Department of Fire Prevention

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Duties

Duties of the Department of Fire Prevention consist of the enforcement of the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code, inspecting all commercial buildings and tenants, schools, places of assembly and multi-family dwellings.

The Department of Fire Prevention is a multi-task department serving the Township of Mahwah. In addition to conducting fire code inspections at commercial locations, Fire Prevention also provides public fire safety education programs.

Check out the Public Education Links and the Documents tab for web sites and documents related to day-to-day routines and updated product information.

Certificate of Smoke Alarm, Carbon Monoxide, and Portable Fire Extinguisher (CSACMAPFEC N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.3 and 4.19)

Another task performed by Fire Prevention is the certification of the operation of smoke detectors required by the State of New Jersey when a home is sold or there is a change of tenant.  To apply for a certification, pick up a packet in the Building Department or downloaded by clicking the headline above or from HERE or from the Permit Application link on the left.  Contact the office or stop in to schedule the inspection, once you have completed the application. The affidavit is still needed to complete the certification and inspection process. Included in the packet are three documents: the affidavit for the inspection, the homeowner’s instructions and the instructions to return the affidavit to complete the certification and inspection.  All fees are to be returned with the affidavit.  As of July 1, 2022, remote or picture inspections have ended.  All inspections have resumed to pre-pandemic appointment inspections only.

NOTE: The Township of Mahwah DOES NOT require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) or Continued Occupancy (CCO) for a resale or tenant rental. However, the State of New Jersey requires, by Sections N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.3 and 4.9 of the New Jersey State Uniform Fire Code, a Smoke Detector Certification. Any home built prior to January 1, 1977 requires a 10-year lithium battery smoke detector on each level of the home and smoke and CO detector or a combo smoke/CO detector outside the bedroom area and a 2A-10B:C fire extinguisher.  

A home built January 1, 1977 or after, the certification requires hardwired smoke detectors on every level, hallway outside the bedrooms and if the structure was built in 1991 or after, in the bedrooms, carbon monoxide detectors outside all bedrooms and a 2A-10B:C fire extinguisher.  You are now required to replace your hardwired smoke detectors with the new 10-year lithium backup battery detector.  This change eliminates having to replace the batteries twice a year when alerted by the low battery chirp.  With the the 10 year lithium battery detector simply replace the device when the battery dies 8 - 10 years from manufacture date.

ALL RENTAL UNITS, CONDO, APARTMENTS AND SINGLE FAMILY DWELLINGS WITH HARDWIRED DETECTORS WITH REMOVABLE BATTERIES (9V, AA or AAA) NEED TO BE REPLACED WITH SMOKE DETECTORS WITH THE NEW 10-YEAR LITHIUM BACKUP BATTERY DEVICE, AS MENTIONED ABOVE.

See the FAQ sections for additional information and answers.

Christmas Tree Safety during the Holiday Season

With holiday decorations on display in your homes, the use of natural or real displays of wreaths and trees look and smell great, but they need to be cared for.  See our Public Education tab for tips on tree safety.  At home safety for trees should be monitored as well.  Keep trees watered and spray them down with water using a spray bottle to keep the needles moist.  Common cause for tree fires is that the needles dry out and the trees do not have enough water to stay damp.

The use of real trees and decorations are prohibited in business offices and buildings. 

Outdoor Recreational fires vs Open burning

As the weather gets nicer and outdoor activities pick up, we are asked about the difference between fire pits and outdoor burning.  The main difference is you can safely have an outdoor fire in an approved device and away from combustible materials. Outdoor burning of brush, leaves and other similar growth is prohibited, unless you have a permit from the NJ State Forest Fire Service and the Fire Official.   You cannot burn brush, leaves and green growth in an approved device for recreation which is limited to sawn wood that would be used in a fireplace.  Refer to the link on our public education site or here.

Tent and Membrane structures for use with outside dining rules

From April 1 thru November 30, all tents and membrane structures require a permit for any tent that is 900 square feet or larger or if one side of the tent measures 40 or more feet in one direction.  Tent specifications need to be submitted to this office for review and an inspection will be required prior to issuance of the permit and before it can be used.  If lighting will be used in conjunction with the tent, an electrical permit may be required per the UCC N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.14.  From December 1 thru March 31, the tent and membrane structures fall under the Uniform Construction Code and the Building Department and their permit process.

Food Truck Vendors and Trucks

All food truck vendors must obtain a permit to operate within the boundaries of the township. The permit is needed for special events, employee BBQs in parking lots, and all similar events.  All vendor vehicles must be inspected prior to operating at the event and need a copy of the latest hood cleaning and suppression tests for the vehicle at the time of inspection if they have not provided copies prior to the event.  Any truck found operating without a permit and/or  does not have their inspections up to date, will be asked to shutdown and leave the event. Permits can be obtained from this department and the fee associated with it can be paid at the time of application.  See this document for setup and general information.

For further information, please contact the Department of Fire Prevention during normal office hours Monday through Friday, 7 am to 3 pm.