General Assembly Raised Bill No. 845
January Session, 2021 LCO No. 2893
Referred to Committee on PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY
Introduced by:
(PS)
AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATE FIRE PREVENTION AND FIRE
SAFETY CODES, MEMBERSHIP OF THE CODE TRAINING AND
EDUCATION BOARD OF CONTROL, APPOINTMENT OF A
TEMPORARY FIRE MARSHAL AND REPORTS FILED AFTER A FIRE,
EXPLOSION OR OTHER FIRE EMERGENCY.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:
1 Section 1. Section 29-291a of the general statutes is repealed and the
2 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2021):
3 (a) (1) The State Fire Marshal, in coordination with the [advisory
4 committee] Fire Prevention Code Committee established under
5 subsection (b) of this section and in accordance with the provisions of
6 section 29-291e, as amended by this act, shall adopt and administer a
7 State Fire Prevention Code based on a nationally recognized fire
8 [prevention] code. The code shall be used to enhance the enforcement
9 capabilities of local fire marshals and for the purposes of prevention of
10 fire and other related emergencies. The code shall be revised as deemed
11 necessary to incorporate any subsequent revisions to the code not later
12 than eighteen months following the date of first publication of such
13 revisions. The code shall include provisions for oil burners, flammable
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14 and combustible liquids, gas equipment and piping, liquefied gas and
15 liquefied natural gas and hazardous chemicals.
16 (2) Beginning on the effective date of the 2020 Fire Safety Code
17 adopted pursuant to section 29-292a:
18 (A) The State Fire Prevention Code shall be applicable to all buildings
19 constructed prior to January 1, 2006; and
20 (B) The Fire Safety Code, as amended from time to time pursuant to
21 section 29-292a, shall be applicable to all buildings constructed on or
22 after January 1, 2006.
23 (b) There is established [an advisory committee] a Fire Prevention
24 Code Committee consisting of nine persons appointed by the State Fire
25 Marshal. The State Fire Marshal shall appoint two members [selected]
26 from a list of individuals submitted by the Codes and Standards
27 Committee from the membership of said committee and seven members
28 representing local fire marshals, deputy fire marshals and fire inspectors
29 selected from a list of individuals submitted by the Connecticut Fire
30 Marshals Association. The committee shall adopt regulations in
31 accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 governing the procedure
32 of the committee.
33 (c) The State Fire Marshal may issue official interpretations of the
34 State Fire Prevention Code, including interpretations of the applicability
35 of any provision of the code, upon the request of any person. The State
36 Fire Marshal shall compile and index each interpretation and shall
37 publish such interpretations at periodic intervals not exceeding four
38 months.
39 Sec. 2. Section 29-291c of the general statutes is repealed and the
40 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2021):
41 (a) When the State Fire Marshal or a local fire marshal ascertains that
42 there exists in any building, or upon any premises, a condition that
43 violates the State Fire Prevention Code or Fire Safety Code, the State Fire
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44 Marshal or local fire marshal shall order such condition remedied by the
45 owner or occupant of such building or premises. Any such remedy shall
46 be in conformance with all building codes, ordinances, rules and
47 regulations of the municipality involved. Such owner or occupant shall
48 be subject to the penalties prescribed by subsection (e) of this section
49 and, in addition, may be fined fifty dollars a day for each day's
50 continuance of each violation, to be recovered in a proper action in the
51 name of the state.
52 (b) Upon failure of an owner or occupant to abate or remedy a
53 violation pursuant to subsection (a) of this section within a reasonable
54 period of time specified by the State Fire Marshal or the local fire
55 marshal, the local fire marshal shall promptly notify, in writing, the
56 prosecuting attorney having jurisdiction in the municipality in which
57 such violation or condition exists of all of the relevant facts. The local
58 fire marshal may request the chief executive officer, any official of the
59 municipality authorized to institute actions on behalf of the
60 municipality in which the hazard exists or the State Fire Marshal, to
61 apply to any court of equitable jurisdiction for an injunction against
62 such owner or occupant for the purpose of closing or restricting from
63 public service or use the place or premises containing the violation or
64 condition until the violation or condition has been remedied, or the State
65 Fire Marshal may apply for such an injunction without such request.
66 (c) The State Fire Marshal or any local fire marshal empowered to
67 enforce the State Fire Prevention Code or Fire Safety Code may, as an
68 alternative to issuing an order pursuant to subsection (a) of this section,
69 give the owner or occupant a written citation for any violation of the
70 [State Fire Prevention Code] applicable code. No such citation may be
71 issued if the owner or occupant has been previously issued a citation for
72 the same violation by the State Fire Marshal or the local fire marshal
73 within six months prior to the current violation. Such citation shall
74 contain the name and address, if known, of the owner or occupant, the
75 specific offense charged and the time and place of the violation. The
76 citation shall be signed by the State Fire Marshal or local fire marshal
77 and shall be signed by the owner or occupant in acknowledgment that
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78 such citation has been received. The State Fire Marshal or local fire
79 marshal shall, if practicable, deliver a copy of the citation to the owner
80 or occupant at the time and place of the violation or shall use some other
81 reasonable means of notification. Any person who is issued a citation
82 for violation of any provision of the State Fire Prevention Code or Fire
83 Safety Code in accordance with this subsection shall be fined not more
84 than two hundred fifty dollars.
85 (d) If a local fire marshal issues a citation pursuant to subsection (c)
86 of this section, the state shall remit to the municipalities in which the
87 violations occurred ninety per cent of the proceeds of the fine and shall
88 remit to the State Treasurer the remaining ten per cent. If the State Fire
89 Marshal issues a citation pursuant to said subsection, the state shall
90 remit to the State Treasurer the entire proceeds of the fine. Each clerk of
91 the Superior Court or the Chief Court Administrator, on or before the
92 thirtieth day of January, April, July and October in each year, shall
93 certify to the Comptroller the amount due for the previous quarter
94 under this subsection to each municipality served by the office of the
95 clerk or official.
96 (e) In addition to the fine prescribed in subsection (a) of this section,
97 any person who violates any provision of the State Fire Prevention Code
98 or Fire Safety Code shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars or
99 more than one thousand dollars or be imprisoned not more than six
100 months, or both.
101 Sec. 3. Section 29-291d of the general statutes is repealed and the
102 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2021):
103 The State Fire Marshal shall review a decision by a local fire marshal
104 upon the request of any person determined to have the right to appeal
105 or when the State Fire Marshal has reason to believe that such official
106 has misconstrued or misinterpreted any provision of the State Fire
107 Prevention Code adopted pursuant to section 29-291a, as amended by
108 this act. If upon review and after consultation with such official the State
109 Fire Marshal determines that a provision of the code has been
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110 misconstrued or misinterpreted, the State Fire Marshal shall issue an
111 interpretation of such code and may issue any order the State Fire
112 Marshal deems appropriate. Any such determination or order shall be
113 in writing and sent to such local fire marshal by registered mail, return
114 receipt requested. Any person aggrieved by a decision made by the State
115 Fire Marshal in accordance with this section or a decision of the State
116 Fire Marshal relating to the enforcement of the State Fire Prevention
117 Code may appeal such decision to the Fire Prevention Code Committee,
118 established pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-291a, as amended
119 by this act, not later than fourteen days after receipt of such decision by
120 such aggrieved person. Any hearing held by said committee shall be
121 held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. Any person
122 aggrieved by any ruling of the Fire Prevention Code Committee may
123 appeal to the superior court for the judicial district where the premises
124 concerned are located.
125 Sec. 4. Section 29-291e of the general statutes is repealed and the
126 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2021):
127 (a) For the purposes of this section, "proposed code" means a
128 proposal by the State Fire Marshal, in coordination with the [advisory
129 committee] Fire Prevention Code Committee for a new State Fire
130 Prevention Code or for a change in, addition to or repeal of any
131 provision of the State Fire Prevention Code and ["advisory committee"
132 means the advisory committee] "Fire Prevention Code Committee"
133 means the committee established under subsection (b) of section 29-
134 291a, as amended by this act.
135 (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 54, the adoption of the
136 State Fire Prevention Code and any amendments thereto shall not be
137 required to comply with the provisions of chapter 54, except as provided
138 in this section.
139 (c) Prior to the adoption of the State Fire Prevention Code and any
140 amendments thereto, the State Fire Marshal shall (1) post any proposed
141 code, a statement of purpose for which the proposed code is proposed,
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142 a fiscal note associated with compliance with the proposed code
143 prepared pursuant to section 4-168 and a regulatory flexibility analysis
144 prepared pursuant to section 4-168a on the Internet web site of the
145 Department of Administrative Services, (2) give notice electronically to
146 the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having
147 cognizance of matters relating to public safety and security, (3) give
148 notice to any person who has requested the State Fire Marshal for
149 advance notice of the proposed code adoption proceedings, (4) provide
150 for a public comment period of forty-five days following the posting of
151 such proposed code, fiscal note and regulatory flexibility analysis, and
152 (5) hold a public hearing on the proposed code not less than twenty nor
153 more than thirty-five days after such posting.
154 (d) After the close of the public comment period, the State Fire
155 Marshal, in coordination with the [advisory committee] Fire Prevention
156 Code Committee, shall respond to each written and oral comment
157 respecting the proposed code received during the public comment
158 period and at the public hearing. Such response shall include any
159 change made to the proposed code if applicable, and the rationale for
160 such change. The State Fire Marshal shall post such response on the
161 Internet web site of the Department of Administrative Services not later
162 than thirty days after the close of the public comment period.
163 (e) The State Fire Marshal, in coordination with the [advisory
164 committee] Fire Prevention Code Committee, shall create and maintain
165 a code-making record for each proposed code, submit such code-
166 making record electronically to the standing legislative regulation
167 review committee and the joint standing committee of the General
168 Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public safety and
169 security, and post such code-making record on the Internet web site of
170 the Department of Administrative Services. Such code-making record
171 shall include, but need not be limited to: (1) The final wording of the
172 proposed code in a format consistent with a nationally recognized
173 model building code, (2) the fiscal note prepared pursuant to subsection
174 (c) of this section, (3) the regulatory flexibility analysis prepared
175 pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, (4) all written and oral
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176 comments received during the public comment period, and (5) the
177 response to such comments prepared pursuant to subsection (d) of this
178 section.
179 (f) The standing legislative regulation review committee shall have
180 not more than forty-five days from the date the code-making record is
181 submitted to the committee pursuant to subsection (e) of this section to
182 convene a meeting to approve, disapprove or reject without prejudice
183 the proposed code, in whole or in part. If the proposed code is
184 withdrawn, the State Fire Marshal shall resubmit the proposed code and
185 the committee shall have not more than forty-five days from the date of
186 such resubmittal to convene a meeting to approve, disapprove or reject
187 without prejudice the resubmitted proposed code. If the committee
188 notifies the State Fire Marshal in writing that it is waiving its right to
189 convene a meeting or does not act on a proposed code or a resubmitted
190 proposed code, as the case may be, within such forty-five-day period,
191 the proposed code or resubmitted proposed code shall be deemed to be
192 approved by the committee.
193 (g) If the committee disapproves a proposed code, in whole or in part,
194 the committee shall notify the State Fire Marshal of the disapproval and
195 the reasons for the disapproval. The State Fire Marshal shall not take
196 any action to implement such disapproved code, except that the State
197 Fire Marshal may submit a substantively new proposed code in
198 accordance with the provisions of this section, provided the General
199 Assembly may reverse such disapproval in accordance with the
200 provisions of section 4-171.
201 (h) If the committee rejects a proposed code without prejudice, in
202 whole or in part, the committee shall notify the State Fire Marshal of the
203 reasons for the rejection and the State Fire Marshal shall resubmit the
204 proposed code in revised form to the committee not later than thirty
205 days after the date of rejection without prejudice. Each resubmission of
206 the proposed code under this subsection shall include a summary of any
207 revisions to the proposed code. The committee shall have not more than
208 forty-five days after the receipt of the resubmittal to review and take
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209 action on such resubmitted proposed code in the same manner as
210 provided in subsection (f) of this section.
211 (i) The State Fire Prevention Code or any amendment thereto
212 approved or deemed approved by the committee pursuant to subsection
213 (f) of this section is effective and enforceable against any person or party
214 upon its posting on the Internet web site of the Department of
215 Administrative Services, except that: (1) If a later date is required by
216 statute or specified in the code, the later date is the effective date, and
217 (2) a code may not be effective before the effective date of the public act
218 requiring or permitting the code. Such posting shall include a statement
219 by the State Fire Marshal certifying that the electronic copy of the code
220 is a true and accurate copy of the code approved or deemed approved
221 in accordance with subsection (f) of this section. The electronic copy of
222 the State Fire Prevention Code posted on the Internet web site of the
223 Department of Administrative Services shall be the official version for
224 all purposes, including all legal and administrative proceedings.
225 (j) No provision of the State Fire Prevention Code or any amendment
226 thereto adopted after May 31, 2016, is valid unless adopted in
227 substantial compliance with the requirements of this section. A
228 proceeding to contest any provision of the code on the ground of
229 noncompliance with the requirements of this section shall be
230 commenced within two years from the effective date of the code.
231 (k) The State Fire Marshal shall advise the public concerning how to
232 obtain a copy of the State Fire Prevention Code and any amendments
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