LICENSING CERTAIN FIRE SAFETY EQUIP. WORK.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 553 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 2, 2019
AN ACT TO REQUIRE LICENSING AND PERMITTING FOR FIRMS AND PERSONS THAT INSTALL AND SERVICE PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS AND FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS.
Intro. by Strickland, Barnes, Corbin, Hardister.

Status: Ref To Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate (Senate action) (Jun 13 2019)

SOG comments (1):

Long title change

House committee substitute to the 2nd edition changed the long title. Original long title was AN ACT TO REQUIRE LICENSING AND PERMITTING FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FIRMS THAT INSTALL AND SERVICE PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS AND FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS.

H 553

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jun 10 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

    Makes the following changes to proposed Article 82B, Licensing and Permitting for the Installation and Servicing of Portable Fire Extinguishers and Fire Suppression Systems, of GS Chapter 58. 

    Modifies the provisions regarding grounds for disciplinary action against licensees or permittees, removing the following: failure to comply with a child support order; failure to pay State income tax; and conviction of a crime involving dishonesty, a breach of trust, or moral turpitude. Additionally, adds conviction of a felony as grounds for disciplinary action under the Article.

    Makes clarifying changes to the Department of Insurance reporting requirement.


  • Summary date: Jun 5 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Makes the following changes to proposed Article 82B of GS Chapter 58. 

    Modifies the defined terms set forth in GS 58-82B-1. Adds alarm system contractor, electrical contractor, fire sprinkler contractor and plumbing contractor to the defined terms. Modifies the definitions provided for engineered special hazard fire suppression system, fire suppression system, industrial fire suppression system, kitchen fire suppression system, suppression agent, and firm. Deletes the term portable fire extinguisher. Makes further technical changes.

    Makes clarifying and organizational changes to the provisions of GS 58-82B-2 concerning the Commissioner of Insurance's powers and duties. Removes the provision requiring all fire suppression systems and portable fire extinguishers to be installed, inspected, serviced, and tested in compliance with the Article and related rules. 

    Makes organizational changes to the remainder of the Article. Makes conforming changes to internal cross-references.

    Makes organizational change to separately provide for the Article's licensing and permitting requirements. Now requires firms to be licensed in order to install, inspect, repair, recharge, service, or test a fire suppression system or a portable fire extinguisher required by the Commissioner's rules or state or local rules (previously specified four fire suppression systems). Makes clarifying and technical changes to the requirements for licensure. Exempts the following from licensing: (1) a fire chief, fire marshal, fire inspector, or insurance company inspector with regard to the routine visual inspection of a fire suppression system or portable fire extinguisher and (2) specified contractors while performing activities governed by their respective occupational licenses, as specified (previously exempted certain inspectors from the entire Article's provisions). Now requires firms to be permitted to install, inspect, repair, recharge, service, or test a fire suppression system or a portable fire extinguisher required by the Commissioner's rules or state or local rules. Adds a requirement for permittees to be certified in such service of one or more systems in devices identified. Makes clarifying and technical changes to the requirements for a permit. Provides identical exemptions from permitting as provided for licensure. Modifies the previously provided permitting exemption for certain employees, now providing an exemption for employees making minor repairs or replacements, performing routine visual inspections, or recharging, servicing, or testing on property controlled by a firm or governmental entity (previously, identified the exempt activities to be installing, inspecting, recharging, repairing, servicing, or testing extinguishers or systems on the property; removes the specification that these individuals remain subject to rules and regulations adopted under the Article). Clarifies that firms and governmental entities remain subject to licensure requirements.

    Combines the Article's provisions on license and permit fees and terms. Modifies the fee schedule, now providing for separate fees for license issuance ($375; was, $250) and renewal ($225; previously same as issuance), and permit issuance ($285; was $100) and renewal ($175; previously same as issuance), now separated by certification type. Requires permittees to renew each certification for which the permittee is certified. Maintains the previously specified exemptions from fees. Also maintains the provisions concerning failure to renew a license or permit, clarifying that annual renewal is required. 

    Modifies the reciprocity provisions, now providing for reciprocity for firms or persons rather than individuals, as described.

    Modifies the provisions regarding grounds for disciplinary action against licensees or permittees, now including among them rendering inoperative a fire suppression system covered by the Article (rather than a pre-engineered fire suppression system); retaining a person (rather than individual) who has a direct or indirect interest that has had his or her license or permit suspended or revoked; and serving or previously serving as an officer, director, stockholder, or owner of a firm whose license has been suspended or revoked or has a direct or indirect interest in a firm whose license has been suspended or revoked (previously, listed businesses and corporations in additions to firms, and included the revocation and suspension of permits). Makes further technical and conforming changes.

    Concerning sanction and denial procedures, adds descriptors to the statute's subsections. Now requires the Commissioner to notify an applicant within 30 days of denial of an application (whether for initial issuance or renewal of a license or permit) of the reasons for the denial (previously did not give a time restraint). Specifies that license and permit applicants can be denied for any reasons that are grounds for disciplinary action under the Article. Now requires an applicant to be notified within 120 days after receipt by the Commissioner of the applicant's written demand of the outcome of a requested review of a denial. Makes further technical and organizational changes.

    Concerning cease and desist orders, adds descriptors to the statute's subsections. Allows the Commissioner to issue cease and desist orders to any person or firm (rather than individual or firm) believed to be in violation of the Article. Eliminates the provision that establishes any violation to be grounds for application denial. Makes clarifying changes.

    Modifies the civil penalty provisions, now referring to any "person or firm" (rather than "individual or firm"). Adds that the clear proceeds of a civil penalty under the Article are remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund. Now requires the Commissioner to issue an order for a penalty within 30 days after giving written notice of the violation (was, after a reasonable period of time). Makes further clarifying and technical changes. 

    Modifies the criminal penalty provisions, now referring to any "person or firm" (rather than "individual or firm"). Eliminates the provision which makes any willful or intentional violation of the Article or any rule or order of the Commissioner a Class 1 misdemeanor. Makes technical and clarifying changes. 

    Regarding the Article's effect on state and local regulatory powers, specifies that the Article does not limit the power of the State or local governments from requiring the submission and approval of plans and specifications or to regulate the quality and character of work performed by any person, firm, or governmental entity (was, work performed by contractors) for the protection of the public health and safety.

    Makes further technical and conforming changes.

    Adds a reporting requirement for the Department of Insurance, requiring the submission of a report on licenses and permits under the Article to the specified NCGA committee, by October 1, 2020, as specified.

    Changes the act's long title.


  • Summary date: Apr 11 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Amends proposed GS 58-82B-1 as follows. Amends the definition of fire suppression system by specifying that it is a pre-engineered firefighting system employing a suppression agent with the specified purposes. Adds that a fire suppression system means a pre-engineered fire system as defined in the statue. Amends the definition of kitchen fire suppression system by specifying that it is a pre-engineered automatic fire extinguishing system provided for the specified protection. Amends the term suppression agent to now explicitly exclude water, which was previously included. Makes additional technical changes.


  • Summary date: Apr 8 2019 - More information

    Identical to S 519, filed 4/2/19.

    Enacts Article 83B, Licensing and Permitting for the Installation and Servicing of Portable Fire Extinguishers and Fire Suppression Systems, to GS Chapter 58.

    Sets forth 11 defined terms. Provides for the Commissioner of Insurance (Commissioner) to administer the Article through the Office of the State Fire Marshall. Requires the Commissioner to establish rules for proper installation, inspection, recharging, repairing, servicing, or testing of fire suppression systems or portable fire extinguishers; and required specifications as to the number, type, size, shape, color, and information and data contained on service tags to be attached to all portable fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems covered by the Article that are installed, inspected, recharged, repaired, serviced, or tested. Permits the Commissioner to adopt the applicable standards of the National Fire Protection Association or another nationally recognized organization. Authorizes the Commissioner to adopt rules to require an exam of license or permit applicants under the Article. Authorizes the Commissioner to apply for and receive grants for the Article's administration from interested parties.

    Requires firms to be licensed and persons to be permitted to install, inspect, repair, service, or test portable fire extinguishers, pre-engineered kitchen fire suppression systems, pre-engineered industrial fire suppression systems, and engineered special hazard fire suppression systems. Makes it unlawful to take such action on any portable fire extinguisher or fire suppression system without attaching the required tag(s) completed in detail, as described. Excludes from the permitting provisions individuals employed by any firm or governmental entity that only engages in the installation and servicing of fire suppression systems or portable fire extinguishers on such items owned by the firm and installed on property under the control of the firm, subject to the rules and regulations adopted under the Article. Provides further exemptions, including fire chiefs, fire marshals, fire inspectors, and insurance company inspectors, as described, and any firm that engages only in the routine visual inspection of the systems and extinguishers owned by the firm and installed on property under the firm's control.

    Sets the license fee at $250 and the permit fee at $100. Exempts government employees and members of a legal organized fire department acting in the member's official capacity.

    Sets forth license and permit requirements, including proof of comprehensive liability insurance for prospective licensees. 

    Provides for keeping a permit on the permittee's person in the course of the work under the permit, and licensees and permittees producing a valid license or permit upon demand by the Commissioner, the Commissioner's representatives, or any local authority having jurisdiction, or any individual soliciting the services of the licensee or permittee.

    Establishes reciprocity with individuals holding a comparable valid permit, license, or certification issued by another state which meets the minimum requirements under the Article and pays the applicable filing fees.

    Details the form of licenses, permits and applications. Requires a licensee or permittee to notify the Commissioner within 30 days of any change to application information provided to the Commissioner. Requires the Commissioner give an applicant 60 days to correct any deficiencies discovered in the application.

    Requires the licenses and permits to be issued for each license year, beginning January 1 and expiring the following December 31. Provides for restoration of an inoperative license by paying a penalty within 90 days of expiration. After 90 days of expiration, the former licensee or permittee must apply for a new license or permit.

    Details license or permit sanctions and denial procedures. Allows for an applicant to request review of a denial in writing within 30 days after service of the notice of denial, and allows an applicant to request an administrative hearing on the outcome within 30 days after service of the notice of the outcome. Requires surrender of a license or surrender within 30 days of suspension, revocation or nonrenewal. Describes the effect of an order of suspension or revocation.

    Authorizes the Commissioner to deny, suspend, place on probation, revoke, or refuse to renew any license or permit under the Article for any of the 21 specified reasons, including failure to meet requirements under the Article and conviction of a crime involving dishonesty.

    Authorizes the Commissioner to issue cease and desist order for individuals or firms the Commissioner believes is or has been violating the Article. Requires the order to include a notice of opportunity for hearing upon request within 30 days of receipt of the order and notice. Provides for service of the order. Provides for noncompliance to result in the revocation of any and all permits and licenses issued by the Commissioner for a period of at least six months and no more than five years. Provides for effect of noncompliance on new permits or licenses held by the individual or firm. Establishes that violation of the Article can constitute grounds for license or permit refusal.

    Establishes civil penalties for violations of the Article, rules adopted thereunder, or order of the Commissioner, as follows: a penalty not exceeding $1000 for the first offense, no less than $1000 and not exceeding $2000 for the second offense, and no less than $2000 and not exceeding $5000 for a third or subsequent offense. Requires prior notice of a violation and a reasonable waiting period before ordering a fine, as specified. Additionally authorizes the Commissioner to bring a civil action to enjoin a violation.

    Makes willful or intentional violations of any provision of the Article, rules, or order of the Commissioner a Class 1 misdemeanor. Details other conduct that constitutes a Class 1 misdemeanor, including (1) obliterating serial numbers on tags for falsifying service records, (2) improper install or service, (3) allowing another to use a license or permit or use another's license or permit, (4) impersonating a representative of the Commissioner, State Fire Marshal, local fire chief, fire marshal, or other fire authority, (5) noncompliance with the Article, and (6) failure to comply with a cease and desist order issued by the Commissioner.

    Clarifies that the Article does not limit certain State or local government powers. Prohibits local government from imposing any further requirements on licensees or permittees to prove competency.

    Authorizes the Department of Insurance to adopt temporary rules for the Article's implementation.

    Effective January 1, 2020.


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