HB2872 S JUD AM #1
The Committee on the Judiciary moved to amend the bill by striking out everything after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
ARTICLE 3. FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT.
§29-3-12. Powers and duties of State Fire Marshal.
(a) Enforcement of laws.
— The State Fire Marshal and any other person authorized to enforce the
provisions of this article under the supervision and direction of the State
has the authority to may enforce all laws of the
state having to do with:
(1) Prevention of fire;
(2) The storage, sale, and use of any explosive, combustible, or other dangerous article or articles in solid, flammable liquid, or gas form;
(3) The installation and maintenance of equipment of all sorts intended to extinguish, detect, and control fires;
(4) The means and adequacy of exit, in case of fire, from buildings and all other places in which persons work, live, or congregate, from time to time, for any purpose, except buildings used wholly as dwelling houses for no more than two families;
(5) The suppression of arson; and
(6) Any other thing necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this article including, but not limited to, confiscating any materials, chemicals, items, or personal property owned, possessed, or used in direct violation of the State Fire Code.
(b) Assistance upon request. — Upon request, the State Fire Marshal shall assist any chief of any recognized fire company or department. Upon the request of any federal law-enforcement officer, state police officer, Natural Resources police officer, or any county or municipal law-enforcement officer, the State Fire Marshal, any deputy state fire marshal, or assistant state fire marshal employed pursuant to §29-3-11 of this code and any person deputized pursuant to subsection (j) of this section may assist in the lawful execution of the requesting officer’s official duties: Provided, That the State Fire Marshal, or other person authorized to act under this subsection, shall at all times work under the direct supervision of the requesting officer.
(c) Enforcement of rules. — The State Fire Marshal shall enforce the rules promulgated by the State Fire Commission as authorized by this article.
(d) Inspections generally. — The State Fire Marshal shall inspect all structures and facilities, other than one- and two-family dwelling houses, subject to the State Fire Code and this article, including, but not limited to, state, county, and municipally owned institutions, all public and private schools, health care facilities, theaters, churches, and other places of public assembly to determine whether the structures or facilities are in compliance with the State Fire Code.
(e) Right of entry.
— The State Fire Marshal may, at all reasonable hours, enter any building or
premises, other than dwelling houses, for the purpose of making an inspection
which he or she may consider necessary under the provisions of this article.
The State Fire Marshal and any deputy state fire marshal or assistant state
fire marshal approved by the State Fire Marshal may enter upon any property, or
enter any building, structure or premises, including dwelling houses during
construction and prior to occupancy, for the purpose of ascertaining compliance
with the conditions set forth in any permit or license issued by the office of
the State Fire Marshal pursuant to §29-3-12b(A)(1)
of this code or
§29-3B-1 et seq. of this code.
(f) Investigations. — The State Fire Marshal may, at any time, investigate as to the origin or circumstances of any fire or explosion or attempt to cause fire or explosion occurring in the state. The State Fire Marshal has the authority at all times of the day or night, in performance of the duties imposed by the provisions of this article, to investigate where any fires or explosions or attempt to cause fires or explosions may have occurred, or which at the time may be burning. Notwithstanding the above provisions of this subsection, prior to entering any building or premises for the purposes of the investigation, the State Fire Marshal shall obtain a proper search warrant: Provided, That a search warrant is not necessary where there is permissive waiver or the State Fire Marshal is an invitee of the individual having legal custody and control of the property, building or premises to be searched.
(g) Testimony. — The State Fire Marshal, in making an inspection or investigation when in his or her judgment the proceedings are necessary, may take the statements or testimony under oath of all persons who may be cognizant of any facts or have any knowledge about the matter to be examined and inquired into and may have the statements or testimony reduced to writing; and shall transmit a copy of the statements or testimony so taken to the prosecuting attorney for the county wherein the fire or explosion or attempt to cause a fire or explosion occurred. Notwithstanding the above, no person may be compelled to testify or give any statement under this subsection.
(h) Arrests; warrants. — The State Fire Marshal, any full-time deputy fire marshal, or any full-time assistant fire marshal employed by the State Fire Marshal pursuant to §29-3-11 of this code is hereby authorized and empowered and any person deputized pursuant to §29-3-11 of this code may be authorized and empowered by the State Fire Marshal:
(1) To arrest any person anywhere within the confines of the State of West Virginia, or have him or her arrested, for any violation of the arson-related offenses of §61-3-1 et seq. of this code or of the explosives-related offenses of §61-3E-1 et seq. of said code: Provided, That any and all persons so arrested shall be forthwith brought before the magistrate or circuit court; Provided, however, that the State Fire Marshal, any full-time deputy fire marshal or any full-time assistant fire marshal is authorized to arrest persons for violations of §61-5-17 of this code.
(2) To make complaint in writing before any court or officer having jurisdiction and obtain, serve, and execute an arrest warrant when knowing or having reason to believe that anyone has committed an offense under any provision of this article, of the arson-related offenses of §61-3-1 et seq. of this code or of the explosives-related offenses of §61-3E-1 et seq. of this code. Proper return shall be made on all arrest warrants before the tribunal having jurisdiction over the violation.
(3) To make complaint in writing before any court or officer having jurisdiction and obtain, serve, and execute a warrant for the search of any premises that may possess evidence or unlawful contraband relating to violations of this article, of the arson-related offenses of §61-3-1 et seq. of this code or of the explosives-related offenses of §61-3E-1 et seq. of said code. Proper return shall be made on all search warrants before the tribunal having jurisdiction over the violation.
(4) Any member of the West Virginia State Police, Natural Resources Police Officer, or any county or municipal law-enforcement officer may assist, upon request, the State Fire Marshal or any of his or her employees authorized to enforce the provisions of this section in any duties for which the State Fire Marshal has jurisdiction.
(i) Witnesses and oaths.
— The State Fire Marshal i
s empowered and authorized to may issue
subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum to compel the attendance of persons before
him or her to testify in relation to any matter which is, by the provision of
this article, a subject of inquiry and investigation by the State Fire Marshal
and cause to be produced before him or her such papers as he or she may require
in making the examination. The State Fire Marshal is hereby authorized to
may administer oaths and affirmations to persons appearing as witnesses
before him or her. False swearing in any matter or proceeding aforesaid
is considered perjury and is punishable as perjury.
(j) Deputizing members of fire departments in this state. — The State Fire Marshal may deputize a member of any fire department, duly organized and operating in this state, who is approved by the chief of his or her department and who is properly qualified to act as his or her assistant for the purpose of making inspections with the consent of the property owner or the person in control of the property and the investigations as may be directed by the State Fire Marshal, and the carrying out of orders as may be prescribed by him or her, to enforce and make effective the provisions of this article and any and all rules promulgated by the State Fire Commission under authority of this article: Provided, That in the case of a volunteer fire department, only the chief thereof or his or her single designated assistant may be so deputized.
(k) Written report of examinations. — The State Fire Marshal shall, at the request of the county commission of any county or the municipal authorities of any incorporated municipality in this state, make to them a written report of the examination made by him or her regarding any fire happening within their respective jurisdictions.
(l) Report of losses by
insurance companies. —
It is the duty of each Each fire
insurance company or association doing business in this state, within 10 days after
the adjustment of any loss sustained by it that exceeds $1,500, to shall
report to the State Fire Marshal information regarding the amount of insurance,
the value of the property insured, and the amount of claim as adjusted. This
report is in addition to any information required by the State Insurance
Commissioner. Upon the request of the owner or insurer of any property
destroyed or injured by fire or explosion, or in which an attempt to cause a
fire or explosion may have occurred, the State Fire Marshal shall report in
writing to the owner or insurer the result of the examination regarding the
(m) Issuance of permits
and licenses. — The State Fire Marshal
is authorized to may
issue permits, documents, and licenses in accordance with the provisions of
this article or §29-3B-1 et seq. of this code: Provided, That
unless otherwise provided, the State Fire Marshall shall take final action upon
any completed permit applications within 30 days of receipt if the application
is uncontested, or within 90 days if the application is contested. The State
Fire Marshal may require any person who applies for a permit to use explosives,
other than an applicant for a license to be a pyrotechnic operator under §29-3-24
§29-3E-6 of this code, to be fingerprinted and to authorize the
State Fire Marshal to conduct a criminal records check through the criminal
identification bureau of the West Virginia State Police and a national criminal
history check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The results of any
criminal records or criminal history check shall be sent to the State Fire
(n) Issuance of
citations for fire and life safety violations. — The State Fire Marshal,
any deputy fire marshal, and any assistant fire marshal employed pursuant to
§29-3-11 of this code
are hereby authorized, and any person deputized
pursuant to subsection (j) of this section may be authorized by the State Fire
Marshal to issue citations, in his or her jurisdiction, for fire and life
safety violations of the State Fire Code and as provided for by the rules
promulgated by the State Fire Commission in accordance with §29-3-1 et seq.
of this code: Provided, That a summary report of all citations issued
pursuant to this section by persons deputized under subsection (j) of this section
shall be forwarded monthly to the State Fire Marshal in the form and containing
information as he or she may by rule require, including the violation for which
the citation was issued, the date of issuance, the name of the person issuing
the citation, and the person to whom the citation was issued. The State Fire
Marshal may at any time revoke the authorization of a person deputized pursuant
to subsection (j) of this section to issue citations, if in the opinion of the
State Fire Marshal, the exercise of authority by the person is inappropriate.
Violations for which citations may be issued include, but are not limited to:
(1) Overcrowding places of public assembly;
(2) Locked or blocked exits in public areas;
(3) Failure to abate a fire hazard;
(4) Blocking of fire lanes or fire department connections; and
(5) Tampering with, or rendering inoperable except during necessary maintenance or repairs, on-premise firefighting equipment, fire detection equipment, and fire alarm systems.
(o) Required training; liability coverage. ─ No person deputized pursuant to subsection (j) of this section may be authorized to issue a citation unless that person has satisfactorily completed a law-enforcement officer training course designed specifically for fire marshals. The course shall be approved by the Law-enforcement Training Subcommittee of the Governor’s Committee on Criminal Justice and Highway Safety and the State Fire Commission. In addition, no person deputized pursuant to subsection (j) of this section may be authorized to issue a citation until evidence of liability coverage of the person has been provided, in the case of a paid municipal fire department, by the municipality wherein the fire department is located, or in the case of a volunteer fire department, by the county commission of the county wherein the fire department is located or by the municipality served by the volunteer fire department and that evidence of liability coverage has been filed with the State Fire Marshal.
(p) Statewide contracts. — The State Fire Marshal may cooperate with the Department of Administration, Purchasing Division, to establish one or more statewide contracts for equipment and supplies utilized by fire companies and departments in accordance with §5A-3-1 et seq. of this code.
(1) Any statewide contract established hereunder shall be made available to any fire company and department in this state, as well as any other state agency or political subdivision that has a need for the equipment or supplies included in those contracts.
(2) The State Fire Marshal may develop uniform standards for equipment and supplies used by fire companies and departments in accordance with §5A-3-1 et seq. of this code.
(3) The State Fire Commission shall propose legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code to effectuate the provisions of this subsection.
(q) Penalties for
violations. — Any person who violates any fire and life safety rule of the
State Fire Code is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall
be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, or confined in jail not more
than 90 days, or both fined and confined.
Each and every Every
day during which any violation of the provisions of this article continues
after knowledge or official notice that same it is illegal is a
(r) The State Fire Marshal, any full-time deputy fire marshal, or any full-time assistant fire marshal employed by the State Fire Marshal pursuant to §29-3-11 of this code may carry a firearm while acting in the course of his or her official duties, if he or she has successfully completed a firearms training and certification program equivalent to that provided to officers attending the entry level law-enforcement certification course provided at the West Virginia State Police Academy. The person shall thereafter successfully complete an annual firearms qualification course equivalent to that required of certified law-enforcement officers as established by legislative rule. The State Fire Marshal may reimburse the person for the cost of the training and requalification.