What Fire Code has Alpena adopted?
The International Fire Code 2000 Edition which is updated every three years.
Are there different codes?
Yes- each municipality (city, village, twp, ect.) has the authority to adopt any fire code they choose. For example, the City of Lansing uses the Uniform Fire Code and the State uses NFPA-1 while, Alpena uses the International Fire Code.
What exactly are the fire codes?
The fire codes are a supplement to the Cities building codes. Think of the building code as a 'cookbook' and the fire code would be a recipe. They go hand in hand. The fire codes address specific fire safety features in a building; examples would be how many doors and what size or the placement of fire extinguishers or exit lights.
Are the fire codes law?
The fire codes are ordinances adopted by the City. In some jurisdictions they do carry a criminal penalty, however in Alpena; the City has de-criminalized the fire code. It is a Civil Infraction, not a criminal.
So what is the penalty for a violation?
The Fire Marshal has the authority to issue a citation for the Civil Infraction. These can cost about $100.00 per violation if not corrected.
What if I don't know about the violation?
Violations are discovered either by an inspection or citizen’s complaint. The Fire Marshal will inspect or investigate. Generally you only receive a notice of
violation and have ten working days to correct the problem. The Fire Marshal may re-inspect up to three times before a citation is issued. Extensions
may be granted.
What if I don't agree with the Fire Marshal?
The City has established the Board of Appeals; you may bring an appeal to the board if you feel the code was not interpreted correctly. They may decide if the code was not properly prescribed.
Won't they side with the Fire Marshal?
The board is made up of members of the community that have knowledge and expertise in code enforcement. They are not City Employees and the Fire Marshal is an ex-efficio member, he may state his case, but can't vote on the outcome.
How do I get my building inspected?
We are always out inspecting local commercial and industrial buildings. However, if it has been longer than a year or two since you were inspected, please call the Fire Marshal's office and we will schedule you ASAP.
What about my house?
Inspections are reserved mainly to commercial and industrial buildings. Generally, only rental apartments of multi-family dwellings are done. Not single family residents; however, you can have a home safety courtesy inspection by contacting the Fire Marshal's office.