In October of 2017, Stoneham Town meeting adopted Ch. 14 sec. 5 “Private Water Systems and Appurtenances”. The purpose of this bylaw is to ensure the safety and availabtlity of water from privately owned water systems, fire hydrants and other appurtenances for consumption, fire suppression or other emergency uses within private residential and commercial developments.
Under Massachusetts comprehensive fire safety code 527 CMR 1, sec 13.1.2 states “The property owner shall be responsible for the proper testing and maintenance of the equipment and systems”. Through the bylaw the Fire prevention office will be conducting inspections to ensure that water based -systems-have-been annuallyTe-sted and operate effe-ctively, as well as edu-cating property owners asto their responsibilities of owning a fire protection systems under NFPA 25. A certified sprinkler contractor will be needed to inspect, test, and document the certification of sprinkler systems, standpipe systems, fire pumps, fire pipe, foam systems, and private fire mains including private fire hydrants. Per the fire code we will be annually requesting and reviewing records of completed testing and maintenance documentation of the fire suppression systems per 527 CMR 1, 13.1.5. The sprinkler contractor will need to obtain a permit before testing the systems, and as a permit condition send a copy of the test results to fire prevention for review. We will also conduct an annual fire safety survey of the rest of the property to ensure it meets fire safety codes and standards.
If you have private fire hydrants on your property it will need to be tested and inspected annually between April 1 and November 1. The certified sprinkler contractor must have approval by the Department of Public Works and Fire Department before testing or operating any fire hydrant. There is a minimum 24 hour notice required. All testing and maintenance results must be forwarded to the Department of Public Works and the-Fire-Chief. If a hydrant needs to be taken out of -service as a result of the testing, a permit will be required from the fire department and Public Works along with a plan of correction within 30 days or within reason. The annual administration Fee for each private fire hydrant is $60.
The following fee schedule has been established to support the fire prevention office in enforcement and administration ofthe bylaw. The annual Fire-Main-fee is-based upon the size of-the-fire main that enters a building thus supplying a system. The fee schedule is as follows for the different size diameter fire mains:
If the Fire Main is 4″ or less, the annual fee is $600
If the Fire Main is 6″ the annual fee is $900
If the Fire Main is 8″ the annual fee is $1200
If the Fire Main is 10″ the annual fee is $2100
If the Fire Main is 12″ the annual fee is $3000
We intend to start enforcement of this bylaw in the fall. You are encouraged to notify a certified sprinkler contractor to complete testing of your water-based suppression system. Feel-free to contact the Fire Prevention office or Fire Chief Matthew Grafton at 781-438-0127 ext.# 2 with any questions.
To view the Town Code Chapter 14.5, visit https://www.stoneham-ma.gov/sites/stonehamma/files/u80/ch14_-_october_2017_1.pdf