My smoke detector is chirping, what does that mean?
Most modern smoke detectors will chirp to alert you the batteries are low, you should replace the batteries and test your smoke detector. Smoke detectors can be purchased at any hardware or large commercial department store.
Are fire pits permitted in the Township?
Yes they are. With the recent popularity of fire pits increasing, fire safety has become even more important. There are many things you should consider while setting up and using a fire pit.
Keep away from flammable material and fluids such as gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid or vehicles while in use.
Keep it a minimum of 15 feet away from buildings.
Do not use flammable fluids such as gasoline, alcohol, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid to light or relight fires.
Exercise the same precautions you would with an open fire.
Do not allow children to use the fire pit. Keep children and pets away.
Do not wear flammable or loose fitting clothing such as nylon.
Do not burn trash, leaves, paper, cardboard, or plywood. Avoid using soft wood such as pine or cedar that likely pop and throw sparks. Use of seasoned hardwood is suggested.
Before starting the fire, make sure that the lid will still close to extinguish the fire in case of emergency. Do not overload.
Before you light the fire, check the wind direction.
Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby.
Can I burn leaves and/or sticks on my property?
No. Open Burning in the Township is prohibited due to changes to Chapter 78, the Fire Prevention Code of the Township of Lower Merion in September 2008. Because Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection standards do not allow open burning, the Township’s open burning ordinance was repealed to remain in compliance with state standards. This action was duly advertised and the Board of Commissioners took formal action on September 17, 2008. The Township appreciates citizen compliance with this important safety measure.
What are the different types of smoke detectors?
There are many different smoke detector/alarms available on the market but they fall under two basic types:
Ionization alarms sound more quickly when a flaming, fast moving fire occurs. Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoking fires. There are also combination smoke alarms that combine ionization and photoelectric into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms.
Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different yet potentially fatal fires, and because homeowners cannot predict what type of fire will occur in a home, the USFA (U.S. Fire Administration) recommends the installation of both ionization and photoelectric or a dual sensor smoke alarms.
The Lower Merion Fire Department reminds you to change the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year. An easy reminder is to change your batteries when you change your clocks!
Where should smoke detectors be placed in our home?
For complete coverage in residential homes, smoke detectors should be installed in all rooms, halls, storage areas, basements and attics. Minimum coverage is one detector on each level.
However, we suggest that you:
Put a smoke detector in every sleeping quarter.
Put a smoke detector on every floor of your home.
Put a smoke detector as close to the center of the ceiling as possible.
Acceptable locations are no closer than 4" from side wall. You may mount on the wall at least 4" from the ceiling, but no more than 6" from the ceiling.
What are the fire station locations and telephone numbers?
Belmont Hills Fire Company 4 S Washington Ave
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
If you or any member of your family would like to join the Volunteer Fire Service which protects your community, we always welcome new members. No experience is necessary.
Our Fire Companies are partially funded by Township allocations, but they all depend heavily on the support of the residents. Your local Fire Company will be contacting you through the mail during their next Fund Drive. Our Fire Companies do not solicit by telephone.
You can go to any one of the fire companies web sites to find out more information on how you can help to support your local fire company. Remember, your local fire fighters need your financial support for the maintenance of their firefighting equipment, fire trucks, rescue gear, maintenance and upkeep of the firehouse as well as training and retention programs for the Volunteer firefighters.
How are fire departments and fire hydrants situated throughout the Township?
Generally, each property in Lower Merion Township is located within two miles of a fire station and within 600 feet of the nearest fire hydrant.
Who provides fire service?
Township fire service is provided by the Lower Merion Township Fire Department's seven volunteer fire companies.
Are fire reports available?
Copies of Fire Reports are available from the Fire Department Office. The fee for all Fire Report is $75. Checks should be payable to "The Township of Lower Merion." CD’s of photos are also available. Please contact the Fire Department Office for fees. 610-645-6190
What are the guidelines for the use of charcoal and propane?
No charcoal or propane-fired cooking equipment shall be used on the patio or patio balcony in any individual unit or covered common area or under any overhanging portion of a multi-family dwelling in Lower Merion Township. Charcoal or propane-fired cooking units may be used in multifamily dwellings if they are on the ground and fifteen feet from any building. Charcoal, charcoal lighter fluid and / or propane shall not be stored in any multifamily dwelling in Lower Merion Township. The owner of any vacant building or structure is responsible for removing all combustible waste from the premises as well as keeping doors and windows closed and locked at all times.
How effective are smoke detectors?
Residential fire deaths have decreased steadily as the number of homes with smoke detectors has increased. Reports from the National Fire Protection Association on residential fire deaths show that people have a 40-50% better chance of surviving a fire if their home has the recommended number of smoke detectors.
Drawing water from a fire hydrant for any purpose without permission from Aqua, PA and the Fire Marshal.
Erecting any sign containing the words "Fire Marshal" without the authorization of the Fire Marshal.
Leaving any part of the piping or oil tank or oil fill when removing an oil burner or taking the burner out of service in any structure in Lower Merion Township.
Open Burning in the Township is prohibited due to changes to Chapter 78, the Fire Prevention Code of the Township of Lower Merion in September 2008. Because Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection standards do not allow open burning, the Township’s open burning ordinance was repealed to remain in compliance with state standards. This action was duly advertised and the Board of Commissioners took formal action on September 17, 2008. The Township appreciates citizen compliance with this important safety measure.