8.9 FIRE INSPECTIONS.

(1)    Enforcement, Authority and Duties.

(a)    Inspection of premises and the issuing of orders in connection therewith, under the provisions of this Fire Code, shall be the responsibility of the Fire Chief or his/her designee. Wherever, in the opinion of the Fire Chief, it is necessary or desirable to coordinate with the Building Inspector in the inspection of any condition, he/she shall arrange for this to be done in such manner that the owners or occupants of buildings shall not be subjected to visits by numerous inspectors nor to multiple or conflicting orders. All orders for correction of any violation under this Fire Code shall be issued with the approval of the Fire Chief or his/her Designees.

(b)    When the Fire Chief determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of this Fire Code may exist or that conditions exist which adversely affect the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants or the public, he/she may make a cause to be made inspections to determine the conditions of buildings or structures in order to safeguard the safety, health and welfare of the public under the provisions of the Fire Code. In addition, the Fire Chief shall make or cause to be made those inspections that are required by the Wisconsin Statutes. It shall be the duty of the Fire Chief to inspect all buildings and premises except the interiors of dwelling units, as often as may be necessary for the purpose of ascertaining and causing to be corrected any conditions liable to cause fire, endanger life from fire, or any violations of the provisions or intent of the Fire Code.

(2)    Authority to Enter Premises.

(a)    The Fire Chief may, at reasonable hours, request permission of the owner or occupant to enter any building or premises for the purpose of making any inspection or investigation, which, under the provisions of this Fire Code, he/she may deem necessary to be made.

(b)    The Fire Chief may obtain a search/inspection warrant under Sections 969.10, 968.11, 66.122 and 66.123, Wis. Stats., when necessary in his/her opinion for the purpose of making an inspection or investigation of any building or premises where the owner or occupant has refused admission.

(a)    No person, having been duly informed of the existence of a search warrant to search the premises owned or occupied by him/her, shall refuse to permit such search to be made. Each day or part thereof, during which such refusal continues shall be deemed to be a separate violation.

(3)    Enforcement Methods. In enforcing this Fire Code, the Fire Chief or his/her authorized representative, may do so by order to vacate building, order to correct violation, citation procedure, forfeiture action, injunctive relief, or may combination of those remedies.

(4)    Emergency Vacation of Hazardous Buildings – Procedure.

(a)    Whenever the Fire Chief finds that a Fire Code violation exists which presents a situation so dangerous as to be an immediate hazard or threat of damage or injury to any property or to any person’s life, safety or health, the Fire Chief may order an immediate vacation of the building, structure or premises which are so threatened.

(b)    The order to vacate in an emergency situation may be given orally by the Fire Chief to those persons present in the building, structure or premises.

(c)    If such order is given orally, the Fire Chief shall post on each entrance to the vacated building a sign or notice that the building has been ordered vacated or is unfit for occupancy.

(d)    If the emergency situation terminates within three (3) days, the Fire Chief shall prepare a report of the emergency situation and vacation. Such report shall contain the following information:

1.    A description of the premises sufficient for identification.

2.    Specification of the condition requiring immediate vacation and the section of the Fire Code under which emergency order was issued.

3.    Date of issuance of the order to vacate.

4.    Date of withdrawal of the order to vacate.

5.    The names of the person or persons who were ordered to vacate the building, structure or premises, and the date on which they were so ordered.

(a)    If the emergency situation exists longer than three (3) days, the Fire Chief shall, after three (3) days, prepare a written order which shall contain the following information:

1.    A description of the premises sufficient for identification.

2.    An order that the building, structure, or premises be vacated and remain vacated until such order to vacate is withdrawn.

3.    Specification of the condition requiring immediate vacation and the section of the Fire Code under which such emergency order is being issued.

4.    The date the oral order to vacate was given.

5.    A statement of the penalty for defacing or removal of the copy of that order.

6.    The signature of the Fire Chief and a statement that the order was issued from the Fire Department.

7.    The date of posting of the written order.

(a)    A copy of any written order shall be posted on the premises and shall be served on the owner.

(b)    When the Fire Chief is satisfied that the hazard or condition causing the emergency situation has been corrected, he/she shall withdraw the order to vacate and remove any posted order or notice. If a written order was posted, the Fire Chief shall notify the owner in writing of the withdrawal of the order to vacate.

(c)    It shall be the duty of the owner of a building to notify the occupants of any order to vacate and of the withdrawal of such order. Any damage, loss or injury to either the owner or occupants of the building ordered to be vacated shall not be the responsibility of the City unless directly caused by the City’s negligence. Any damage, loss or injury to either the owner or occupants shall be the responsibility of the person or persons who caused the Fire Code violation or who allowed the Fire Code violation to exist.

(d)    The Fire Chief shall furnish a copy of all orders to vacate and notices of withdrawal thereof to any other official of the village concerned therewith.

(5)    Emergency Authority of Fire Chief. In all circumstances where, in the opinion of the Fire Chief, the Fire code violation presents a situation so dangerous as to be an immediate threat of damage or injury to any property or any person’s life, safety or health, the Fire Chief may cause the immediate abatement, removal or correction of the violation. Any and all costs incurred by the City in the performance of the abatement, removal or correction of such violation shall be charged to the owner, occupant, person in control of or person responsible for such violation. In case of a failure to pay these costs, a statement of such costs shall be filed with the Treasurer and any and all costs thereof shall be charged against the real estate upon which the violation was located, shall be a lien upon the real estate, and shall be assessed and collected as a special tax.

(6)    Order To Eliminate Dangerous or Hazardous Conditions. Whenever the Fire Chief shall find in any building or upon any premises dangerous or hazardous conditions or materials as follows, he/she shall order such dangerous conditions or materials to be removed or remedied:

(a)    Dangerous to unlawful amounts of combustible or explosive or otherwise hazardous materials.

(b)    Hazardous conditions arising from defective or improperly installed equipment for handling or using combustible or explosive or otherwise hazardous materials.

(c)    Dangerous accumulations of rubbish, waste paper, boxes, shavings or other highly combustible materials.

(d)    Accumulations of dust or waste material in the air conditioning or ventilating systems or of grease in kitchen or other exhaust ducts or inadequate clearances to unprotected combustible materials from hoods, grease extractors and ducts.

(e)    Obstructions to or on fire escapes, designated access openings in exterior walls for Fire Department use, stairs, passageways, doors and windows, liable to interfere with the operations of the Fire Department or egress of occupants in case of fire.

(f)    Any buildings or other structure which, for want of repairs, lack of adequate exit facilities, automatic or other fire alarm apparatus or fire extinguishing equipment, or by reason of age or dilapidated conditions, or from any other cause, creates a hazardous condition.

(7)    Service of Orders.

(a)    The service of written orders for the correction of violations of this Fire Code shall be made upon the owner, occupant or other person responsible for the conditions, either by delivering a copy of same to any person in charge of the premises, or by mailing such orders to the owner or other responsible person. This Subsection shall in no way preclude the Fire Chief from issuing oral orders in such other manner as he/she deems appropriate under the circumstances.

(b)    If buildings or other premises are owned by one (1) person and occupied by another, the orders issued on connection with the enforcing of this Fire Code shall apply to the occupant thereof as well as the owner, except where the rules or orders require the making of additions to or changes in the premises themselves, such as would immediately become fixtures upon real estate or real estate and be the property of the owner of the premises, and in such cases the rules or orders shall affect the owner and not the occupant unless it is otherwise agreed between the owner and the occupant.

(c)    Receipt of such orders by the owner or occupant is sufficient notice to effect compliance with the order.

(8)    Order to Correct Violations: Removal of Posted Copy. In case any order is not promptly complied with, the Fire Chief, or his/her Designees, may follow any, several, or all of the following procedures:

(a)    Cause a citation to be issued to the owner, operator or other person responsible for the violation citing a violation of this Chapter.

(b)    Request the Attorney of the City to institute an appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity against the owner, operator or other person responsible for the violation, ordering him to:

1.    Restrain, correct or remove the violation, or refrain from any further execution of work.

2.    Restrain or correct the erection, installation or alteration of such building in violation of the Fire Code.

3.    Remove work in violation.

4.    Prevent the occupancy or use of the building, structure, or part thereof erected, constructed, installed or altered in violation of, or not in compliance with, the provisions of the Fire Code, or in violation of a plan or specification under which an approval, permit or certificate was issued, or

5.    Pay a forfeiture pursuant to the penalty provision of this Code of Ordinances.

(c)    Any person who does not comply with any lawful order of the Fire Chief, or his/her Designees, issued pursuant to the provisions of this Fire Code shall be in violation of this Fire Code and every day or fraction thereof during which such person fails or neglects to comply with such order shall constitute a separate offense.