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FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Select an FAQ Category or a Department from the dropdown menus, below.
What are the fire station locations and telephone numbers?
Can I burn leaves and/or sticks on my property?
Are fire pits permitted in the Township?
Are fire reports available?
What are the different types of smoke detectors?
My smoke detector is chirping, what does that mean?
Where should smoke detectors be placed in our home?
Prohibited conduct
Which fire halls are available for rent?
How do I support my local fire company?
What current positions are available?
Are you accepting applications?
What will happen if I don't comply with curbside collection?
By how much will my fees increase?
What will be the cost to receive Rear-Yard Collection?
I currently have a 30-gallon container. Can I increase the size of my container to reduce my 2014 subscription level?
Are there any incentives to reduce trash disposal?
If I don't want to change my level of service, do I need to return the subscription form?
Why are my fees going to change?
When will I choose my subscription level for 2014?
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Q: What are the fire station locations and telephone numbers?
A:

Belmont Hills Fire Company
4 S Washington Ave
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
610-664-9185

Bryn Mawr Fire Company
901 Lancaster Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
610-525-7702

Gladwyne Fire Company
1044 Black Rock Rd
Gladwyne, PA 19035
610-642-9586

Merion Fire Company
35 Greenfield Ave
Ardmore, PA 19003
610-642-9580

Narberth Fire Company
100 Conway Ave
Narberth, PA 19072
610-664-9278

Penn Wynne/Overbrook Hills Fire Company
Rock Glen & Manoa Rds
Wynnewood, PA 19006
610-642-9688

Union Fire Association
149 Montgomery Ave
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
610-664-9112

Q: Can I burn leaves and/or sticks on my property?
A: No. Open Burning in the Township is prohibited due to changes to Chapter 78, the Fire Prevention Code of the Township of Lower Merion in September 2008. Because Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection standards do not allow open burning, the Township’s open burning ordinance was repealed to remain in compliance with state standards.  This action was duly advertised and the Board of Commissioners took formal action on September 17, 2008.  The Township appreciates citizen compliance with this important safety measure.
Q: Are fire pits permitted in the Township?
A:

Yes they are. With the recent popularity of fire pits increasing, fire safety has become even more important.  There are many things you should consider while setting up and using a fire pit.

  • Keep away from flammable material and fluids such as gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid or vehicles while in use.
  • Keep it a minimum of 15 feet away from buildings.
  • Do not use flammable fluids such as gasoline, alcohol, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid to light or relight fires. 
  • Exercise the same precautions you would with an open fire.
  • Do not allow children to use the fire pit. Keep children and pets away. 
  • Do not wear flammable or loose fitting clothing such as nylon. 
  • Do not burn trash, leaves, paper, cardboard, or plywood. Avoid using soft wood such as pine or cedar that likely pop and throw sparks. Use of seasoned hardwood is suggested.
  • Before starting the fire, make sure that the lid will still close to extinguish the fire in case of emergency. Do not overload.
  • Before you light the fire, check the wind direction.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby.
Q: Are fire reports available?
A: Copies of Fire Reports are available from the Fire Department Office.  The fee for all Fire Report is $75. Checks should be payable to "The Township of Lower Merion."  CD’s of photos are also available.  Please contact the Fire Department Office for fees. 610-645-6190
Q: What are the different types of smoke detectors?
A:

There are many different smoke detector/alarms available on the market but they fall under two basic types:

  • Ionization
  • Photoelectric

Ionization alarms sound more quickly when a flaming, fast moving fire occurs.  Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoking fires.  There are also combination smoke alarms that combine ionization and photoelectric into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms.

Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different yet potentially fatal fires, and because homeowners cannot predict what type of fire will occur in a home, the USFA (U.S. Fire Administration) recommends the installation of both ionization and photoelectric or a dual sensor smoke alarms.

The Lower Merion Fire Department reminds you to change the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year.  An easy reminder is to change your batteries when you change your clocks!

Q: My smoke detector is chirping, what does that mean?
A: Most modern smoke detectors will chirp to alert you the batteries are low, you should replace the batteries and test your smoke detector.  Smoke detectors can be purchased at any hardware or large commercial department store.
Q: Where should smoke detectors be placed in our home?
A:

For complete coverage in residential homes, smoke detectors should be installed in all rooms, halls, storage areas, basements and attics.  Minimum coverage is one detector on each level.

However, we suggest that you:

  • Put a smoke detector in every sleeping quarter.
  • Put a smoke detector on every floor of your home.
  • Put a smoke detector as close to the center of the ceiling as possible.
  • Acceptable locations are no closer than 4" from side wall. You may mount on the wall at least 4" from the ceiling, but no more than 6" from the ceiling. 
Q: Prohibited conduct
A:

  • Drawing water from a fire hydrant for any purpose without permission from Aqua, PA and the Fire Marshal.
  • Erecting any sign containing the words "Fire Marshal" without the authorization of the Fire Marshal.
  • Leaving any part of the piping or oil tank or oil fill when removing an oil burner or taking the burner out of service in any structure in Lower Merion Township.

Open Burning in the Township is prohibited due to changes to Chapter 78, the Fire Prevention Code of the Township of Lower Merion in September 2008. Because Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection standards do not allow open burning, the Township’s open burning ordinance was repealed to remain in compliance with state standards. This action was duly advertised and the Board of Commissioners took formal action on September 17, 2008. The Township appreciates citizen compliance with this important safety measure.

Q: Which fire halls are available for rent?
A:

Belmont Hills Fire Company
4 S Washington Ave
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
610-664-9185

Narberth Fire Company
100 Conway Ave
Narberth, PA 19072
610-664-9278

Union Fire Association
149 Montgomery Ave
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
610-664-9112

Q: How do I support my local fire company?
A: If you or any member of your family would like to join the Volunteer Fire Service which protects your community, we always welcome new members. No experience is necessary.

Our Fire Companies are partially funded by Township allocations, but they all depend heavily on the support of the residents. Your local Fire Company will be contacting you through the mail during their next Fund Drive. Our Fire Companies do not solicit by telephone.

You can go to any one of the fire companies web sites to find out more information on how you can help to support your local fire company.  Remember, your local fire fighters need your financial support for the maintenance of their firefighting equipment, fire trucks, rescue gear, maintenance and upkeep of the firehouse as well as training and retention programs for the Volunteer firefighters.

Belmont Hills Fire Company                                Penn Wynne Fire Company

Bryn Mawr Fire Company                                    Narberth Fire Company

Gladwyne Fire Company                                        Union Fire Association

Merion Fire Company of Ardmore

 

Q: What current positions are available?
A:

Click here for current job opportunities.

View / print out a Township of Lower Merion job application

Q: Are you accepting applications?
A: Yes, the Township accepts applications at all times. Applications are available at the Human Resources Department on the second floor of the Township Administration Building or you may download one here.
Q: What will happen if I don't comply with curbside collection?
A: Households that do not subscribe to Rear Yard Collection will be required to place their trash at the curbside, which is within five-feet of the curb line. If you fail to do so, you will be given a notice of violation. Violations beyond two violation notices will result in automatically being charged and separately billed the full annual $210 RYCF.
Q: By how much will my fees increase?
A: This answer depends on the level of service you subscribe to receive.  Please review the following information carefully to help you make an informed decision.

This chart outlines the different fees to be charged.  The basic one-container subscription will increase by $15 annually, from $277 to $292.  Each additional container will cost an additional $58.

If you currently place your refuse/recycling for collection at the curb, no further fees will be incurred.

Solid Waste Fee Subscriptions 2013 Fees 2014 Fees Annual Increase
1 Mini-Can (20-gallon container)
$195
$205
$10
1 Container (up to 45-gallons)  
$277
$292
$15
2 Containers
$332
$350
$18
3 Containers
$387
$408
$21
4 Containers
$442
$466
$24
5 Containers
$497
$524
$27
6 Containers
$552
$582
$30
7 Containers
$607
$640
$33
8 Containers
$662
$698
$36
Rear Yard Collection Fee
$200
$210
$10
Q: What will be the cost to receive Rear-Yard Collection?
A: Customers who prefer to place their refuse/recycling further than five-feet from the curb line will now be required to subscribe to this service. The cost to receive rear yard collection will be an additional $210 annually, effective January 1, 2014.

Citizens who currently receive rear-yard collection may opt to discontinue this level of service to avoid the $210 fee.

Customers who do not subscribe to rear-yard collection will be required to place their trash for collection at the curb line. Rear-yard trash containers will not be collected without a subscription for this enhanced level of service.
Q: I currently have a 30-gallon container. Can I increase the size of my container to reduce my 2014 subscription level?
A: The Township will accept up to a 45-gallon container (weighing up to 50 pounds) for collection. Citizens whose current containers are smaller than 45-gallons may be able to reduce their subscription level and subsequent fees by purchasing the maximum capacity container. Each household should carefully consider the subscription level and container size that works best for them. Remember: regardless of size, no container can contain more than 50 pounds of refuse/recycling.
Q: Are there any incentives to reduce trash disposal?
A: Charging increased fees for each container set out for collection is an incentive for citizens to decrease the amount of waste generated at their household. A further incentive to reduce trash disposal was the creation of the new “mini-can” option. This option is available only to subscribers whose one-container level of service is a maximum 20-gallon capacity. The “mini-can” subscription level would actually lower the annual fee to $205 for those choosing that option.

There is no limit to the amount of recycling you can place for collection.
Q: If I don't want to change my level of service, do I need to return the subscription form?
A: It is encouraged, but not required.  Since the Township is not implementing any service changes in 2014, it is not necessary for all solid waste collection customers to return the subscription form.  However, due to the new fee schedule for 2014, residents should take this opportunity to reassess their choices and report their subscription levels to the Township.
Q: Why are my fees going to change?
A:

In 2010, the Township restructured its solid Waste Fee (SWF) to full cost recovery and added a new $200 Rear Yard Collection Fee (RYCF).  The 2010 SWF's were unchanged in 2011 & 2012.  

However, in recent years the recycling materials market has been volatile creating unfavorable revenue performance on the resale of mixed paper and increasing costs for the disposal of comingled recyclables.   In addition, the State has reduced its recycling performance grant funding by 40% and natural revenue growth of customer subscriptions has been flat.  The combination of these factors required a +9% fee increase in 2013 (except for RYCF), which provided new additional net revenue ($0.5 million) to balance the Solid Waste Fund revenue and expenditures. 

The Township is projecting a need for new additional net revenue (0.3 million) in 2014, which will be realized with a blended +5.4 % rate increase to all subscription levels, including the RYCF.

Q: When will I choose my subscription level for 2014?
A: The 2014 subscription form is at the bottom of the subscription letter mailed to customers in early November. Selections must be made and returned by December 20, 2013 and are effective January 1, 2014.
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