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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 23, 2018 04:07 PM
From: Senator Randy Vulakovich
To: All Senate members
Subject: Fire Equipment Distributor Certification Legislation
Soon, I will be introducing legislation to establish statewide licensure of the Commonwealth’s fire protection industry that will ensure a consistent baseline competency is offered to the marketplace for the proper installation and service of portable fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems, and building fire alarm systems.

The Commonwealth’s fire equipment and distributor industry provides the first line of emergency response to ensure Commonwealth schools, governments, businesses and private residences are equipped with state and locally mandated fire suppression systems that protect against personal and property losses. However, it was recently brought to my attention that the City of Altoona adopted a resolution requiring persons providing or conducting maintenance on portable fire extinguishers to maintain International Council Code certification, valid business address, proper photo identification and a local certificate issued by the city to conduct. This resolution was adopted in response to two local firms that were caught placing certification stickers on extinguishers and then requiring the owner of the fire extinguisher to have it tested someplace else. This is not the first time that incidence of potential fraud in the industry has been brought to my attention and I believe that the actions taken by the City of Altoona should be replicated statewide to ensure a minimum level of competency, certification, and standardization for all fire equipment distributor, installation and service companies to follow. The legislation, which is modeled after similar statutes enacted in Georgia, Florida and NJ, would task the State Office of Fire Commissioner with promulgating regulations for the licensure of fire equipment and distribution companies and certification of their employees.

Currently, this issue is under consideration by the SR 6 (Fire & EMS) Commission. Standardizing the safe operation of fire equipment and suppression systems will help protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public as well as public and private property by assuring the competence of those who perform fire equipment and suppression system services through state licensure and certification.

If you have any questions, please contact Nate Silcox of my staff at 717-787-6538.

Introduced as SB1178