Fire Prevention Bureau
908-204-3094Richard Von den Steinen
Smoke Detector Inspector
Fire Prevention Bureau
The Fire Prevention Bureau enforces the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code within the Township of Bernards. The Bureau performs regular inspections of buildings open to the public to ensure the safety of the residents and visitors of the Township. Our inspectors regularly check for fire safety violations in all commercial, educational, healthcare, public, assembly, and other types of buildings and properties that are required to have inspections under state laws. Also, whenever a residential property changes hands, a special inspection is required. In addition to inspections, we also provide fire safety education in schools and community organizations jointly with the Liberty Corner and Basking Ridge Fire Companies. Our staff are also dually trained as Fire Investigators and perform investigations within the Township when fires occur.
The Bernards Township Fire Prevention Bureau provides fire safety educational programs and talks to all ages, from children to adults.
October is National Fire Prevention month. Our Fire Prevention Bureau along with the Basking Ridge Fire Company and Liberty Corner Fire Company teach Fire Safety Education to the schools in Bernards Township.
If you would like a Fire Safety Educational Program, please contact the Bernard’s Township Fire Prevention Bureau.
- Name, address, and telephone number of building owner
- Square footage of business
- Types of Life Safety Systems (Fire Alarm, Sprinkler System, Kitchen Fire Suppression System)
- Emergency Contact Information and E-mail Address
- Extension Cords (temporary use only) and Piggy Backed Surge Protectors (plug directly into wall)
- Inoperable Exit Signs and Emergency Egress Lights (Test Monthly and keep a log sheet)
- Missing Electrical outlet covers and Junction box covers
- Life Safety System reports
- Fire Alarm- Tested Annually
- Sprinkler System- Tested Annually
- Standpipes- Tested Annually
- Kitchen Fire Suppression System- Tested Semi-Annually (every 6 Months- Type 1 permit required if not a life hazard use)
- CO Alarms- Tested Monthly (keep a log sheet and change batteries every 6 Months)
- Maintenance of Fire Rated Construction - Holes in Walls and Ceilings
- Locking and Blocking Means of Egress
- Fire Extinguishers- Minimum 2A:10BC Fire extinguisher required which is inspected by a Licensed Fire Extinguisher Company Annually
- Storage Height- 24 inches non-sprinklered
The Bernards Township Fire Prevention Bureau is charged with investigating any and all reported Fire and Explosions within the township’s borders. Per N.J.A.C 5:71-3.3(24,25)- :Respond to and cause to be investigated any complaints brought under the code; “Investigate, or cause to be investigated, every reported fire or explosion occurring within the jurisdiction that involves the loss of life or serious injury or causes destruction or damage to property. Such investigation shall be initiated immediately upon the occurrence of such fire or explosion; and if it appears that such an occurrence is of a suspicious nature, the fire official shall take charge immediately of the physical evidence, and in order to preserve any physical evidence relating to the cause or origin of such fire or explosion, take means to prevent access by any person or persons to such building, structure or premises until such person designated by law to pursue investigations into such matters becomes involved and shall further cooperate with such authorities in the collection of evidence and prosecution of the case.” The Bernards Township Fire Prevention Bureau has two certified Fire Investigators who utilize the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code and the National Fire Protection Association 921 and 1033 documents to determine the authority to investigate and provide a basic methodology for the investigations.
There are 4 different types of fire safety permits that the Bernards Township Fire Prevention Bureau issues to commercial businesses/properties located within the township’s borders for various reasons.
Type 1- $54.00 Dollars
- Kitchen Fire Suppression Systems- Non-LHU businesses and Mobile Food Trucks
- Group overnight stays
- Temporary change of use/ multipurpose room
- Welding/cutting operations/hot work
- Tents- 900 square feet and above
- Unoccupied/vacant building 2,500- 12,00 square feet.
- Churches being used as a temporary shelter.
Type 2- $214.00 Dollars
- LP-gas cylinder exchange program
- Unoccupied/vacant buildings 12,00-100,000 square feet
- Storage/retail of consumer grade fire works
Type 3- $427.00 Dollars
- Storage/Handling/Discharging of fireworks
- Junk yards/ outdoor used tire storage/ outside storage of forest products
- Unoccupied/vacant buildings of 100,000 square feet or more
Type 4- $641.00 Dollars
- Storage of 2,000-6,000 cubic feet of flammable compressed gas
- Storage/handling and processing of combustible, flammable and unstable liquids of 660 gallons or more
- Storage/handling of:
- 55 gallons or more of corrosive liquids
- 500 lbs of oxidizing materials
- 10 lbs of organic peroxide
- 500 lbs of nitromethane
- 1,000 lbs of ammonium nitrate
- Any amount of radioactive material for which a specific license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is required
Applications for permits are required to be submitted at least 2 weeks (10 Business days) prior to the event or/permit inspection. These applications shall be submitted in person to the Fire Prevention Bureau Office with a check made payable to “Bernards Township.”
Links for requirements are located on the right-hand side of this webpage for Food Truck requirements, Tent requirements, Open Flame requirements, and Group Overnight Stay requirements.
Permit Inspections outside normal business hours (7am-3:30pm Monday - Friday) require a fee of $75 per hour, with a minimum of two hours. This fee is required to be paid for by the organizer of such event.
If you have any questions regarding your permit application and the requirements, please contact the Bernards Township Fire Prevention Bureau.
Residential Sales/ Change of Occupancy Inspections
If you are planning to sell, rent/lease or otherwise change occupancy of your home, you are required to obtain a Certificate of Smoke Alarm, Carbon Monoxide and Portable Fire Extinguisher Compliance from the Bernards Township Fire Prevention Bureau. (N.J.A.C. 5:70-2.3)
Please click on the Smoke Detector, Carbon Monoxide, and Fire Extinguisher Application Requirements tab on the righthand side of this webpage. This will go over the requirements set forth in the New Jersey Uniform Fire Code. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Fire Prevention Bureau and someone will assist you.
Please be aware that any sale, rental, or change of occupancy that occurs without a CSACMAPFEC (Smoke Cert) from Bernards Township Fire Prevention is subject to penalty of up to $500.00.
--> Chapter 70: Uniform Fire Code