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FIR-1.05 - Citations

CITATIONS
Administrative Rule adopted by Portland Fire & Rescue Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority
ARB-FIR-1.05
 


I.   GENERAL
 
     A.  This policy is established June 19, 2007.
 
     B.  It is the purpose to providedirection in the issuance and processing of citations for hazards observed, and/or violations found at the time of inspection.
 
     C.  This policy applies to all areas where Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) has authority.
 
     D.  The citation program has been initiated in response to code violations that endanger the public. Citations provide an immediate financial impact on those responsible for these code violations. 
 
II.  SPECIFIC
 
     A.  REFERENCES
 
          1.  Portland City Code (PCC) Title 31.10.070
          2.  PF&R Form 300.18, Fire Code Citation
          3.  PF&R Form 300.13C, Fire Code Citation Appeal Form
     
III. PROCEDURES
 
     A.  If, after investigation, the Fire Marshal determines that a violation of PCC Title 31 has occurred, and that the person, entity or owner/occupant committing the violation knew or should have known that the action was in violation of this title, a citation may be issued to the person, entity or owner/occupant committing the violation. Citable violations include, but are not limited to:
 
          1.  Failure to obtain a permit
          2.  Failure to adhere to permit conditions 
          3.  Failure to adhere to assigned occupant load limit in assembly occupancy 
          4.  Exit blocked, obstructed 
          5.  Exit corridor or aisle obstructed or width reduced 
          6.  “Exit” sign missing or not working 
          7.  Fire extinguisher missing, discharged or wrong type 
          8.  Firefighting appliance blocked, obstructed or otherwiserendered unusable 
          9.  Fire alarm device or fire extinguishing system blocked, obstructed or otherwise rendered unusable 
          10.  Failure to use, maintain, store or secure propane bottles as required by this Title
          11.  Performing work that requires a Certificate of Fitness without a valid certificate 
          12.  Assigning an employee to perform work that requires a Certificate of Fitness without a valid certificate 
          13.  Parking on a posted fire access road (or in a posted fire lane on a private street or property) (pending change in T31)
          14.  Blocking or obstructing any fire hydrant or fire department connection 
          15.  Conducting mobile fueling operation in violation of Fire Code regulations 
          16.  Possession or use of illegal fireworks 
          17.  Storage of illegal fireworks 
          18.  Illegal commercial fireworks display 
          19.  Illegal occupancy in violation of International Building Code 
          20.  Burning in violation of Fire Code 
          21.  Repetitive false alarms in occupancies equipped with fire, smoke and/or water flow detection systems
          22.  Violations that would constitute or contribute to an immediate and/or imminent hazard to life and/or property
 
     B.  Each day a person, owner or occupant violates or fails to comply with fire regulations may be considered a separate violation for which a citation may be issued.
 
     C.  Fines Authorized. Citations shall result in monetary fines as set forth in the Fee Schedule adopted by City Council. Fines may escalate for two or more occurrences of the same or similar violations by the same person, owner or occupant within a four-year period. The Fire Marshal may suspend 1/2 of any citation fine, providing the person, owner or occupant cited agrees in writing to immediately cease and/or abate the violation. If the person, owner or occupant is found to be in violation of the same or similar violation within a four-year period, the original fine may be reinstated and shall be in addition to any other fine authorized by this title.
 
     D.  Citation Process. Citation shall be delivered as would reasonably be expected to provide notice, including in person, by certified mail or posted conspicuously on property. Citation shall include:
 
          1.  Name and address of person, owner or occupant being cited
          2.  A description of the property where the violation occurred
          3.  Date(s) of the violation
          4.  Reference to the particular code(s) violated
          5.  A statement explaining actions required of person, owner or occupant being cited
          6.  A statement of applicable monetary penalty, and
          7.  A statement of the right to appeal the citation
 
     E.  When an Inspector from the Fire Marshal’s Office deems it necessary to issue a citation for an offense, it is required that the Inspector adhere to the following procedure:
 
          1.  Prior to taking any action, inspectors shall notify either their immediate supervisor or the Senior on phones. At this time, they will relay information about the occupancy and their desire to issue a citation. In most cases, the inspector will remain on-scene until further directions come from a supervisor. (Note: Pre-approval to issue such citations may be given by the member’s Senior Inspector and/or another superior.)
 
          2.  The supervisor taking the call may immediately initiate an emergency meeting of the administrative review board.  Notification of the members of the board will be made in an expeditious manner (e-mail, pagers, phone, in person) and will consist of the time and place to convene as well as the purpose of the meeting.
 
          If an emergency meeting is called:
 
          a.  The administrative review board shall minimally consist of all available On-Duty administrative members (Senior Inspectors, the Deputy Chief Fire Marshal, and the Supervising Engineer) and shall convene as soon as possible. The Fire Marshal will attend when possible and may invite any other participants as deemed necessary such as On-Duty suppression chiefs or local fire company officers.
 
          b.  The administrative review board will decide the course of action to be taken by the on-scene inspector. This information will be communicated to the inspector in the most timely and efficient manner.
 
     F.  Issuance of Citations
 
          1.  Businesses/Buildings within the FIRES2000 data base:
 
              a.  No hand-written citation is necessary to be left on site. However, as a courtesy, the Inspector shall attempt to notify the owner or responsible party that they will be receiving a citation via the mail.
 
              b.  The Inspector will inform the business owner of their right to appeal the citation.
 
              c.  The citation information will be entered into FIRES2000 as a “Citation – Business” type of inspection. Each violation must be entered as a separate citation.
 
          2.  Businesses/Individuals NOT within FIRES2000 data base:
 
              a.  A hand-written citation is necessary to be left on site.
 
              b.  The Inspector will calculate the fine total amount as per the schedule provided in the currently adopted Fee Schedule, and enter that amount on the line provided on the citation.
 
              c.  The Inspector will inform the business owner or responsible party of their right to appeal the citation.
 
              d.  The citation information will be entered into FIRES2000 as a “Citation – Individual” type of inspection.
 
     G.  Appeal Process.
 
          1.  There is no fee associated with the appeal process when a citation has been issued.
 
          2.  The following information is pre-printed on the back of the citation:
 
PROCESS TO APPEAL A NOTICE, ORDER OR ACTION OF
THE FIRE MARSHAL (Citation Appeal)
Ref. PCC Title 31.10.080 C.
 
The Fire Marshal has established an administrative appeal process to consider requests for alternatives to adopted fire regulations. You must file a Notice of Appeal not later than ten business days after the notice, order or action (citation) of the Fire Marshal. You may serve Notice of Appeal by completing an appeal form; please follow the directions on the form. Submit the appeal form either as an attachment to an email (mail to: firemarshal@fire.ci.portland.or.us), in person, or to the Portland Fire & Rescue Fire Marshal’s Office Permit Desk located at:
 
Fire Marshal’s Office
1300 S.E. Gideon Street
Portland OR, 97202-2419
 
Contact your Fire Inspector or call 503-823-3700 if you need assistance completing the form.
 
Upon receipt of the appeal request, a member of the Fire Marshal’s senior staff reviews it for completeness, and presents a brief, comprehensive overview of the question and issues to an Administrative Board. The Board consists of the Fire Marshal, Deputy Chief Emergency Operations, Deputy Chief Fire Marshal, Supervising Engineer and all Senior Inspectors. Final decisions are made by the Fire Marshal after consultation with the Administrative Board Members. These decisions are recorded and mailed to appellants. Our goal is to conduct this meeting no more than 10 days after receiving the application. Appellants not satisfied with the administrative action may request a hearing by the Board of Appeals; a quasi-judicial body empowered by the Mayor to hear fire code appeals.
 
Appeal forms are available from your Fire Inspector, from the Fire Bureau Administrative office, or on the web site, http://www.portlandonline.com/fire. At the web site, click on “Permits and Forms” in the “Services” section, then click on “Fire Code Appeals”. The Citation Appeal Form is listed in the forms link on that page. Please follow the directions on the appeals form.
 
          3.  Fire Code Citation Appeal forms shall be routed to the appropriate Senior Inspector for verification of needed information including a check of the applicant’s history relating to FMO Citations over the last four years. Since the majority of these citations will be related to assembly type inspections this will usually be the Code Enforcement Senior in charge of assembly inspections. The Senior Inspector will then bring the appeal request to the next available appeals review session at an FMO Staff Meeting.
 

HISTORY
 
Administrative rule adopted by Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue and filed for inclusion in PPD June 25, 2007.