81-502. State Fire Marshal; fire prevention and safety; duties; delegation of authority to local fire prevention personnel; rules and regulations; compliance; late penalty.

(1) It shall be the duty of the State Fire Marshal, under authority of the Governor:

(a) To enforce all laws of the state relating to the suppression of arson and investigation of the cause, origin, and circumstances of fires;

(b) To promote safety and reduce loss by fire;

(c) To make an investigation for fire safety of the premises and facilities of:

(i) Liquor establishments for which a license or renewal of a license is sought, upon request of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, pursuant to section 53-119.01;

(ii) Licensed foster care facilities or applicants for licenses for foster care facilities, upon request by the Department of Health and Human Services, pursuant to section 71-1903;

(iii) Upon request of the Department of Health and Human Services, licensed providers of programs or applicants for licenses to provide such programs pursuant to section 71-1913 and licensed residential child-caring agencies or applicants for such licensure pursuant to section 71-1934. The State Fire Marshal shall report the results of the investigation to the department within thirty days after receipt of the request from the department;

(iv) Licensed hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, or other health care facilities which are licensed under the Health Care Facility Licensure Act or applicants for licenses for such facilities or institutions, upon request by the Department of Health and Human Services, pursuant to section 71-441; and

(v) Mobile home parks for which a license or renewal of a license is sought, upon request of the Department of Health and Human Services, pursuant to section 71-4635; and

(d) After a careful study and investigation of relevant data, to adopt, promulgate, alter, and enforce, through inspections and code compliance, orders, rules, and regulations covering:

(i) The prevention of fires;

(ii) The storage, sale, and use of flammable liquids, combustibles, and fireworks;

(iii) Electric wiring and heating, protection equipment devices, materials, furnishings, and other safeguards within the structure necessary to promote safety and reduce loss by fire, and the means and adequacy of exits, in case of fire, in assembly, educational, institutional, residential, mercantile, office, storage, and industrial-type occupancies as such structures are defined in the National Fire Protection Association, Pamphlet Number 101, and associated pamphlets, and all other buildings, structures, and enclosures in which numbers of persons congregate from time to time for any purpose whether privately or publicly owned;

(iv) Design, construction, location, installation, and operation of equipment for storing, handling, and utilization of liquefied petroleum gases, specifying the odorization of such gases and the degree thereof;

(v) Chemicals, prozylin plastics, X-ray nitrocellulose films, or any other hazardous material that may now or hereafter exist;

(vi) Tanks used for the storage of regulated substances pursuant to the Petroleum Products and Hazardous Substances Storage and Handling Act; and

(vii) Accessibility standards and specifications adopted pursuant to section 81-5,147.

(2) The State Fire Marshal may enter into contracts with private individuals or other agencies, boards, commissions, or governmental bodies for the purpose of carrying out his or her duties and responsibilities pursuant to the Arson Reporting Immunity Act, the Nebraska Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1969, and sections 81-502 to 81-541.01, 81-5,132 to 81-5,146, and 81-5,151 to 81-5,157.

(3) The State Fire Marshal may delegate the authority set forth in this section to qualified local fire prevention personnel. The State Fire Marshal may overrule a decision, act, or policy of the local fire prevention personnel. When the State Fire Marshal overrules the local personnel, such local personnel may follow the appeals procedure established by sections 81-502.01 to 81-502.03. Such delegation of authority may be revoked by the State Fire Marshal for cause upon thirty days' notice after a hearing.

(4) The State Fire Marshal, first assistant fire marshal, and deputies shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as are set forth in sections 81-501.01 to 81-531 and 81-5,151 to 81-5,157 and as may be conferred and imposed by law.

(5) The rules and regulations adopted and promulgated pursuant to subdivision (1)(d) of this section may conform generally to the standards recommended by the National Fire Protection Association, Pamphlet Number 101, known as the Life Safety Code, and associated pamphlets, but not when doing so would impose an unduly severe or costly burden without substantially contributing to the safety of persons or property. This section and the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated pursuant to subdivision (1)(d) of this section shall apply to existing as well as new buildings, structures, and enclosures. Such rules and regulations shall also apply to sites or structures in public ownership listed on the National Register of Historic Places but without destroying the historic quality thereof.

(6) Plans for compliance with the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated pursuant to subdivision (1)(d) of this section shall be reviewed by the State Fire Marshal. Plans submitted after remodeling or construction has begun shall be accompanied by a penalty of fifty dollars in addition to the plan review fee set out in subdivision (4)(a) of section 81-505.01.

Source:Laws 1925, c. 183, § 2, p. 479; C.S.1929, § 81-5502; R.S.1943, § 81-502; Laws 1947, c. 313, § 1, p. 949; Laws 1967, c. 446, § 3, p. 1389; Laws 1969, c. 794, § 1, p. 3000; Laws 1972, LB 782, § 1; Laws 1973, LB 180, § 1; Laws 1976, LB 986, § 3; Laws 1981, LB 266, § 2; Laws 1982, LB 792, § 1; Laws 1983, LB 498, § 5; Laws 1984, LB 130, § 15; Laws 1985, LB 253, § 9; Laws 1986, LB 217, § 12; Laws 1987, LB 459, § 6; Laws 1989, LB 215, § 18; Laws 1993, LB 251, § 4; Laws 1993, LB 348, § 79; Laws 1993, LB 377, § 7; Laws 1995, LB 401, § 44; Laws 1996, LB 1044, § 837; Laws 1997, LB 307, § 215; Laws 1999, LB 594, § 70; Laws 2000, LB 819, § 153; Laws 2007, LB296, § 728; Laws 2013, LB265, § 47.

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