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Fire Marshal

 

Ryan Holzaepfel
 Fire Marshal

 

Randy Burlin
Deputy Fire Marshal

102 Airport Rd.
PO Box 957
Anahuac, Texas 77514
409-267-2445
firemarshal@chamberstx.gov

 

The Chambers County Fire Marshal's Office conducts fire code plans reviews and inspections for public buildings, commercial establishments, and multi-family dwellings with four or more units in unincorporated Chambers County, and the cities of Anahuac, Beach City, Cove, and Old River-Winfree.  The current adopted fire code is International Fire Code, 2015 Edition.

Permitting and Review Steps

1.  Submit construction application and plans via the online portal at www.mygovernmentonline.org.  Upload your construction plans to the portal, including adequate details and information, so that your project may be reviewed.  Include the "Plans Review Information Sheet" with your plans upload (form above).

2.  Your project must be reviewed for Health/Environmental, Drainage, and Fire Code;

3.  Once approvals are complete, and appropriate fees have been paid, the permit will be issued and may be downloaded via the permitting portal.  Fees may be paid online with credit cared or in-person at the Permit Office, 201 Airport Road, Anahuac, TX.

4.  Commercial projects must be inspected by the Fire Marshal and issued a Certificate of Compliance upon completion, BEFORE the building is occupied.

Information Required to Complete Plans Reviews and Fire Permits:

Buildings and Structures

Adequate information must be included with construction plans in order to review for fire code compliance, or the review cannot be completed.  Please include the following information and details on the plans:

  1. a site plan to scale for the property including, but not limited to the following:

    1. Location of the proposed building in relation to adjacent buildings and property lines, with distances to each called out;
    2. Location of proposed fire lanes and fire apparatus access roads with distances to buildings called out;
    3. Location of existing fire hydrants and proposed fire hydrants with distances between fire hydrants and distances to buildings and fire lanes called out; and
    4. Location of fire department connection(s) in relation to the structure(s) it serves
  2. floor plan to scale for each level of the building including, but not limited to the following:

    1. Types of construction materials and class of interior finish;
    2. Location of all exits with distances between exits called out – exit width, type and any special requirement shall be stated, including fire exit hardware;
    3. Location of any fire alarm equipment, automatic sprinklers, emergency lighting, etc. required to meet this Code;
    4. Defined occupancy classification and occupancy load;
    5. North arrow, accurate legend, door and wall schedules; and
    6. Each room labeled with specific use and square footage.

If unable to determine from the information submitted whether a permit should be issued, the Fire Code Official may require the submission of additional information, drawings, specifications or documents.

Plans for construction or substantial improvement to buildings and facilities required to be designed by an architect or engineer, according to Texas statutes, shall be stamped and certified by an architect or engineer authorized to practice in the State of Texas. 

Engineer required if:

  • Single-story apartments over 8 units;
  • Apartment that exceeds 4 units AND exceeds 2 stories;
  • Building over 5,000 square feet in area;
  • Building with an unsupported span greater than 24 ft.

Architect required if:

  • Institutional or residential facility;
  • Publicly owned building of Education, Assembly or Office Occupancy and construction cost exceeding $100,000.00;
  • Publicly owned existing building of education, assembly or office occupancy and alterations exceeding $50,000.00 and requiring moving of walls, or alteration of an exit;

References:

  • Texas Engineering Practice Act § 1001.056
  • Occupations Code §1051.703

Site Plans Only

For projects needing a site plan review that do not involve structures, please submit and application and upload the site plan to the permitting portal.

Fire Alarm, Fire Sprinkler, Vent Hood Suppression, or Other Fire Systems

These require a separate permit and review process.  Please submit them via the online permitting portal, and upload associated system drawings.

Fireworks Displays

Fireworks and pyrotechnic displays required a review, approval, and permit.  Please submit via the online permitting portal, and include associated site plans, indicating distances to the audience, buildings, and fireworks.  Please include the "Fireworks or Pyrotechnic Display Information Sheet" with your online application upload.

Flammable or Combustible Liquid Storage Tanks

Please submit via the online permitting portal, and include a site plan indicating distances to buildings from the tank, distances to property lines, product used, tank type, and tank identification numbers as applicable.

Request for Final Inspection

When the construction of buildings or structures are complete, please fill out the“Request for Final Inspection (As-Built Certificate)” form and upload to the permit portal.  Please note that in some cases the general contractor must complete the form, but in some cases an architect or engineer must complete and stamp the form.  You may email the fire marshal at firemarshal@chamberstx.gov when you are ready to schedule your final inspection.

 

General Requirements for Outdoor Burning

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) establishes rules for Outdoor Burning in Texas.  Chambers County does not issue permits for outdoor burning.

Generally, NON-COMMERCIAL land clearing consisting of onsite vegetation and trees is allowed as long as the burn does not impact homes, businesses, or neighborhoods nearby.  If the outdoor burning causes an adverse effect on neighboring homes or businesses, an alternative, such as trench burning, or mulching, may have to be utilized.

NOTE:  It has been our experience in Chambers County that if rooftops can be seen from the burn site, there  is a good possibility the burn will adversely impact others, especially in more densely populated areas with neighborhoods.  In this situation, it is recommended you begin with an alternative, such as air-curtain incineration or mulching.  TCEQ typically requires these types of alternatives for COMMERCIAL land clearing.

It may be necessary to notify the TCEQ, local governmental agencies, and neighbors before conducting burning. There may be local ordinances or county burn ban regulations that must be met.  Under ALL of the exceptions, the burning must not create a nuisance or traffic hazard, and you must comply with all applicable local rules or ordinances.

These are the general requirements for allowable outdoor burning:

• The party responsible for the burn must be present and remains liable for damages, injuries or other consequences that may result from burning, even when it is carried out in compliance with these regulations.

• Burn only outside the corporate limits of a city or town, unless the incorporated city or town has an ordinance that permits burning.

• Burn only when the wind direction and weather conditions are such that smoke and other pollutants will not present a hazard to any public road, landing strip or navigable water body (lake, river, stream, bay) or have an adverse effect on any off-site structure containing “sensitive receptors” (residence, business, farm building, greenhouse).

• Keep fires downwind, or at least 300 feet away, from any neighboring structure that contains sensitive receptors. This requirement may be waived with the prior written approval of whoever owns or rents the adjacent property and either resides or conducts business there.

• Post someone to flag traffic if the burning causes smoke to blow onto a road or highway at any time.

• Begin burning no earlier than one hour after sunrise, end it the same day, and no later than one hour before sunset.

• Don’t burn electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, non-wood construction/ demolition materials, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes and items containing natural or synthetic rubber.

 

You Must Still Comply

• If you qualify for an exception and meet the general requirements for allowable outdoor burning, you are still subject to nuisance conditions under the Texas Administrative Code 101.4 and the Texas Health and Safety Code 341, 343 and 382.

• Punishments are created under the Texas Water Code, Chapter 7.177.

• Texas Health and Safety Code 382.018 provides TCEQ with the authority to authorize outdoor burning of waste. Fire marshals and chiefs do not have this authority.

 

When Burning Does Not Fit an Exception

If a burning situation does not fit an exception, but seems necessary, then a request for burning authorization can be made to the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Region 12 office at 713-767-3714.

 

How to Report Someone Illegally Burning Outdoors to TCEQ

• Call the TCEQ Region 12 Office at 713-767-3714 or the local air pollution control office.

• TCEQ Environmental Complaint Hotline 1-888-777-3186.

• Submit an email at cmplaint@tceq.state.tx.us

• Submit a complaint via the online form on the agency website: www5.tceq.state.tx.us/oce/complaints

 

How to Report Illegally Burning Outdoors to Chambers County Directly

• If the burning is causing a nuisance, call Chambers County Dispatch at 409-267-2500 (24/7 number).  This is especially important if someone is illegally burning at night or the burn is causing a severe impact to homes and neighborhoods.  If you need to report a true emergency, please call 911.

• If you would like to report suspected illegal burning, but it is not posing a present emergency or danger, you may call the Chambers County Fire Marshal's Office at 409-267-2445 (M-F, 8-5) or email at firemarshal@chamberstx.gov.

 

LINK TO TCEQ OUTDOOR BURNING GUIDE FOR CITIZENS

 

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