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Fire Code and Licenses
Berks County > Municipalities > Muhlenberg Township

 
 
For detailed information regarding fire licenses, reference chapter 60 of the Muhlenberg Township Code.

 Fire License Application

Purpose
The purpose of the Fire Code inspection process is to reduce the loss of life and property within Muhlenberg Township. Another benefit of the inspection process is that the fire department can obtain business information and the location of specific equipment that might need to be accessed during an emergency.

Fire License Program
Muhlenberg Township Ordinance # 472 requires all commercial business to submit a Fire License application and remittance annually.

Fire Inspection Process

1. Fire License application and required remittance.

  • Business submits completed fire license application.
  • Payment is required to be submitted with the fire license application. If the proprietor is are not sure of the classification or fee , contact the Engineering Department.
  • Contact person listed on application should be knowledgeable of the building and its systems.
  • An escort is required for the inspection.

2. Fire Code inspection will be scheduled by phone.

  • The Deputy Fire Marshal will contact the responsible person to schedule the inspection.
  • The scheduling will be done at least 7 days in advance.
  • In the event cancellation is necessary, the business contact will be notified by phone.

3. Fire Inspection

  • The Fire Code inspection utilizes a worksheet and a narrative sheet.
  • Basic business information required such as name, address and phone number.
  • The inspector will point out Fire Code issues during the inspection.
  • At the conclusion of the inspection, carbon copies will be provided to the business.
  • The explanation of the Fire Code violations and methods of correction.
  • Carbon copies of the inspection worksheet and narrative sheet will be given to business contact. The re-inspection date is listed on both sheets.
  • The business will receive a letter following the inspection that contains the status of the Fire License application and remittance. The Fire Code violations will be listed followed by the specific Fire Code language with the re-inspection date.

4.  Re-Inspection Process

  • Minor Fire Code violations will be given thirty (30) calendar days for corrective actions to take place.
  • Serious Fire Code violations will be given five (5) days for corrective action to take place.
  • Upon re-inspection, the violations are corrected-the Fire License will be received in the mail with the next week.
  • If violations are not corrected, a written warning will be issued by the Deputy Fire Marshal. The warning must be signed and carbon copy will be provided. A re-inspection date will be listed on the warning.
  • The second re-inspection occurs, violations remain uncorrected. Citations will be issued for each violation. The citations will be issued in accordance with Ordinance # 351.

Common Fire Code Violations

  1. Address numbers not displayed on street side of building. The number must be 4 inches in height, ½ inch in width. The numbers must contrast the background.
  2. The business name is required to be displayed on all rear access doors. The letters must be 4 inches in height, ½ inch in width. The letter must contrast the background.
  3. Blocked exit doors. Nothing can obstruct the means of egress from a building.
  4. Electrical panel clearance and labeling. In the event of an emergency, the fire department might have the access the electrical panel to shutdown power.
  5. If the business has exit signs, these are required to be illuminated at all times.
  6. Emergency lighting required to function when tested. In the event of a power failure, the lights illuminate the exit pathways.

The Following Items are Required to be Inspected Annually

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire alarm systems
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Kitchen suppression systems
  • Private fire hydrant systems
  • Fire pumps

Fire Safety Tips

  • Smoke detectors save lives. Change the batteries during daylight savings time.
  • Carbon Monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete combustion or malfunctioning gas or oil appliances.
  • Keep combustibles at least 18 inches away from sources of heat.
  • § Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Your family should have an evacuation plan. An outside meeting place for family members to assembly during a household emergency. This assists the fire department in quickly determining everyone is out of the house.
  • Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as draperies, blankets, clothing, bedding, etc. at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  • When buying a new space heater, make sure it carries the mark of an independent testing laboratory and is legal for use in your community.
  • Turn off space heaters whenever the room they are in is unoccupied or under circumstances when manufacturer’s instructions say they should be turned off. Portable space heaters are so easy to knock over in the dark that they should be turned off when you go to bed.
  • Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
  • Use the proper grade of fuel for your liquid-fueled space heater, and never use gasoline in any heater not approved for gasoline use. Refuel only in a well-ventilated area and when the equipment is cool.
  • Use only dry, seasoned wood in a fireplace or wood stove to avoid the build-up of creosote, an oily deposit that easily catches fire and accounts for most chimney fires and the largest share of home heating fires. Use only paper or kindling wood, not a flammable liquid, to start the fire. Do not use artificial logs in wood stoves.
  • Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. Allow fireplace and woodstove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container, which is kept a safe distance from your home.
  • Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a metal container.
  • Make sure fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside, that the venting is kept clear and unobstructed, and that the exit point is properly sealed around the vent. These steps are to make sure deadly carbon monoxide does not build up in the home.
  • Be sure to inspect all heating equipment annually, and clean as necessary.
  • Never use an oven to heat your home.

Public Education
The Muhlenberg Township Fire Marshal Office and Engineering Department offer public education speaking engagements. A variety of topics are available in several different lengths. If you would like to schedule a speaking engagement contact the Deputy Fire Marshal.

Fire Extinguisher Information
www.fireextinguisher.com
Email the Deputy Fire Marshal at jsearfoss@muhlenbergtwp.com

Fire Marshall