BERKS COUNTY CONSERVATION DISTRICT EROSION & SEDIMENT CONTROL
COMMERCIAL FIRE PROTECTION ALARM SYSTEMS PROVIDE MORE THAN JUST LIFE SAVING BENEFITS
Most commercial property owners are aware of the building code requirement for fire protection and fire alarm monitoring systems and have variations of these systems in their buildings. The Borough further requires annual testing and reporting of these systems.
Some commercial property owners view the required annual testing, reporting and routine maintenance as yet another cost of doing business. While the systems can be expensive to purchase and maintain, their value far exceeds the common perception that their benefit is only for life safety.
The Borough’s fire department recently responded to an alarm that was triggered by a smoke detector in an unoccupied area of a commercial building. The detector was part of an overall fire protection system that reports to a monitoring company when an alarm is activated by heat or smoke. The fire department was on-site at the property within one minute of dispatch, with additional units from surrounding areas responding within three to seven minutes. Due to the quick notification and response times, damage to the building, which contains several commercial and residential tenants, was limited to $20,000.00.
When compared to the estimated value of the structure at $500,000.00, $20,000.00 is a very small figure. Since the fire was contained so quickly and prevented from spreading to the occupied areas of the building, neither the commercial or residential occupants suffered any loss. This saved the property owner from losing thousands of dollars in monthly rental income. Additional damages in the form of lost revenue for the commercial tenants and out of pocket expenses for residential tenants that did not have renter’s insurance could have totaled well over an additional $100,000.00.
The bottom line is that fire protection systems save lives and first and foremost that is their most important function. As proven by this incident, they can also save a property owner’s investment, resources and financial bottom line.
RESIDENTIAL RENTAL PROPERTIES
Any person renting a residential property to a tenant is required to obtain a Business Privilege License and obtain a Rental Permit, which is issued after an inspection of the property has been completed. Please click HERE for more information about Business Privilege Licenses.
Below you will find the original ordinance adopting the residential inspection program in 2009 and a revised ordinance adopted in 2015 requiring owners to complete and return the Disruptive Conduct Ordinance Lease Addendum. Provided below are links to the Business License Application, Application for Residential Rental Permit, 2016 Fee Schedule, and a Mini Checklist for Property Owners to complete a self inspection prior to the Borough’s inspection.
UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE (UCC) BUILDING PERMITS
Please note: If you are planning on promoting or distributing information about your business, your products and/or services, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR A SOLICITATION PERMIT. NO ONE WILL BE ALLOWED TO SOLICIT WITHOUT SAID PERMIT. Applications can be found below or picked up at Borough Hall. Photo identification is required at time of submission of the application.