Act of Jun. 8, 1911, P.L. 705, No. 281              Cl. 11
                                  AN ACT

     Creating the office of Fire Marshal, to be attached to the
        Department of Public Safety in cities of the first class;
        prescribing his duties and powers; and providing penalties
        for violations of the provisions of the act; and providing
        for the method of appointment, compensation, and for the
        maintenance of his office.

        Compiler's Note:  Section 2104 of Act 32 of 1989 provided
            that Act 281 isrepealed act insofar as it is inconsistent
            with Act 32.
        Compiler's Note:  Section 13 of Act 214 of 1990 provided that
            nothing in Act 214 shall be construed to repeal Act 281.
        Section 1.  Be it enacted, &c., That there shall be
     established in the Department of Public Safety, in all cities of
     the first class in this Commonwealth, to be known as "the Office
     of Fire Marshal." That the Director of Public Safety shall
     appoint, subject to the approval of select council, a suitable
     person, who shall be a citizen of the State and a qualified
     elector of said city, Fire Marshal, who shall devote his whole
     time to the duties of his office, and who shall hold office
     until his successor is appointed and qualified. The office of
     Fire Marshal shall be maintained at such place as may be
     designated by the Director of the Department of Public Safety:
     Provided, That whenever an officer of the Police Department, in
     any city of the first class, has heretofore been appointed as
     Fire Marshal, he shall continue to hold office and act as Fire
     Marshal, under the terms and provisions of this act, until his
     term of office shall have expired, or until he shall have been
     removed for cause by the said Director of Public Safety.
        Section 2.  The Director of Public Safety is hereby empowered
     and required to appoint such a number of assistant fire marshals
     as the city councils may allow, one of the said assistants to be
     designated as chief assistant. The duties of said chief
     assistant and assistants shall be to assist the Fire Marshal,
     and such appointees may be removed for cause by the said
     Director of Public Safety.
        Section 3.  In the event of a vacancy in the office of Fire
     Marshal, or during the absence or disability of that officer,
     the chief assistant marshal shall perform the duties of the
     office, or, in his absence, one of the assistants to be
     designated by the Director of Public Safety.
        Section 4.  The Director of Public Safety is hereby empowered
     to appoint such office assistants as the city council may allow,
     as being necessary for the proper and efficient conduct of his
     office: Provided, nevertheless, That all rules and regulations
     heretofore made by councils, at any city of the first class, for
     the regulation and conduct of the office of Fire Marshal, not
     inconsistent with the terms of this act, shall be valid and
        Section 5.  The fire marshal may order the inspection of all
     buildings used for business or private purposes, and all
     buildings used for public purposes,--meetings, exhibitions, or
     theatrical or operatic performances, or any amusement place,--
     and enforce all laws relating to the same, and no license shall
     be issued by the mayor until approved by the fire marshal. He
     and his assistant fire marshals shall have the power to enter
     and inspect buildings as aforesaid, including their contents and
     occupancies as provided under section nine of this act, and it
     shall be the duty of such fire marshal to report to the Director
     of Public Safety any faulty or dangerous condition found; and no
     license under the provisions of any law may be necessary, to use
     said buildings for any purposes herein named, shall be issued,
     or, if issued, shall not be available for said use, until the
     faulty or dangerous condition is remedied; and said fire marshal
     shall, if he find any temporary property, to be used in any
     building for scenic or spectacular purposes, is made or composed
     of highly combustible material, he shall forbid its being taken
     in said building. No gasoline pumps or gasoline standpipes shall
     hereafter be erected or installed in such city, unless a permit
     therefor has been first issued by the fire marshal, approving
     the location of such pumps or pipes, and the kind and character
     of pump or pipe so to be erected or installed.
        (5 amended May 11, 1927, P.L.960, No.453)
        Section 6.  The Fire Marshal of every city of the first class
     of this Commonwealth shall make, or cause to be made, an
     investigation of the cause, origin, and circumstances of every
     fire occurring in such city, by which property has been
     destroyed or damaged, and shall especially make investigation as
     to whether such fire was the result of carelessness or design.
     Such investigations shall be begun immediately after the
     occurrence of such fire, and the Fire Marshal shall have the
     right to supervise and direct such investigation whenever he
     deems it expedient or necessary. The officer making
     investigation of fire shall forthwith notify said Fire Marshal,
     and shall within one week of the occurrence of fire furnish to
     the said Fire Marshal a written statement of all facts relating
     to the cause and origin of the fire, and such other information
     as may be called for,--the blanks provided by said Fire Marshal.
     The said Fire Marshal shall keep in his office a record of all
     fires occurring, together with all facts, statistics, and
     circumstances, including the origin of the fires, which may be
     determined by investigations provided by this act; such records
     shall at all times be open to the public inspection.
        Section 7.  The Fire Marshal shall, when in his opinion
     further investigation is necessary, take or cause to be taken
     the testimony, on oath or affirmation, of all persons supposed
     to be cognizant of any facts or to have means of knowledge in
     relation to the matter as to which an examination is herein
     required to be made, and shall cause the same to be reduced in
     writing; and if he shall be of the opinion that there is
     evidence sufficient to charge any person with the crime of
     arson, or of conspiracy to defraud, or criminal conduct, in
     connection with such fire, he shall cause such person to be
     arrested and charged with such offense, or either of them, and
     shall furnish to the proper prosecuting attorney all such
     evidence, together with the names of witnesses and all of the
     information obtained by him, including a copy of all pertinent
     and material testimony taken in the case; and shall report to
     the mayor, as often as such mayor shall require, the proceedings
     and the progress made in all prosecutions under this act, and
     the result of all cases which are finally disposed of.
        Section 8.  The Fire Marshal and the chief assistant fire
     marshal, and assistant fire marshals, shall each have the power
     to summon and compel the attendance of witnesses before them, or
     either of them, to testify in relation to any matter which is by
     the provision of this act a subject on inquiry and
     investigation, and may require the production of any book,
     paper, or document deemed pertinent thereto by them, or either
     of them. Said Fire Marshal, and chief assistant fire marshal and
     assistant fire marshals, are each hereby authorized and
     empowered to administer oaths and affirmations to any persons
     appearing as witnesses before them. Any witness who refuses to
     be sworn, or who refuses to testify, or who disobeys any lawful
     order of said Fire Marshal, chief assistant or assistant fire
     marshals, or who fails or refuses to produce any book, paper, or
     document touching any matter under examination, or who is guilty
     of any contemptuous conduct after being summoned by them, or
     either of them, to appear before them or either of them, to give
     testimony in relation to any matter or subject under
     investigation as aforesaid, shall be deemed guilty of a
     misdemeanor, and, on conviction before any magistrate, be fined
     twenty-five dollars, or, in default of such payment, imprisoned
     in the county prison not more than thirty days. Said Fire
     Marshal and his subordinates, or either of them, shall have the
     authority at all times of day and night, in the performance of
     the duties imposed by the provisions in this act, to enter upon
     and examine any building, or premises adjoining or near the
        Section 9.  The Fire Marshal, and his chief assistant and his
     assistants, shall have a right at all reasonable hours, for the
     purpose of examination, to enter into and upon all buildings and
     premises within their jurisdiction. Whenever any said officers
     shall find any building which, by reason of age and dilapidated
     condition or for any other cause, is especially liable to fire,
     and which is so situated as to endanger other buildings or
     property, or so occupied that fire would endanger persons or
     property therein, and whenever any such officers shall find in
     any building or upon any premises highly combustible or
     explosive materials, oils, and greases, or conditions and
     combinations dangerous to the safety of said buildings or
     premises, they shall order the same to be removed or remedied,
     and such order shall be forthwith complied with by the owner or
     occupant of said buildings or premises: Provided, however, That
     if the said occupant or owner shall deem himself aggrieved by
     such order, he may appeal in writing to the Director of the
     Department of Public Safety within three (3) days after having
     received notice of the decision of the Fire Marshal, specifying
     in such appeal the reasons and ground therefor. The Director of
     Public Safety shall immediately refer such appeal to a
     commission, which shall consist of the Chief of the Fire
     Department, the Chief of the Bureau of Building Inspection, and
     the Secretary of the Philadelphia Fire Underwriters'
     Association. Said commission shall carefully consider said
     appeal and make decision thereon, and its decision shall be
     conclusive. The decision of any two shall be the decision of the
     commission. Failing to comply with the orders of the authorities
     above specified shall be deemed guilty of keeping and
     maintaining a nuisance detrimental to life and property, and, on
     conviction before any magistrate, be fined twenty-five dollars,
     or, in default of such payment, imprisoned in the county prison
     not more than thirty days.
        Section 10.  The Fire Marshal shall not engage in any other
     business, and he or one of his assistants shall at all times be
     at the office of the Fire Marshal, ready for such duties as are
     required by this act.
        Section 11.  The Fire Marshal shall submit annually as early
     as consistent with full and accurate preparation, and not later
     than the first day of January in each year, a detailed report of
     his official actions to the Mayor and councils, included in the
     annual report.
        Section 12.  The Fire Marshal, his chief assistant and
     inspectors, may examine all buildings upon which any fire-
     escapes may be erected, shall see that it is kept in good order
     and repair, and no person shall at any time, place any
     incumbrance of any kind whatsoever upon any of said fire-escapes
     or passageways constructed or intended for the escape of persons
     from the premises in case of fire. Any owner or occupant of
     buildings or premises, failing to comply with the orders of the
     authorities above specified, shall be deemed guilty of keeping
     and maintaining a nuisance detrimental to life and property, and
     on conviction before any magistrate be fined twenty-five
     dollars, or, in default of such payment, imprisoned in the
     county prison not more than thirty days.