MIDLAND DAILY NEWS: Glenn introduces fire safety legislation supported by Midland chief

Michigan’s 17-member State Construction Code Commission would be better served with additional fire protection expertise, according to Midland Fire Chief Chris Coughlin.

Based on Coughlin’s recommendation, Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, has introduced House Bill 5102 to address the situation.

“I applaud Representative Glenn for introducing this common sense legislation to give fire prevention experts a voice in state construction codes,” Coughlin said. “Construction codes are intimately entwined with fire codes, so it’s critical to have fire service professionals with an appropriate knowledge base on these boards. I look forward to this bipartisan legislation moving forward.”

HB 5102, cosponsored by Republicans Laura Cox and Peter Lucido, along with Democrats Tom Cochran, Henry Yanez, Bill LaVoy and House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, adds two fire service representatives with extensive background in fire inspection and prevention to the commission.

Currently, there is no requirement that the current fire service commission member — the state fire marshal or designee — have a background for the development of building codes.

If HB 5102 is enacted into law, the state fire marshal would recommend candidates to the governor from individuals submitted by statewide associations of fire chiefs, fire inspectors and firemen. The legislation also addresses membership of potential advisory committees the commission may form to review proposed rules recommendations by calling for three similarly qualified fire service individuals to be appointed.

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.

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