Fire Division

Property Maintenance

Garbage Storage:

In accordance with City Code Section 10-3, all garbage, rubbish, refuse and waste material shall be regularly removed from properties.

In accordance with City Code Section 10-4, all garbage and waste materials shall be stored in approved garbage containers with tight fitting lids. A standard garbage container shall be no larger than 32 gallons in capacity, and shall be metal or plastic, and shall have handles and a tight fitting lid. Detachable dumpster containers can be larger than 32 gallons in capacity, and shall have a tight fitting lid in place. There shall be an adequate number of garbage containers to hold all waste between days of collection.

55-gallon barrels, and industrial barrels are not generally allowed for garbage storage or collection.

Plastic garbage bags can be used for the storage of leaves, grass, hedge and brush clippings only. (If plastic bags are used for garbage storage, the bag must be held in an approved garbage container)

Smoke Alarms:

 In September of 2020, the City of Norfolk adopted the 2018 International Property Maintenance Code.  Included in the code is the provision:    

“Where more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual dwelling or sleeping unit, the smoke alarms shall be interconnected in such a manner that the activation of one alarm will activate all the alarms in the individual unit.  Physical interconnection of smoke alarms shall not be required where listed wireless alarms are installed and all alarms sound upon activation of one alarm.” 

Existing non-interconnected smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained can remain in service in structures until such time as: 

                  ·        Change of tenants in a rental unit, or,

                  ·        Transfer of ownership in the sale of a property. 

Upon change of tenants or transfer of ownership, the installation of interconnected smoke alarms is required.  The presence of approved interconnected smoke alarms shall be verified at subsequent change of tenant and/or ownership. 

General Considerations – 

                             Smoke alarms have a 10-year “life span”, so in many instances upgrade of the alarm system is appropriate. 

                             Interconnected smoke alarms provide early warning of fires in remote areas of a dwelling, giving greater opportunity to escape the hazard. 

                              Wireless interconnection of smoke alarms – relatively inexpensive  /  simple to install. 

Smoke alarms shall be installed in the following locations:

1. In each sleeping room.

2. Outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.

3. On each additional story of the dwelling, including basements and habitable attics and not including crawl

spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the

adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower

level is less than one full story below the upper level.

4. Smoke alarms shall be installed not less than 3 feet (914 mm) horizontally from the door or opening of a

bathroom that contains a bathtub or shower unless this would prevent placement of a smoke alarm required by this


Questions – Call the Code Compliance Official at 402-844-2046, or

                        Building Services at 402-844-2060

Tree Ordinance:

In accordance with City Code Section 25-1; The owner, agent or occupant of any land abutting a street or alley shall keep the trees located upon their property or located upon a terrace immediately adjacent to their property or, where there is no terrace, upon the section of the street or alley or property dedicated as a right-of-way which is unimproved that is so abutting their property, trimmed, pruned and maintained in a healthy manner as to remove any hazard to life or property.

Trees and shrubbery shall be trimmed to …

…provide 14’ clearance from the street or alley surface to any overhead limbs.

…provide 8’ clearance from the sidewalk surface to any overhead limbs.

…provide clear visibility of any traffic control device.

Questions should be directed to Chris Hassler, at 309 N. 5th Street, or phone 402 844-2060.

Note: Tree limbs cut to reasonable lengths and manageable in size, can be taken to the City Transfer Station for disposal. There may be a disposal fee. The Transfer Station is located at 610 East Monroe Avenue, phone 402 844-2231.

Vehicle Storage:

In accordance with City Code Section 17-27, motor vehicles located upon private property are required to have a current valid Nebraska license plate attached to the vehicle, and the vehicle shall be roadworthy. Any unlicensed or inoperable motor vehicle, and any motor vehicle parts, shall either be stored in a completely enclosed building, or otherwise shall be removed from the property.  Violations of this ordinance should be reported to the Norfolk Police Division 402 644-8700

Weeds and grass:

In accordance with City Code Section 17-12, the owner of property within the City of Norfolk shall cut weeds so as to keep the property free from weeds at all times, and shall not allow litter or waste to accumulate upon the property, except litter held in an approved container. The property shall be maintained so as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water upon the property. Weeds shall be cut to the curb line on the street together with one-half of the streets or alleys abutting the same, and as often in each year as may be necessary to keep said lot or parcel free from weeds. Properties with weeds over 12" in height are subject to delivery of a notice of the requirement for mowing.