OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 6425

AN ACT CONCERNING FIRE SAFETY ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS.

SUMMARY:

This bill (1) requires the state fire marshal and the Codes and Standards Committee (state), rather than a municipality, to certify certain fire safety officials (e.g., local fire marshals, fire inspectors, and fire investigators), (2) establishes experience requirements for these officials, and (3) allows the state to accept successful completion of approved private fire training programs as proof of qualification for certification. Under current law, the state accepts only training programs from public agencies.

It allows (1) these officials to apply for a retirement certificate and (2) municipalities to appoint other fire inspectors or investigators, if needed.

The bill conforms the law to practice by limiting a local fire official's personal liability, enforcement supervision, and compliance certification to only enforcing the fire prevention and safety laws. It also makes minor related changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2013

CERTIFICATION

Under the bill, the state is responsible for certifying local fire marshals, deputy fire marshals, fire inspectors, and other classes of inspectors and investigators. Currently, the state determines, after examination, if an applicant is eligible to be certified. But, the applicant is only certified after he or she is hired by a local municipality. The bill eliminates the “eligible to be certified” requirement and requires the state to certify qualified fire safety officials.

EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

The bill specifies that these fire safety officials must have at least three years' experience in fire suppression or fire prevention activities; responding and controlling releases or potential releases of hazardous materials; or inspection activities concerning the fire safety or prevention code, hazardous materials, fires, explosions, or the crime of arson.

RETIREMENT CERTIFICATE

The bill also allows local fire marshals, deputy fire marshals, or other inspectors or investigators who want to retire their certificate to apply to the state to have such certificate retired and be issued an emeritus certificate. Currently, this option is only available to officials who are appointed.

INSPECTOR/INVESTIGATOR APPOINTMENTS

The bill allows the board of fire commissioners, or a municipality's corresponding authority, to appoint other inspectors or investigators if they are necessary. By law, they appoint a local fire marshal and deputy fire marshals.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

24

Nay

0

(03/21/2013)