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Section 104 General Authority and Responsibilities
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The fire code official is hereby authorized to enforce the provisions of this code. The fire code official shall have the authority to render interpretations of this code and to adopt policies, procedures, rules and regulations in order to clarify the application of its provisions. Such interpretations, policies, procedures, rules and regulations shall be in compliance with the intent and purpose of this code. Such policies, procedures, rules and regulations shall not have the effect of waiving requirements specifically provided for in this code.
The fire code official is authorized to receive applications, review construction documents and issue permits for construction regulated by this code, issue permits for operations regulated by this code, inspect the premises for which such permits have been issued and enforce compliance with the provisions of this code.
Where it is necessary to make an inspection to enforce the provisions of this code, or where the fire code official has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in a building or on any premises any conditions or violations of this code that make the building or premises unsafe, dangerous or hazardous, the fire code official shall have the authority to enter the building or premises at all reasonable times to inspect or to perform the duties imposed on the fire code official by this code. If such building or premises is occupied, the fire code official shall present credentials to the occupant and request entry. If such building or premises is unoccupied, the fire code official shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner, the owner's authorized agent or other person having charge or control of the building or premises and request entry. If entry is refused, the fire code official has recourse to every remedy provided by law to secure entry.
Where the fire code official has first obtained a proper inspection warrant or other remedy provided by law to secure entry, an owner, the owner's authorized agent or occupant or person having charge, care or control of the building or premises shall not fail or neglect, after proper request is made as herein provided, to permit entry therein by the fire code official for the purpose of inspection and examination pursuant to this code.
The fire code official shall carry proper identification when inspecting structures or premises in the performance of duties under this code.
The fire code official shall keep official records as required by Sections 104.6.1 through 104.6.4. Such official records shall be retained for not less than 5 years or for as long as the structure or activity to which such records relate remains in existence, unless otherwise provided by other regulations.
A record of approvals shall be maintained by the fire code official and shall be available for public inspection during business hours in accordance with applicable laws.
The fire code official shall keep a record of each inspection made, including notices and orders issued, showing the findings and disposition of each.
Materials, equipment and devices approved by the fire code official shall be constructed and installed in accordance with such approval.
Materials, equipment and devices shall not be reused or reinstalled unless such elements have been reconditioned, tested and placed in good and proper working condition and approved.
To determine the acceptability of technologies, processes, products, facilities, materials and uses attending the design, operation or use of a building or premises subject to inspection by the fire code official, the fire code official is authorized to require the owner or owner's authorized agent to provide, without charge to the jurisdiction, a technical opinion and report. The opinion and report shall be prepared by a qualified engineer, specialist, laboratory or fire safety specialty organization acceptable to the fire code official and shall analyze the fire safety properties of the design, operation or use of the building or premises and the facilities and appurtenances situated thereon, to recommend necessary changes. The fire code official is authorized to require design submittals to be prepared by, and bear the stamp of, a registered design professional.
Where there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of this code, the fire code official shall have the authority to grant modifications for individual cases, provided that the fire code official shall first find that special individual reason makes the strict letter of this code impractical and the modification is in compliance with the intent and purpose of this code and that such modification does not lessen health, life and fire safety requirements. The details of action granting modifications shall be recorded and entered in the files of the department of fire prevention.
The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided that any such alternative has been approved. An alternative material, design or method of construction shall be approved where the fire code official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provisions of this code, and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, not less than the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety. Where the alternative material, design or method of construction is not approved, the fire code official shall respond in writing, stating the reasons why the alternative was not approved.
Supporting data, where necessary to assist in the approval of materials or assemblies not specifically provided for in this code, shall consist of valid research reports from approved sources.
Where there is insufficient evidence of compliance with the provisions of this code, or evidence that a material or method does not conform to the requirements of this code, or in order to substantiate claims for alternative materials or methods, the fire code official shall have the authority to require tests as evidence of compliance to be made without expense to the jurisdiction. Test methods shall be as specified in this code or by other recognized test standards. In the absence of recognized and accepted test methods, the fire code official shall approve the testing procedures. Tests shall be performed by an approved agency. Reports of such tests shall be retained by the fire code official for the period required for retention of public records.
The fire code official, the fire department or other responsible authority shall have the authority to investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of any fire, explosion or other hazardous condition. Information that could be related to trade secrets or processes shall not be made part of the public record, except as directed by a court of law.
Police and other enforcement agencies shall have authority to render necessary assistance in the investigation of fires when requested to do so.
The fire chief or officer of the fire department in charge at the scene of a fire or other emergency involving the protection of life or property, or any part thereof, shall have the authority to direct such operation as necessary to extinguish or control any fire, perform any rescue operation, investigate the existence of suspected or reported fires, gas leaks or other hazardous conditions or situations, or take any other action necessary in the reasonable performance of duty. In the exercise of such power, the fire chief is authorized to prohibit any person, vehicle, vessel or thing from approaching the scene, and is authorized to remove, or cause to be removed or kept away from the scene, any vehicle, vessel or thing that could impede or interfere with the operations of the fire department and, in the judgment of the fire chief, any person not actually and usefully employed in the extinguishing of such fire or in the preservation of property in the vicinity thereof.
The fire chief or officer of the fire department in charge at the scene of an emergency is authorized to place ropes, guards, barricades or other obstructions across any street, alley, place or private property in the vicinity of such operation so as to prevent accidents or interference with the lawful efforts of the fire department to manage and control the situation and to handle fire apparatus.
Persons shall not obstruct the operations of the fire department in connection with extinguishment or control of any fire, or actions relative to other emergencies, or disobey any lawful command of the fire chief or officer of the fire department in charge of the emergency, or any part thereof, or any lawful order of a police officer assisting the fire department.