This part of the bylaw controls activities that may become a fire hazard. The purpose of the bylaw is to minimise the potential fire risk arising from certain use of land and buildings and to address public safety concerns. The bylaw does not address fire safety requirements for building construction, as these are covered by the Building Act 1991.
The bylaw is specifically limited to those areas that are not part of a rural fire district pursuant to the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977. This bylaw therefore regulates activities in predominately urban areas. A map showing the rural fire district areas is available from the Council.
This amended bylaw replaces the previous Wellington Consolidated Bylaw 1991 Part 10 (Fire Prevention) and is introduced pursuant to sections 145 and 146 of the Local Government Act 2002. It does not replace the existing statutory provisions relating to fire prevention, which should be read in conjunction with this bylaw. Further details on those statutory provisions are provided at the end of this part of the bylaw.
Adopted 17 December 2003.
1.1 Barbeque means a gas, charcoal or wood fuelled barbecue but excludes incinerators, hangi, umu, braziers and chiminerias.
Chimney includes any flue, smoke vent or stove pipe.
Goods means any article, material, or merchandise and includes any rubbish, debris, crates, pallets, containers or other packages, shavings, hay, straw, oily rags or waste, or other flammable or combustible materials or substances.
Properly constructed fireplace means built in accordance with the requirements of the Building Act 1991, or the relevant building standard applicable at the time of the fireplace construction, and maintained in proper repair. This excludes incinerators, hangi, umu, braziers and chiminerias.
2. Application of this bylaw
2.1 This part of the bylaw applies to those areas of Wellington City that are not constituted within a rural fire district under the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977.
3. Fire prohibition
3.1 The Council or Chief Executive Officer may impose a fire prohibition within stated time periods. The Council or Chief Executive Officer shall consider expert advice on the level of fire risk before imposing a fire prohibition. The fire prohibition shall not cover gas or charcoal barbeques.
3.2 The Council shall notify any fire prohibition by public notice in a newspaper circulated in the location to which the prohibition relates. The Council may also erect signage.
3.3 Notwithstanding clause 3.1 the Council may issue a special permit to light a fire in special circumstances.
4. Activities that require Council permission
4.1 The Council’s written permission is required before lighting any fire that is not contained in a properly constructed fireplace, gas or charcoal barbeque or an area specifically designated by Council.
4.2 The process for obtaining the Council’s permission is outlined in Part 1: Introduction of this bylaw.
5. Precautions against fire danger
5.1 It shall be the responsibility of every land or building owner and occupier to minimise the risk of fire danger by taking all reasonable precautions in the manufacture, storage or use of any goods or equipment.
5.2 If the Council considers that all reasonable precautions have not been taken, it may give written notice to the owner and occupier outlining the steps to be taken to minimise the risk of fire danger.
6. Prohibited activities
6.1 The following activities are prohibited:
- lighting any fire within 3m of any building, fence, road, public place or adjoining premises
- using a chimney for any industrial or commercial purpose when that chimney is not covered with a metal screen capable of preventing the escape of dangerous sparks
- retaining any live cinders or hot ashes, except in a non-combustible container.
- placing any hot ashes, explosives or any highly flammable material in any container intended for the Council's refuse collection.
7.1 Everyone commits an offence who:
- carries out any activity before obtaining written permission as required by this part of the bylaw
- carries out any activity in breach of any condition or requirement of the written permission issued under this part of the bylaw
- fails to comply with any notice issued under this part of the bylaw.
- carries out any activity that is prohibited by clause 6.1.
Note: In addition to statutory provisions relating to fire safety and prevention in the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977, the Building Act 1991 and the Fire Service Act 1975, the following provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 should be read together with this bylaw:
- section 183 enables the Council to give notice to require an owner or occupier to remove any growth or matter that could become the source of danger in a fire. 'Growth' and 'matter' are defined in this section
- section 184 provides a right of District Court appeal of a section 183 notice
- section 186 enables the Council to execute the work in default of the owner or occupier and to recover the costs.