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Fire Marshal

 

Ryan Holzaepfel
 Fire Marshal

 

Randy Burlin
Deputy Fire Marshal

 

Bradley Hasley
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 (as noted near bottom of form).  You may email the fire marshal at firemarshal@chamberstx.gov when you are ready to schedule your final inspection.

 

If you would like to request a fire inspection related to a permitted project, please email:  firemarshal@chamberstx.gov as the inspections are included in your permit/fees.

 

If you would like to request a fire inspection for an existing business, daycare, foster home, hospital, etc., please follow the below steps to apply for the inspection and pay the appropriate fee.

 

Here are the instructions to apply for a fire inspection:

1.       Please go to:  www.mygovernmentonline.org

2.       Create a free account.

3.       On the top left, under “Permits and Licensing”, choose “Apply Online”.

4.       Choose “Chambers County” as your jurisdiction.

5.       Choose “Permit” as Project Type.

6.       When applying for a permit, choose “Fire Inspection”.

7.    

        We can then assign the fee and send an electronic invoice.  Fees may be paid online if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Burning in Texas

Generally, outdoor burning in Texas is controlled by State laws, which are enforceable by Texas Peace Officers: to include Sheriff Deputies and Fire Marshal Deputies.

Additional regulations on certain types of outdoor burning are enforced by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). 

 

General Chambers County Requirements for Outdoor Burning

  • Generally, burning of NON-COMMERCIAL land consisting of onsite vegetation and trees IS ALLOWED as long as the burn does not adversely impact homes, businesses, or neighborhoods nearby. 

  • If the outdoor burning causes an adverse effect on neighboring homes or businesses, the burn may be ordered to be stopped and an alternative, such as trench burning, or mulching, may have to be utilized.

  • 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.

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

  • Burning is NOT permitted during a County burn ban (issued during dry periods).

  • During a burn, the wind speed must be no less than 6 mph and no more than 23 mph.

  • 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).

  • If the wind causes smoke to blow onto or across a road or highway, a person with a flag traffic must be posted in accordance with Texas Department of Public Safety regulations.

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

  • Do not 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.

  • Under ALL circumstances, the burning must not create a nuisance or traffic hazard and the burning must comply with all applicable laws, rules, or ordinances.

  • Chambers County does not require or issue permits for outdoor burning, however we do welcome prior notification for any planned, outdoor burning which meet the requirements as set forth as described above. Notification can be made to the Chambers County Fire Marshal's Office at 409-267-2445 (M-F, 8-5) or to the Chambers County Dispatch at 409-267-2500.

 

General TCEQ Requirements for Outdoor Burning

  • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) establishes rules for Outdoor Burning in Texas. 

  • TCEQ enforces their rules and regulations.Texas Peace officers are authorized to enforce only selected TCEQ Rules and refers other violations to TCEQ for prosecution.

  • If the burn does not meet the limited situations as described in the previous section, it will be necessary to contact the TCEQ for guidance and the local agency having jurisdiction before conducting the burn.  

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

 

You Must Still Comply

  • Even if the burn meets the general requirements for allowable outdoor burning or TCEQ qualifies the burn for an exception, you are still subject to not creating nuisance conditions for neighboring residences and business under penalty of the laws of the State of Texas.

 

How to Report Illegal Burning Outdoors

  • To report burning which does does not fit an exception as described above, (for example: a commercial site being cleared) contact the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Region 12 office at 713-767-3714.

 

TCEQ Environmental Compliant Hotline 1-888-777-3186.

Submit a complaint via the online form on the agency website: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/compliance/complaints

  • If the burning is causing an immediate danger or nuisance, call Chambers County Dispatch at 409-267-2500.  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.

 

Selected Texas Laws Related to Outdoor Burning

  • Burning During a Burn Ban - Local Government Code 352.081

  • Violation of Clean Air Act/Burning Non-Approved Materials – Texas Water Code 7.177/Health and Safety Code 382.018[Burning prohibited items: plastics, carpets, furniture, tires, etc.]

  • Reckless Emission of Air Contaminant and Endangerment – Texas Water Code 7.182[Placing another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death]

  • Intentional or Knowing Emission of Air Contaminant and Knowing Endangerment – Texas Water Code 7.183[Placing another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death]

Other Resources

Consumer Fireworks Use

Consumer fireworks are legal in unincorporated areas of Chambers County, unless prohibited by a County Judge's Order pursuant to a declared drought or other emergency situation.

  • Check laws of local jurisdictions concerning fireworks.  Currently, the cities of Anahuac, Baytown, Mont Belvieu, and Old River-Winfree have ordinances prohibiting fireworks sales or use within their city limits.

Fireworks Stand/Retail Sales

A permit is required from the state in order to operate a fireworks stand or retail fireworks sales site.

                   Link to TDI for more information: https://www.tdi.texas.gov/fire/fmlifirework.html

                  Phone: 512-676-6800 (press 51) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
                  Email:
FMLicensing@tdi.texas.gov

A seasonal inspection by Chambers County Fire Marshal's Office is required to operate a fireworks stand or retail site.  Instructions for applying online for the inspection.

Fireworks or Pyrotechnic Display Permits

A permit is required from Chambers County to conduct a fireworks or pyrotechnics display of Fireworks 1.3G, or a display of Fireworks 1.3G or 1.4G before a proximate audience.  Permit applications may be submitted via www.mygovernmentonline.org

 

Other Fireworks Resources

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