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Fireplace and Chimney Info

Building and Zoning

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3100 Atlantic Ave
Ph: (585) 340-8636
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building@penfield.org
zoning@penfield.org

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I. PERMITS

To obtain a permit you must provide the following information with the completed permit application form available at the Building & Zoning Department:

A. Tape Location or Instrument Survey Map
Copies of this map are often included with the papers you received at closing, or at the offices of the mortgage holder. Occasionally a copy may be found in the Town Building & Planning Services files. Please call ahead to determine availability.

B. Make, Model Number and Literature of Any Manufactured Appliance or Chimney To Be Used
Manufactured appliances and chimneys must be listed as tested by a laboratory recognized by the State of New York. Proof of listing usually accompanies the installation documents and, in the case of appliances, you will find a tag affixed to the appliance itself.

C. Make, Description and Literature of Required Wall and Hearth Construction
All appliances must be installed on a non-combustible base in conformance with the installation instructions for the equipment. These instructions often specify combustibility, size and composition, including the heat transfer resistance rating that must be achieved.

D. Chimney Termination Location Information
You must be able to provide the distance between the proposed chimney and openable windows, roof, adjacent buildings, etc. When making your application you will need to discuss this with the Building & Zoning Department personnel (refer to Section IV).

E. Contractors as Applicants (Requirements)
The contractor must provide a current certificate of Workers' Compensation. For self-employed contractors, a waiver of Workers' Compensation must be submitted. The address where the work will be done must be noted on the insurance certificate before submission.

F. Permit Fees
Permit fees vary from year to year. They are user fees that offset the costs of permitting, inspection, and records maintenance. The State of New York requires records for this type of permit and inspections performed, and the Town of Penfield must maintain these records and keep them on file for seven years after the demolition of the building containing the appliance or chimney.

G. To Obtain a Permit for Existing Appliances & Chimneys
It is not always possible for the Town to issue a permit for pre-existing, solid fuel-burning appliances or chimneys. The Town will perform an inspection, upon payment of the appropriate fee at your request, as the first step in the permitting and certification process. Often pre-existing installations that were installed without permits are not inspected, do not conform to the building code, and must be modified or removed.
 

II. INSPECTIONS

Inspections are required during construction. A final "on completion" inspection resulting in the issuance of a Certificate of Compliance, is required before you can use the equipment (request inspections by calling 340-8643). Please allow 24-48 hours.

A. Chimneys

  • Masonry fireplaces & the chimney serving a masonry fireplace are inspected before footing is poured, then upon installation of the first flue, and at completion before use.
  • Masonry chimneys serving a manufactured appliance (ie: wood stoves) are inspected before footings are poured, then at placement of the first flue above a connector, and again upon completion before use.
  • Factory built chimneys are inspected after installation but before enclosure. A copy of applicable installation instructions must be maintained on the site for the inspector's use during this inspection. The chimney is also inspected upon completion.
  • Chimney repairs/relining - Since chimney repairs vary depending on the degree of work needed, you should consult department personnel at the time of permit application to determine the appropriate inspection procedure.


B. Appliances

  • Masonry fireplaces are inspected at placement of the first flue above the smoke chamber and upon completion before use.
  • Wood stoves or factory built fireplaces are inspected before enclosure at a time when required distance to combustible and hearth/wall protection construction is visible. Final inspection before use is also required. Manufacturer's installation instructions must be maintained on the site for inspector's use during the inspection.
  • Fireplace inserts are inspected after direct connector/liner is installed but before unit is placed in the fire box. Final inspection before use is also required. Manufacturer's installation instructions must be maintained on the site for inspector's use during the inspection.
  • Solid fuel & combination furnaces are inspected during installation, before the chimney is enclosed and upon completion before use. Manufacturer's installation instructions must be maintained on the site for inspector's use during the inspection.
  • Gas fired appliances should be inspected during installation. These devices are required to be direct vented to the outside and installed per UL listing, AGSA Code and RG&E Regulations. Standing pilot lights are NOT allowed with manual shutoffs. Final inspection before use is also required. Manufacturer's installation instructions must be maintained on the site for inspector's use during inspection.
  • Masonry fireplace repairs - Since fireplace and venting repairs vary depending on the degree of work needed, you should consult department personnel at the time of permit application to determine the appropriate inspection procedure.

III. CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE

A Certificate of Compliance will be mailed to you upon completion of the final inspection. Receipt of this certification allows you to start using the equipment. It is recommended that masonry installations be allowed to "cure" for thirty (30) days before being used.

IV. SOME COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID
  • All chimneys must end at least twenty (20) feet from any building opening and penetrate a roof to be at least two (2) feet above any portion of the roof construction within ten (10) feet of the chimney.
  • Hearths for wood stoves, and manufactured fireplaces must be constructed of the proper materials in the required thickness. For specific requirements, contact the appliance manufacturer for recommendations.
  • Make sure the room in which the appliance is located is sufficient to provide required combustion air.
  • Flues must be sized in accordance with the provisions of N.F.P.A. 211.
  • Connectors between an appliance and a chimney must be secured with rivets or screws and have proper clearances to combustibles.
  • Hearth extensions must be sized in accordance with manufacturer's specifications or in the case of masonry fireplaces, the requirements of N.F.P.A. 211.
  • Mantles must be placed so that the combustible components cannot be heated to temperatures in excess of 175 degrees, or ignited by sparks or embers from the fire.
  • Connectors should be installed with the crimped end down so precipitate runs back into the appliance.
  • All appliances must be listed by, and bear the label of an accredited testing laboratory.
  • All chimneys must end at least twenty (20) feet from any building opening and penetrate a roof to be at least two (2) feet above any portion of the roof construction within ten (10) feet of the chimney.
  • Hearths for wood stoves, and manufactured fireplaces must be constructed of the proper materials in the required thickness. For specific requirements, contact the appliance manufacturer for recommendations.
  • Make sure the room in which the appliance is located is sufficient to provide required combustion air.
  • Flues must be sized in accordance with the provisions of N.F.P.A. 211.
  • Connectors between an appliance and a chimney must be secured with rivets or screws and have proper clearances to combustibles.
  • Hearth extensions must be sized in accordance with manufacturer's specifications or in the case of masonry fireplaces, the requirements of N.F.P.A. 211.
  • Mantles must be placed so that the combustible components cannot be heated to temperatures in excess of 175 degrees, or ignited by sparks or embers from the fire.
  • Connectors should be installed with the crimped end down so precipitate runs back into the appliance.
  • All appliances must be listed by, and bear the label of an accredited testing laboratory.

V. SOME HINTS ON SAFE WOOD BURNING
  • Regular (at least annual) cleaning of the appliance and flue is necessary. Inspection should be made at this time of the entire assembly to assure that all components are in proper working order.
  • Ashes should be placed in a metal container with a tight fitting lid outside, away from combustible materials. Do not store ashes in a garage.
  • Combustible decorative materials such as draperies or art work, should be kept at a safe distance from the unit and chimney.
  • Store wood and kindling intended for the appliance a safe distance from the appliance.
  • Don't subject your masonry fireplace to a high-heat fire until the masonry mass has had an opportunity to warm thoroughly.
  • Provide a non-combustible child-proof barrier in front of every appliance to prevent contact burns.
  • At least once each day, wood stoves should be permitted to run hot for approximately fifteen (15) minutes. This practice removes small amounts of creosote.
  • If using chemical cleaners, follow the manufacturer's instructions for frequency and amount of use. Most cleaners contain sulfur derivatives that when combined with moisture, form sulfurous or sulfuric acid. Overexposure to these compounds could reduce chimney life.

SOURCES OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Masonry chimneys must be constructed of solid block with maximum and minimum separations maintained throughout the construction. Properly selected refractory mortars must also be used in certain locations. For further information, request the publication Tech Spec 3 from:

The New York State Concrete Masonry Assoc., Inc.
307 South Hamilton Street
Watertown, New York 13601
(315) 788-1330

The specification code in effect in New York State, is N.F.P.A. 211 available from:

National Fire Protection Assoc.
Batterymarch Park
Quincy, Massachusetts 02269
(800) 244-3555


WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF A FIRE

In the event of a fire involving your fireplace, chimney or wood-burning appliance:

CALL 911
Do not attempt to extinguish the fire before notifying the fire department.

ALERT
other family members and meet outside your home at your prearranged meeting spot.

LEAVE A LIGHT ON OUTSIDE YOUR HOME
so the fire department can quickly locate you.

DO NOT REENTER YOUR HOME
until after the fire department has determined that it is safe to do so.

WARNING: A Certificate of Compliance issued by the Building & Zoning Department is required by Section 1260 of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, before placing any solid fuel burning appliance or chimney into operation. An inspection by a Code Enforcement Official must be made before placing a solid fuel burning appliance or chimney into operation, after a fire.




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