1998 Regular Session
By: Representative Stevens
House Bill 461
AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE LICENSING OF FIRE PROTECTION SPRINKLER CONTRACTORS; TO PROVIDE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF SUCH LICENSING BY THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL; TO ESTABLISH A PENALTY FOR VIOLATING THE LICENSING PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. For the purposes of this act, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:
(a) "Fire protection sprinkler contractor" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association or joint venture engaged in the business of the installation, repair, alteration, addition, maintenance or inspection of fire protection sprinkler systems. This term does not include local building officials, fire inspectors or insurance inspectors when acting in their official capacity.
(b) "Certified fire protection sprinkler contractor" means a fire protection sprinkler contractor who has qualified and received a permit from the State Fire Marshal.
(c) "NICET" (National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies) is in examining body whose function is to evaluate the qualifications of those who voluntarily apply for certification to issue certificates to those who meet the criteria and to maintain a registry of holders of such certificates. Personal recommendations, written examinations and verification of the applicant's work experience, competency and knowledge are all part of the evaluation process.
(d) "Certificate holder" means an individual who has satisfactorily met minimum experience requirements and holds a NICET Level III certification in fire protection engineering technology automatic sprinkler system layout and is an owner, partner, officer or any employee of a fire protection sprinkler contractor who has been continuously employed by the contractor during the one-hundred-twenty-day period immediately before the filing of an application for a permit as provided for in Section 4 of this act.
(e) "Fire protection sprinkler system" means a system of overhead piping designed in accordance with fire protection engineering standards that is supplied from a reliable, constant and sufficient water supply such as a gravity tank, fire pump, reservoir, pressure tank or connection by underground piping to a city main. The portion of the sprinkler system above ground shall be considered the fire protection sprinkler system for purposes of this act and is a network of specially sized or hydraulically designed piping installed in a building, structure or area, generally overhead, and to which sprinklers are connected in a systematic pattern. The system includes a controlling valve and device for activating an alarm when the system is in operation. The system is usually activated by heat from and fire and discharges water over the fire area. Fire protection sprinkler systems shall include the following types: wet-pipe systems, dry-pipe systems, pre-action systems, deluge systems, combined dry-pipe and pre-action systems, antifreeze systems and circulating closed loop systems, each as defined and continuously revised in National Fire Protection Association Pamphlet 13, entitled "Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems."
(f) "Permit" means the form issued by the State Fire Marshal to a fire protection sprinkler contractor upon approval of the application, payment of the required fee and proof of NICET Level III certification of the person designated as that company's certificate holder.
SECTION 2. The State Fire Marshal shall administer this act and may set or change the amount of the fee charged as may be necessary for the administration and enforcement of this act. Such fee shall not exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).
SECTION 3. It is unlawful for any fire protection sprinkler contractor to engage in the planning, sale, installation, repair, alteration, addition, maintenance or inspection of a fire protection sprinkler system in this state except in conformity with this act.
SECTION 4. (1) Any fire protection sprinkler contractor desiring to engage in the planning, sale, installation, repair, alteration, addition, maintenance or inspection of fire protection sprinkler systems shall apply for a permit to the State Fire Marshal on standard forms provided by the State Fire Marshal supplying all the required information on the person designated to be the certificate holder. An application fee of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) shall be paid when making the application.
(2) The State Fire Marshal shall issue, upon receipt of the application, the fee, an insurance certificate and a copy of the NICET Level III certificate of the person designated to be the certificate holder, a permit to a fire protection sprinkler contractor.
SECTION 5. If the requirements of Section 4 of this act are met, the State Fire Marshal shall within thirty (30) days issue a permit in the name of the fire protection sprinkler contractor with the name of the certificate holder noted thereon.
SECTION 6. In no case shall a certificate holder be allowed to obtain a permit for more than one (1) fire protection sprinkler contractor at a time. If the certificate holder leaves the employment of the fire protection sprinkler contractor, he must notify the State Fire Marshal within thirty (30) days. The certificate holder shall not broker his permit authorization to more than one (1) fire protection sprinkler contractor at a time nor consecutively in a manner so as to create corporate entities just for individual profit. Violation of this provision by a permit holder shall subject the permit holder to suspension of his permit for a period of one (1) year. If the certificate holder leaves the employment of the fire protection sprinkler contractor or dies, the contractor shall have six (6) months to submit a new application on another certificate holder and be issued a new permit. If such application is not received within the allotted time, the State Fire Marshal shall revoke the permit of the fire protection sprinkler contractor.
SECTION 7. (1) The permit shall expire at midnight on each September 30. At least thirty (30) days before expiration, the fire protection sprinkler contractor must submit a renewal application. A renewal fee of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), current insurance certificate and a copy of the current NICET Level III certificate of the person designated to be the certificate holder must be submitted with the renewal application.
(2) Failure to renew the permit before the expiration shall cause the permit to be void as of the expiration date, and it shall be unlawful under this act for any fire protection sprinkler contractor to engage in planning, selling, installing, repairing, altering, adding, maintaining or inspecting a fire protection sprinkler system without a valid permit.
(3) The permit may be reinstated by making application and providing the items required under Section 4 of this act; however, until a new permit is issued, it shall be unlawful for the fire protection sprinkler contractor to engage in planning, selling, installing, repairing, altering, adding, maintaining or inspecting fire protection sprinkler systems.
SECTION 8. The local building permit official shall require a copy of the permit before issuing a license or building permit. The local official shall impose no other requirements or fees on the certified fire protection sprinkler contractor to prove competency other than proper evidence of a valid permit.
SECTION 9. If shop drawings are required to be submitted and approved by any county or municipal governing authority, the state or any political subdivision of the state, the plans shall bear the permit numbers of the certified fire protection sprinkler contractor.
SECTION 10. This act also applies to any fire protection sprinkler contractor performing work for any county municipal governing authority or the state. Officials of any county, municipality or the state are required to determine compliance with this act before awarding any contracts for the installation, repair, alteration, addition or inspection of a fire protection sprinkler system. Bids for such shall be accompanied by a copy of a valid permit.
SECTION 11. All funds collected under this act shall be deposited to the credit of the State Fire Marshal's Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury. The State Fire Marshal shall be authorized to receive grants and donations from the associations, firms or individuals who are interested in the upgrading and quality of fire protection sprinkler systems, which shall also be paid to the State Fire Marshal's Fund. The State Fire Marshal is authorized to expend monies in accordance with legislative appropriation from the State Fire Marshal's Fund for the administration and enforcement of this act.
SECTION 12. The State Fire Marshal may issue and deliver an order to cease and desist to any individual, partnership, corporation, association or joint venture who he has reason to believe is or has been violating the provisions of this act. Whoever fails to comply with any order issued under this section shall be assessed a civil fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for each day of such violation. Violations of this act or failure to comply with an order to cease and desist shall also constitute cause for revocation of the permit.
SECTION 13. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.