Scio Township wants to address the fire code


photo from the Scio Township website

Scio Township hasn't had anyone enforcing the fire code in the community in over a decade, and to add to this, the fire department is finding significant risk in the business community.

Scio Township Fire Chief Andrew Houde told The Sun Times News (STN) this in follow up to the township board deciding to remedy this by giving Houde direction to bring back specifics for a new full time position of Assistant Chief/Fire Marshall, with a fee structure that would offset the cost of the position.

“The goal of this position is to work with businesses to reduce their risk of fire/loss, preventing fires, and help them to meet fire code requirements,” said Houde of the position that would primarily be responsible for fire prevention activities in the township.

In looking at the needs, Houde said since he became township chief 18 months ago, “we have found many easily correctable things that businesses could do to reduce risk/meet fire code.”

He said they need someone to work with the business community to correct these issues.

Additionally, the position would assist with management of the department by doing such things as helping to make sure the suppression personnel have the additional support they need on major incidents.

Another part of this conversation is the fire code itself, which Houde says is outdated and hasn't been updated since about 2000.

“The code should be reviewed regularly, there have been so many changes in business/code development since then that our code is obsolete,” he says. “It doesn't even address some of the industry that is in the township.”

The next step in this he said will have the fire department planning to bring to the Township Board at their next meeting a recommendation for a fee structure that will offset the cost of the position, a job description for the position, and an ordinance amendment to update the township fire code to coordinate with the state building code.

The next board meeting is at 7 p.m. on Sept. 14.

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