Q: I received a letter requesting an inspection, why am I being singled out?
A: You are not. CT State Statute requires that building containing three (3) or more dwelling units, assembly occupancies, healthcare and educational facilities have ANNUAL inspections by the Fire Marshal’s Office. Businesses & mercantiles are required to be inspected EVERY THREE (3) years. Please contact this office at (860) 647-3267 if you would like more information on the required frequency of inspections for your residence or business.
Q: My building is old, is it grandfathered?
A: No. All buildings consisting of three (3) living units or more, whether they are new or existing, are subject to the State Fire Safety Code. The only exemptions are single (1) and two (2) family homes.
Q: I live in a condominium, is this considered an apartment building?
A: Yes, if the building contains three or more living units. “Condominium” is a form of ownership, not occupancy. For example, there are condominium warehouses, condominium apartments, and condominium offices.
Q: What if I don’t want my building inspected?
A: The Fire Marshal’s Office, by law, must inspect ALL properties, except for 1 & 2 family homes as required by CT State Statute. You do have the right to deny us access to your property. However, the inspection is minimally invasive to your privacy and improves your safety within your home. The alternative is to seek access to your property through the court system via an Administrative Search Warrant. Mutual cooperation is essential for the process to work effectively.
Q: I have received an abatement order/letter for corrections to be made, but I don’t feel some items are necessary for Life Safety. What can I do?
A: An abatement order is issued when conditions on the property do not meet the minimum standards for the occupancy, as referenced in the CSFPC (CT State Fire Prevention Code) or CSFSC (CT State Fire Safety Code). There is a modification process available for existing residential occupancies, which enables a property owner to employ alternative compliance methods to alleviate a hardship and seek approval by the Connecticut State Fire Marshal. The Local Fire Marshal’s Office can offer guidance for this procedure. If you disagree with the final assessment, you may appeal the abatement at the State level through the Codes and Standards Committee. The Connecticut State Fire Marshal’s website has information on how to apply for an appeal. http://www.ct.gov/dcs/cwp/view.asp?a=4489&q=530 894
Q: What happens if I don’t complete required repair to my Apartment Building?
A: It is expected that the repairs will be made. Serious life safety issues must be corrected immediately. Other issues will be given a generous period of time to complete repairs, however, failure to comply with the CT Fire Safety Code can result in criminal proceedings. With mutual respect and cooperation this can be avoided.
Q: I need more time to complete repairs, what can I do?
A: An extension of time can be granted by the Local Fire Marshal. A "Request for Extension of Time" form must be filled out explaining the reasons for the request.
Q: Who is responsible for the maintenance of Smoke Detector(s) in my apartment?
A: The owner of the building is ultimately responsible. Tenants are tasked with the responsibility of testing alarms and changing batteries. Since landlords have to follow a 24-hour notice for entering the rental property (unless in an emergency), the tenant should be the one to regularly check the alarm. It is a good idea for landlords to have a document signed by the tenant agreeing that Smoke Detectors were installed and working.
Q: Are Building Permits required for repairs?
A: Building permits are required most of the time, however, the Building Department can assist to determine if a permit is required for your particular repair. Contact the Town of Manchester Building Department at (860) 647-3052. Business hours are Monday-Friday from 8:15 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.