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Title 3: Fire Code

Chapter 3-1  Adoption of National Fire Code
Chapter 3-2  Care of Firefighting Equipment
Chapter 3-3  Hazardous Material and Petroleum Products

Chapter 3-1 Adoption of National Fire Code

3-1-1     Adoption of Fire Prevention Code.  There is hereby adopted by the City of Groton, for the purpose of prescribing regulations governing conditions hazardous to life and property from fire or explosion, that certain code known as the Uniform Fire Code, sponsored by the Western Fire Chief's Assoc. and the International Conference of Building Officials, being particularly the most current edition thereof and the whole thereof save and except such portions as are hereinafter deleted, modified, or amended. A copy of the codes is on file in the office of the finance officer of the City of Groton, and the same is hereby adopted and incorporated as fully as if set out at length herein, and from the date on which this ordinance shall take effect, the provisions thereof shall be controlling within the limits of the City of Groton.

3-1-2     Enforcement.  The code hereby adopted shall be enforced by the chief of police.

3-1-3     Definition.  Wherever the word "municipality" is used in the code hereby adopted, it shall be held to mean the City of Groton.  The “fire department” shall refer to the volunteer fire department as established and operated as the Groton Area Fire Protection and Rescue District.  Firemen or their officers are not employees or agents of the City of Groton.  The chief of the department shall be elected and approved by the bylaws of the district and shall carry out the duties ascribed to him in those bylaws as well as the duties listed in the city codes and ordinances.

3-1-4     Modifications.  The City Council shall have power to modify any of the provisions of the code hereby adopted upon application in writing by the owner or lessee, or their duly authorized agent, when there are practical difficulties in carrying out the strict letter of the code, provided that the spirit of the code shall be observed, public safety secured, and substantial justice done.  The particulars of such modification when granted or allowed and the decision of the City Council thereon shall be entered upon the records of the department and a signed copy shall be furnished the applicant.

3-1-5     Appeals.  Whenever the chief of police shall disapprove an application or refuse to grant a license or permit applied for, or when it is claimed that the provisions of the code do not apply or that the intent and true meaning of the code have been misconstrued or wrongly interpreted, the applicant may appeal from the decision of the chief of the fire department to the city council within thirty (30) days from the date of the decision of the appeal.

Chapter 3-2  Care of Firefighting Equipment

3-2-1     Hindering Firemen and Injuring Fire Apparatus.  Any person who shall willfully hinder or delay any officer or fireman in the performance of his duties or shall willfully injure, deface or interfere with any fire apparatus shall upon conviction thereof be subject to the penalties established in this ordinance (11-1-1).

3-2-2     Driving Over Fire Hose.  Any person who shall drive any vehicle over any unprotected fire hose when laid on a street or alley to be used at any fire, or during alarm of fire, or while at practice without the consent of the chief or such other person as may be in command, shall upon conviction thereof be subject to the penalties established in this ordinance (11‑1‑1).

Chapter 3-3  Hazardous Materials and Petroleum Products

3-3-1     Definitions.  Terms used in this chapter unless the context otherwise plainly requires, shall mean:
A.   Hazardous Material.  Any substance or material in quantity or form which may be harmful or injurious to humans, domestic animals, wildlife, economic crops and vegetation, or property.
B.   Hazardous Material Spill.  Any release of a hazardous material or petroleum products in the environment whenever it shall pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety or environment.
C.   Petroleum Product.  Liquid petroleum fuels or lubricants.

3-3-2     Districts Which Allow Storage of Petroleum Products and Hazardous Materials.Bulk storage of petroleum products in tanks of over one thousand (1,000) gallon capacity held for resale purposes and within which hazardous materials are kept but beyond which such storage of petroleum products and hazardous materials are prohibited shall be limited to only those properties approved by the City Council and listed in the office of the City Finance Officer.

3-3-3     Reports of Spills.  Petroleum products and hazardous materials shall be handled, transported, and stored in a safe manner.  Any person in control of a hazardous material or petroleum product which is spilled shall immediately report the spill and all conditions or circumstances relevant thereto to the chief of police or chief of the fire department.  If the person in control of the hazard material or petroleum product is not immediately available or able to report the spill, then the person who either caused or is primarily involved in the spill shall report.  This report requirement shall be in addition to any other federal or state report requirement.

3-3-4     Registration of Petroleum Storage Tanks.  All stationary containers or tanks located within the City of Groton, or any storage facility actually used or intended to be used for the storage of any petroleum product shall be registered by filing with the City of Groton all necessary information upon forms supplied by the finance officer; provided, however, that only the following shall be exempt from this registration requirement:

A.   All containers, tanks, or buildings already registered pursuant to the Federal "UST" Program.
B.   All containers and tanks for the storage of petroleum products which are less than three hundred fifty (350) gallons in size unless the product is gasoline, which container or tank can not exceed fifty-five (55) gallons in size.
C.   All containers and tanks for the storage of petroleum products which are less than one thousand (1,000) gallons in size, where the container or tank is located on land zoned for agriculture and where the purpose of the storage is intended to be the noncommercial use of the product by the owner of the tank.

3-3-5    Registration of Hazardous Materials Storage Tanks; Contingency Plans.  All stationary containers or tanks located within the City of Groton, or any storage facility actually used or intended to be used for the storage of any hazardous material shall be registered. Such registration shall be accomplished by filing a contingency plan at the office of the finance officer to be approved by the city council for cleaning up and containing an accidental discharge.  Proof of insurance coverage for damages and clean up of an accidental discharge must be submitted to the city council as part of the contingency plan.
Only the following shall be exempt from this registration requirement:
A.   All containers, tank, and storage facilities located on land zoned as residential.
B.   All containers, tanks, and storage facilities located on land zoned as agricultural as long as the volume of the storage is less than sixty (60) gallons liquid or five hundred (500) pounds solid weight.

3-3-6     Right of Entry.  Whenever necessary to make an inspection to enforce any of the provisions of this chapter, or whenever the City Council or an authorized representative has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in any building or upon any premises, any condition which is prohibited under this chapter, the city's authorized representative may enter such building or premises at all reasonable times to inspect the same or perform any duty imposed upon the City by this chapter; providing that if such building or premises be occupied, he or she shall first present proper credentials and demand entry; and if such building or premises be unoccupied, he or she shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other persons having charge or control of the building or premises and demand entry.  If such entry is refused, the authorized representative shall have recourse to every remedy provided by law to secure entry.
No owner or occupant or any other person having charge or care of any building or premises shall fail or neglect, after proper demand made as herein provided, to properly permit entry therein by an authorized representative of the city for the purpose of inspection and examination pursuant to this chapter.

3-3-7     Conflict.  In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this chapter and state and federal law, state and federal law shall prevail.

3-3-8     Appeals.  Decisions made in enforcement of this chapter may be appealed to the city council, which may grant a variance upon an application which demonstrates that an equivalent degree of environmental protection will be achieved under alternatives submitted by said applicant.