In an effort to better serve the community and as part of the FY 13 budget process, the South Burlington City Council included the funding (revenue and expense) to provide local enforcement of the Fire Prevention Codes. Currently, Fire Prevention Code enforcement is done by the State of Vermont Division of Fire Safety.
The “Fire Code” is based on a model document known as the National Fire Code. The principal code research and development organization is the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
The Vermont Fire and Building Safety Code (VFBSC) contain the same language as the NFPA documents and were originally adopted by the State of Vermont in 1972 and is applied to all public buildings. Periodically the VFBSC is updated in an effort to better improve the life safety of our citizens and increase property protection practices. The latest version of the VFBSC was adopted on November 5, 2012.
With the institution of the South Burlington Fire Code process the South Burlington Fire Department would have the authority and enforcement powers relative to the VFBSC and other adopted local components thereof.
A review was conducted and it was found that many of the existing South Burlington fire safety ordinances dating back to the early 1970’s were out of date due to State of Vermont taking over jurisdiction. These needed to be updated to be in line with the VFBSC so as not to be in conflict.
Creation of the Fire Prevention and Fire Safety ordinance was necessary to allow us to enter into an agreement with the State of Vermont to take over enforcement of the VFBSC. Upon passage of the ordinance a Memorandum of Understanding between the City South Burlington and State of Vermont will be signed allowing the City to enforce the VFBSC and collect all applicable fees and fines.
On February 19th 2013 the City Council heard the First Reading of the draft ordinance. A second public hearing was held on Monday March 18, 2013, after which the ordinance was passed.
The Fire Department is currently working with the Division of Fire Safety in drafting the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which would give the Fire Department primary authority to enforce the Vermont Fire and Building Safety Code and SBCOs. If violations are egregious or persistent, the department can issue and collect fines or penalties as necessary. We anticipate that this important document will be finalized in early May 2013.
Read the City's Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Ordinance