Chapter 5: Fire Prevention
SEC. 1: FIRE MARSHAL
A. Office of Fire Marshall Created
The office of Fire Marshal is hereby created. Such office shall be independent of other City departments, the Fire Marshal reporting directly to the Mayor and City Commission. Such office shall be filled by appointment by the Mayor, by and with the consent of the City Commission within 30 days after this Section shall take effect. The said Fire Marshal shall be properly qualified for the duties of his office, and shall be removed only for cause.
B. Fire Marshal to Investigate All Fires
The Fire Marshall shall investigate the cause, origin, and circumstances of every fire occurring within this City by which property has been destroyed or damaged, and shall especially make investigation as to whether such fire was the result of carelessness or design. Such investigation shall be begun within twenty-four hours, not including Sunday, of the occurrence of such fire. The Fire Marshal shall keep in his office a record of all fires, together with all facts, statistics and circumstances, including the origin of the fires and the amount of the loss, which may be determined by the investigation required by this Section.
C. Fire Marshal to Take Testimony and Furnish Evidence for Prosecution
The Fire Marshal, when in his opinion further investigation is necessary, shall take or cause to be taken the testimony, on oath, of all persons supposed to be cognizant of the facts or to have means of knowledge in relation to the matter under investigation, and shall cause the same to be reduced to writing; and if he shall be of the opinion that there is evidence sufficient to charge any person with the crime of arson, or of conspiracy to defraud, or criminal conduct in connection with such fire, he shall cause such person to be lawfully arrested and charged with such offense, or either of them, and shall furnish to the proper prosecuting attorney all such evidence, together with the names of witnesses, and all of the information obtained by him, including a copy of all pertinent and material testimony taken in the case.
D. Fire Marshal to Have the Power to Summon Witnesses
The Fire Marshal shall have the power to summon witnesses before him to testify in relation to any matter which is by the provisions of this Section a subject or inquiry and investigation, and may require the production of any book, paper or document deemed pertinent thereto. The said Fire Marshal is hereby authorized and empowered to administer oaths and affirmations to any persons appearing as witnesses before him.
E. Contempt by Witnesses
Any witness who refuses to be sworn, or who refuses to appear or testify, or who disobeys any lawful order of said Fire Marshal, or who fails or refuses to produce any book, paper or document touching any matter under examination, or who is guilty of any contemptuous conduct during any of the proceedings of the Fire Marshal in the matter of said investigation or inquiry, after being summoned to give testimony in relation to any matter under investigation as aforesaid, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor; and it shall be the duty of the Fire Marshal to cause all such offenders to be prosecuted. Any person being convicted of any such demeanor shall be fined in a sum not exceeding $200.00. Provided, however, that any person so convicted shall have the right of appeal.
F. Investigations by Fire Marshal May be Private
All investigations held by or under the direction of the Fire Marshal may, in his discretion, be private, and persons other than those required to be present may be excluded from the place where such investigation is held, and witnesses may be kept separate and apart from each other and not allowed to communicate with each other until they have been examined.
G. Fire Marshal May Enter and Examine Buildings Where Fire Has Occurred
The Fire Marshal shall have the authority at all times of day or night, when necessary, in the performance of the duties imposed upon him by the provisions of this Section, to enter upon and examine any building or premises where any fire has occurred, and other buildings and premises adjoining or near the same, which authority shall be exercised only with reason and good discretion.
H. Preventive Investigations and Appeals of Persons Aggrieved
The Fire Marshal, upon complaint of any person having an interest in any building or property adjacent and without any complaint, shall have a right at all reasonable hours, for the purpose of examination, to enter into and upon all buildings and premises within the City, and it shall be his duty, monthly or more often, to enter upon and make or cause to be entered and made, a thorough examination of all mercantile, manufacturing and public buildings, together with the premises belonging thereto. Whenever he shall find any building or other structure which, for want of repair, or by reason of age or dilapidated condition, or for any cause, is especially liable to fire, and which is so situated as to endanger other buildings or property, or so occupied that fire would endanger persons or property therein, and whenever he shall find an improper or dangerous arrangement of stoves, ranges, furnaces or other heating appliances of any kind whatsoever, including chimneys, flues, and pipes with which the same may be connected, or a dangerous arrangement of lighting devices or systems, or a dangerous or unlawful storage of explosives, compounds, petroleum, gasoline, kerosene, dangerous chemicals, vegetable products, ashes, combustible, inflammable and refuse materials, or other conditions which may be dangerous in character or liable to cause or promote fire or create conditions dangerous in character or liable to cause or promote fire or create conditions dangerous to the firemen or occupants, he shall order the same to be removed or remedied, and such order shall be forthwith complied with by the owner or occupant of said building or premises. Provided, however, that if said owner or occupant deems himself aggrieved by such order, he may, within five days, appeal to the Mayor, who shall investigate the cause of the complaint and unless by his authority the order is revoked, such order shall remain in force and be forthwith complied with by said owner or occupant. At the end of each month the Fire Marshal shall report to the State Fire Marshal all existing hazardous conditions, together with separate reports on each fire in the City during the month.
I. Unlawful to Maintain Fire Hazards
(1) Any owner or occupant of a building or other structure or premises who shall keep or maintain the same when, for want of repair, or by reason of age or dilapidated condition, or for any cause, it is especially liable to fire, and which is so situated as to endanger buildings or property of others, or is especially liable to fire and which is so occupied that fire would endanger other persons or their property therein, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10.00 nor more than $2,000.00.
(Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000)
(2) Any owner or occupant of any building or other structure, or premises, who shall keep or maintain the same with an improper arrangement of a stove, range, furnace, or other heating appliance of any kind whatever, including chimneys, flues, and pipes with which the same may be connected, so as to be dangerous in the matter of fire, or health, or safety of persons or property of others; or who shall keep or maintain any building, other structure or premises with an improper arrangement of a lighting device or system, or with a storage of explosives, petroleum, gasoline, kerosene, chemicals, vegetable products, ashes, combustibles, inflammable materials, refuse, or with any other condition which shall be dangerous in character to the persons, health or property of others; or which shall be dangerous in the matter of promoting, augmenting, or causing fires; or which shall create conditions dangerous to firemen, or occupants of such building, structure or premises other than the maintainer thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10.00 nor more than $2,000.00. (Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000)
J. Prosecution for Maintaining Fire Hazards After Notice Only
No prosecution shall be brought under subsection I of this Section until the order provided for in subsection H be given, and the party notified shall fail or refuse to comply with the same.
K. Violations Generally
(1) Every day’s maintenance of any of the conditions prohibited in any of the foregoing subsections shall be a distinct and separate offense and all misdemeanors herein provided for shall be prosecuted, and all fines and forfeitures herein provided for shall be recovered and enforced, in the same manner as provided by law for the enforcement of fines, forfeitures, penalties and punishments for offenses generally against the city.
(2) The penalties provided for herein shall be recovered by the city in the same manner as provided by law for the enforcement of fines, forfeitures, and punishments for offenses against the city.
(Ordinance No. 83-13 of September 27, 1983)
SEC. 2: FIRE PREVENTION CODE
A. Adoption of International Fire Code
There is hereby adopted by the City of Electra, Texas, for the purpose of prescribing regulations governing conditions hazardous to life and property from fire and explosion that certain code and standards known as the International Fire Code (latest edition), in the whole thereof, save and except such provisions that are hereinafter deleted, modified, or amended. One copy of said code and standards is to be kept on file in the office of the Fire Marshall, and the same is hereby adopted and incorporated as fully as if set out at length herein and the provisions thereof shall be controlling within the city limits of the City of Electra.
B. Establishment and Duties of Bureau of Fire Prevention
(1) The International Fire Code shall be enforced by the Bureau of Fire Prevention in the Fire Department of the City of Electra, which is hereby established and which shall be operated under the general supervision of the Chief of the Fire Department, the City Fire Marshall, and the City Commission of the City of Electra.
(2) The Fire Marshal shall be in direct charge of the Bureau of Fire Prevention under the direct supervision of the Fire Chief.
(3) The Chief of the Fire Department may detail such members of the Fire Department as inspectors as shall from time to time be necessary.
(1) Whenever the word “jurisdiction” is used in the International Fire Code, it shall mean within the city limits of the City of Electra.
(2) Whenever the words “Chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention” are used, they shall be held to mean the Fire Marshal.
D. Establishment of Limits of Districts in Which Storage of Flammable or Combustible Liquids in Outside Above Ground Tanks is to be Prohibited
The storage of flammable or combustible liquids in outside above ground tanks or containers is prohibited within any residential area of the city when such storage exceeds more than 10 gallons and not in nationally approved safety cans or containers and 25 gallons in such nationally approved safety cans or containers.
E. Storage of Liquefied Petroleum Gases Must Comply with the Rules and Regulations of the Railroad Commission of Texas
The storage of flammable or combustible liquids in outside, above ground, tanks or containers must be in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Railroad Commission of Texas.
F. Establishments of Limits of Districts in Which Storage of Explosives and Blasting Agents is to be Prohibited
The limits referred to in the International Fire Code in which the storage of explosives and blasting agents is prohibited, are hereby established as all property inside the city limits of the City of Electra, as they now exist or may be hereafter changed.
G. Amendments to International Fire Code
The provisions of the International Fire Code that are changed, added, or deleted are as follows:
(1) Rules and Regulations - The Chief, with the approval of the City Manager, is authorized to make and enforce such rules and regulations for the prevention and control of fires and fire hazards as may be necessary from time to time to carry out the intent of this Code.
(2) Fire Prevention Bureau - A Fire Prevention Bureau is established within the Fire Department under the direction of the Fire Marshal and shall consist of such other Fire Department personnel as may be assigned by the Fire Chief. The function of this bureau shall be to assist the Fire Chief in the administration and enforcement of the fire prevention provisions of this Code.
(3) Fire Marshal - The Fire Marshall shall assist the chief in exercising the powers and to perform the duties as set forth in this Code.
(4) Appeals - Any person aggrieved by an interpretation of the fire code adopted by reference within this Section, or by any decision or ruling by the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal, or other designated inspector, shall have the right to make an appeal to the City Commission. Such appeal shall be perfected by written notice submitted to the City Commission asking for a hearing by the Commission, and the action of the City Commission thereon shall be final. Prior to rendering a decision on any appeal, the City Commission may seek expert advice and counsel.
(Ordinance No. 2005-16; October 11, 2005)
SEC. 3: ARSON REWARD
A reward of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) is hereby offered by the City Commission of the City of Electra for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons charged with arson within the city limits of the City of Electra, Texas, and that proper notices of such reward be posted.
(Ordinance No. 88-3 of March 22, 1988)
SEC. 4: FIREWORKS
A. Discharging Fireworks Prohibited
It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge or cause to be discharged or fired upon any street, alley, or other public way or within any place of business, or other place where people are congregated for business or pleasure within the city limits of the City of Electra, Texas, as now fixed or as may be hereafter fixed, any fireworks, roman candles, sky rockets, torpedoes, firecrackers, cannon crackers, or any other kind or character of fireworks.
B. The sale of fireworks at a licensed and permitted fireworks stand is allowed subject to the following regulations.
- All fireworks stands in the City of Electra require a permit and an inspection from the City. They are permitted within 100’ from SH 25, US 287 and Business 287.
- Fireworks stands are permitted to operate from June 16 through July 5, and December 15 through January 3.
- A plot plan showing the location of the stand from property lines with dimensions to all nearby structures, public roads & highways, parking area, flammable or combustible bulk storage and gas dispensing area is required to obtain a permit from the City of Electra.
- Fireworks stands shall be constructed adequately to protect from high winds, vehicle damage, rain, other weather related elements and shall be kept free of accumulation of dry grass, dry brush and combustible debris and will be inspected for fire safety by the City of Electra for the following requirements:
- These stands shall be restricted to a maximum structure size of 500 sq. ft. and have two unobstructed exits, one exit may be an egress opening with 5.7 square feet of clear open area.
- “No Smoking” within 20 ft.” shall be posted on all sides of the stand in a place where the sign will be easily readable from outside the stand.
- The stand shall have a minimum of one (1) 2A fire extinguisher displaying a current inspection tag. This can be a 2 ½ gallon pressurized water-type fire extinguisher or #5 ABC Dry Chemical Extinguisher.
- The amount of fireworks stored/displayed in the stand is to be kept under 1,000 pounds and comply with these minimum clearance:
RETAIL FIREWORKS STANDS – MINIMUM CLEARANCES*
Building & Combustibles
Property Line & Private Way
Vehicle Parking & Public Way
Back of Stand
Side of Stand
Front of Stand
*Retail fireworks stands shall not be located within 100 feet of any motor vehicle fuel dispensing station, or flammable liquid or combustible liquid storage.
- The cost of the annual retail fireworks stand permit will be $50.00 to offset the cost of the inspection of the location. This fee shall be paid in advance of opening the location and shall be paid at City Hall, 101 N. Main, Electra, TX.
C. Penalty for Violations
Any person, firm, or corporation violating the provisions of this Section shall, upon conviction, be fined any sum of not less than $5.00 nor more than $2,000.00. Each and every discharge of fireworks and each and every sale of fireworks prohibited under this Section shall constitute a separate offense.
(Ordinance of June 8, 1936; Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000)
SEC. 5: FILLING STORAGE TANKS WITH GASOLINE
OR VOLATILE AND INFLAMMABLE LIQUIDS AT NIGHT
(1) Volatile and Inflammable Liquid - is meant any liquid which, tested in the open air of any temperature below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, will give forth any inflammable vapor or gas.
(2) Nighttime - shall be meant any time after sunset and before sunrise.
B. Unlawful to Fill Storage Tanks with Gasoline, Volatile or Inflammable Liquids
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to pour into or fill any storage tank with gasoline, volatile or inflammable material in the City of Electra during the nighttime.
C. Penalty for Violations
Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25.00 and not to exceed $2,000.00.
(Ordinance of October 24, 1932; Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000)
SEC. 6: MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT FOR FIRE
PROTECTION WITH SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE
A. Purpose of Agreement
An agreement entered into this 31st day of July, 1980, between the Secretary of the Air Force, acting pursuant to the authority of 42 U.S.C. (1856(A)) and the Electra Fire Department is for the purpose of securing to each the benefits of mutual aid in fire prevention, in the protection of life and property from fire, and in fire fighting.
B. Sheppard Air Force Base to Provide Firefighting Equipment
On request to a representative of the Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Department by a representative of the Electra Fire Department, fire fighting equipment and personnel of the Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Department will be dispatched to any point within the area for which the Electra Fire Department normally provides fire protection as designated by the representative of the Electra Fire Department.
C. City to Provide Fire Fighting Equipment for Sheppard Air Force Base
On request to a representative of the Electra Fire Department by a representative of the Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Department, fire fighting equipment and personnel of the Electra Fire Department will be dispatched to any point within the fire fighting jurisdiction of the Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Department as designated by the representative of the Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Department.
D. Requirements Before Dispatch of Equipment and Personnel
Any dispatch of equipment and personnel pursuant to this agreement is subject to the following conditions:
(1) Any request for aid hereunder shall include a statement of the amount and type of equipment and personnel requested, and shall specify the location to which the equipment and personnel are to be dispatched, but the amount and type of equipment and number of personnel to be furnished shall be determined by a representative of the responding organization.
(2) The responding organization shall report to the officer in charge of the requesting organization at the location to which the equipment is dispatched and shall be subject to the orders of that official.
(3) A responding organization shall be released by the requesting organization when the services of the responding organization are no longer required or when the responding organization is needed within the area for which it normally provides fire protection.
(4) In the event of a crash of aircraft owned or operated by the United States or military aircraft of any foreign nation within the area for which the Electra Fire Department normally provides fire protection, the Chief of the Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Department or his representative may assume full command on his arrival at the scene of the crash.
Each party waives all claims against every other party for compensation for any loss, damage, personal injury, or death occurring as a consequence of the performance of this agreement. However, this does not preclude fire organizations from filing claims for fire fighting costs and losses under 15 U.S.C. 2210.
F. Equipment and Personnel Defined
All equipment used by Electra Fire Department in carrying out this agreement will, at the time of action hereunder, be owned by it; and all personnel acting for Electra Fire Department under this agreement will, at the time of such action, be an employee or volunteer member of Electra Fire Department.
(Executed July 31, 1980)
FIREWORKS STAND APPLICATION
Code of Ordinances, Chapter 5, Section 4
Location of Stand: _________________________________________________________
Applicants Name: _________________________________________________________
Applicants Phone: _________________________________________________________
Business or Organization Name: _____________________________________________
Address of Business or Organization: _________________________________________
Where will fireworks be stored prior to sale dates and after sale dates:
Additional onsite Contact Person if other than applicant: _____________________
Applicant’s Signature: __________________________________________ Date __________
I certify that on this date the building or structure located at the above location is in compliance with all applicable building, electrical and plumbing codes, and the City of Electra Ordinances regarding Fireworks Stands.
Code Enforcement Officer: _______________________________ Date _________________
For Office Use Only
Date of Application ___________________
Fee: $50.00 _______________
Check # _____________ or Cash