Town Code Chapter 14, Section 14-5
In October of 2017, Stoneham Town meeting adopted Chapter 14 section 14-5 "Private Water Systems and Appurtenances". The purpose of this bylaw is to ensure the safety and availability 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, section 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 annually Tested and operate effectively, as well as educating property owners as to 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 of the 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 inches or less, the annual fee is $600
- If the Fire Main is 6 inches the annual fee is $900
- If the Fire Main is 8 inches the annual fee is $1,200
- If the Fire Main is 10 inches the annual fee is $2,100
- If the Fire Main is 12 inches the annual fee is $3,000
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 call the Fire Prevention office or Fire Chief Matthew Grafton at 781-438-0127 ext. 2 with any questions.