This shall not prohibit the owner or occupant from temporarily reducing or discontinuing the fire protection system where necessary to make tests, repairs, alterations or additions. Except for household fire warning systems, the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center shall be notified thirty (3O) minutes prior to any disconnection or interruption of protection, tests, repair, alterations or initiation of additions, and shall be advised of the extent of and the reason for such work. The fire protection systems shall be promptly restored to working order, and the Division of Fire and Rescue Communications Center shall be notified immediately when service is restored.
When any required fire alarm, fire communication, fire extinguishing, fire protection or first aid firefighting systems device, or unit, or part thereof, in any building or structure become inoperative, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative may order said building or structure or portion thereof vacated until such inoperative system, device or unit is repaired and returned to full service. The Fire Chief or his authorized representative may permit the building or structure or portion thereof to be occupied when he finds that suitable alternative protective measures are provided.
Sec. 11-293. Appeals.
Persons aggrieved by any notice or order issued by a fire official to correct any violation of this Division may appeal within the abatement period, but not later than ten (1O) days from such notice or order, to the County Board of Appeals. Such appeal shall not stay execution of the notice or order more than ten (1O) days from the filing of the appeal or the date of abatement, whichever is later, unless the Board of Appeals shall grant further stay upon application of the person filing the appeal. No stay of execution shall be permitted for any notice or order issued pursuant to this Division that requires immediate compliance unless a court of competent jurisdiction shall order such stay of execution.
Sec. 11-294. Variances.
Upon application in writing, the Fire Chief or his authorized representative is authorized and empowered, when there are practical difficulties or circumstances of undue hardship involved in the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this Division, to make such interpretative decisions and qualifications as shall insure substantial compliance with its terms and avoid the imposition of undue hardship provided that the spirit of this Division shall be observed, public safety secured and substantial justice done. The particulars of such variances, when granted or allowed, and the decision of the Fire Chief thereon, shall be entered upon the records of the Bureau of Fire Prevention and a signed copy shall be furnished the applicant.