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2013 Florida Statutes

SECTION 304
Fire suppression equipment; license to install or maintain.
F.S. 633.304
633.304 Fire suppression equipment; license to install or maintain.
(1) It is unlawful for any organization or individual to engage in the business of servicing, repairing, recharging, testing, marking, inspecting, installing, or hydrotesting any fire extinguisher or preengineered system in this state except in conformity with this chapter. Each organization or individual that engages in such activity must possess a valid and subsisting license issued by the division. All fire extinguishers and preengineered systems required by statute or by rule must be serviced by an organization or individual licensed under this chapter. A licensee who receives appropriate training shall not be prohibited by a manufacturer from servicing any particular brand of fire extinguisher or preengineered system. The licensee is legally qualified to act for the business organization in all matters connected with its business, and the licensee must supervise all activities undertaken by such business organization. Each licensee shall maintain a specific business location. A further requirement, in the case of multiple locations where such servicing or recharging is taking place, is that each licensee who maintains more than one place of business where actual work is carried on must possess an additional license, as set forth in this section, for each location, except that a licensed individual may not qualify for more than five locations. A licensee is limited to a specific type of work performed depending upon the class of license held. Licenses are required for the following:
(a) Class A: To service, recharge, repair, install, or inspect all types of fire extinguishers and to conduct hydrostatic tests on all types of fire extinguishers.
(b) Class B: To service, recharge, repair, install, or inspect all types of fire extinguishers, including recharging carbon dioxide units and conducting hydrostatic tests on all types of fire extinguishers, except carbon dioxide units.
(c) Class C: To service, recharge, repair, install, or inspect all types of fire extinguishers, except recharging carbon dioxide units, and to conduct hydrostatic tests on all types of fire extinguishers, except carbon dioxide units.
(d) Class D: To service, repair, recharge, hydrotest, install, or inspect all types of preengineered fire extinguishing systems.

Any fire equipment dealer licensed pursuant to this subsection who does not want to engage in the business of servicing, inspecting, recharging, repairing, hydrotesting, or installing halon equipment must file an affidavit on a form provided by the division so stating. Licenses will be issued by the division to show the work authorized thereunder. It is unlawful, unlicensed activity for a person or firm to falsely hold himself or herself or a business organization out to perform any service, inspection, recharge, repair, hydrotest, or installation except as specifically described in the license. A fire equipment dealer licensed pursuant to this subsection who wishes to withdraw a previously filed halon equipment exemption affidavit and engage in the business of servicing, inspecting, recharging, repairing, hydrotesting, or installing halon equipment must submit a written statement requesting the withdrawal to the division. The dealer must also submit to an inspection by the State Fire Marshal or her or his designee in order to determine that the dealer possesses the equipment required to service, inspect, recharge, repair, hydrotest, or install halon equipment.

(2) A person who holds a valid fire equipment dealer license may maintain such license in an inactive status during which time he or she may not engage in any work under the definition of the license held. An inactive status license shall be void after 4 years or when the license is renewed, whichever comes first. An inactive status license may not be reactivated unless the continuing education requirements of this chapter have been fulfilled.
(3) Each individual actually performing the work of servicing, recharging, repairing, hydrotesting, installing, testing, or inspecting fire extinguishers or preengineered systems must possess a valid and subsisting permit issued by the division. Permittees are limited as to specific type of work performed to allow work no more extensive than the class of license held by the licensee under whom the permittee is working. Permits will be issued by the division as follows:
(a) Portable permit: “Portable permittee” means a person who is limited to performing work no more extensive than the employing licensee in the servicing, recharging, repairing, installing, or inspecting all types of portable fire extinguishers.
(b) Preengineered permit: “Preengineered permittee” means a person who is limited to the servicing, recharging, repairing, installing, or inspecting of all types of preengineered fire extinguishing systems.

Any fire equipment permittee licensed pursuant to this subsection who does not want to engage in servicing, inspecting, recharging, repairing, hydrotesting, or installing halon equipment must file an affidavit on a form provided by the division so stating. Permits will be issued by the division to show the work authorized thereunder. It is unlawful, unlicensed activity for a person or firm to falsely hold himself or herself out to perform any service, inspection, recharge, repair, hydrotest, or installation except as specifically described in the permit.

(4)(a) Such licenses and permits shall be issued by the division for 2 years beginning January 1, 2000, and each 2-year period thereafter and expiring December 31 of the second year. All licenses or permits issued will expire on December 31 of each odd-numbered year. The failure to renew a license or permit by December 31 of the second year will cause the license or permit to become inoperative. The holder of an inoperative license or permit may not engage in any activities for which a license or permit is required by this section. A license or permit which is inoperative because of the failure to renew it shall be restored upon payment of the applicable fee plus a penalty equal to the applicable fee, if the application for renewal is filed no later than the following March 31. If the application for restoration is not made before the March 31st deadline, the fee for restoration shall be equal to the original application fee and the penalty provided for herein, and, in addition, the State Fire Marshal shall require reexamination of the applicant. The fee for a license or permit issued for 1 year or less shall be prorated at 50 percent of the applicable fee for a biennial license or permit.
(b) After initial licensure, each licensee or permittee must successfully complete a course or courses of continuing education for fire equipment technicians of at least 16 hours. A license or permit may not be renewed unless the licensee or permittee produces documentation of the completion of at least 16 hours of continuing education for fire equipment technicians during the biennial licensure period. A person who is both a licensee and a permittee shall be required to complete 16 hours of continuing education during each renewal period. Each licensee shall ensure that all permittees in his or her employment meet their continuing education requirements. The State Fire Marshal shall adopt rules describing the continuing education requirements and shall have the authority upon reasonable belief, to audit a fire equipment dealer to determine compliance with continuing education requirements.
(c) The forms of such licenses and permits and applications therefor shall be prescribed by the State Fire Marshal; in addition to such other information and data as that officer determines is appropriate and required for such forms, there shall be included in such forms the following matters. Each such application must be in such form as to provide that the data and other information set forth therein shall be sworn to by the applicant or, if a corporation, by an officer thereof. An application for a permit must include the name of the licensee employing such permittee, and the permit issued in pursuance of such application must also set forth the name of such licensee. A permit is valid solely for use by the holder thereof in his or her employment by the licensee named in the permit.
(d) A license of any class may not be issued or renewed by the division and a license of any class does not remain operative unless:
1. The applicant has submitted to the State Fire Marshal evidence of registration as a Florida corporation or evidence of compliance with s. 865.09.
2. The State Fire Marshal or his or her designee has by inspection determined that the applicant possesses the equipment required for the class of license sought. The State Fire Marshal shall give an applicant a reasonable opportunity to correct any deficiencies discovered by inspection. To obtain such inspection, an applicant with facilities located outside this state must:
a. Provide a notarized statement from a professional engineer licensed by the applicant’s state of domicile certifying that the applicant possesses the equipment required for the class of license sought and that all such equipment is operable; or
b. Allow the State Fire Marshal or her or his designee to inspect the facility. All costs associated with the State Fire Marshal’s inspection shall be paid by the applicant. The State Fire Marshal, in accordance with s. 120.54, may adopt rules to establish standards for the calculation and establishment of the amount of costs associated with any inspection conducted by the State Fire Marshal under this section. Such rules shall include procedures for invoicing and receiving funds in advance of the inspection.
3. The applicant has submitted to the State Fire Marshal proof of insurance providing coverage for comprehensive general liability for bodily injury and property damage, products liability, completed operations, and contractual liability. The State Fire Marshal shall adopt rules providing for the amounts of such coverage, but such amounts shall not be less than $300,000 for Class A or Class D licenses, $200,000 for Class B licenses, and $100,000 for Class C licenses; and the total coverage for any class of license held in conjunction with a Class D license may not be less than $300,000. The State Fire Marshal may, at any time after the issuance of a license or its renewal, require upon demand, and in no event more than 30 days after notice of such demand, the licensee to provide proof of insurance, on a form provided by the State Fire Marshal, containing confirmation of insurance coverage as required by this chapter. Failure, for any length of time, to provide proof of insurance coverage as required shall result in the immediate suspension of the license until proof of proper insurance is provided to the State Fire Marshal. An insurer which provides such coverage shall notify the State Fire Marshal of any change in coverage or of any termination, cancellation, or nonrenewal of any coverage.
4. The applicant applies to the State Fire Marshal, provides proof of experience, and successfully completes a prescribed training course offered by the State Fire College or an equivalent course approved by the State Fire Marshal. This subparagraph does not apply to any holder of or applicant for a permit under paragraph (g) or to a business organization or a governmental entity seeking initial licensure or renewal of an existing license solely for the purpose of inspecting, servicing, repairing, marking, recharging, and maintaining fire extinguishers used and located on the premises of and owned by such organization or entity.
5. The applicant has a current retestor identification number that is appropriate for the license for which the applicant is applying and that is listed with the United States Department of Transportation.
6. The applicant has passed, with a grade of at least 70 percent, a written examination testing his or her knowledge of the rules and statutes governing the activities authorized by the license and demonstrating his or her knowledge and ability to perform those tasks in a competent, lawful, and safe manner. Such examination shall be developed and administered by the State Fire Marshal, or his or her designee in accordance with policies and procedures of the State Fire Marshal. An applicant shall pay a nonrefundable examination fee of $50 for each examination or reexamination scheduled. A reexamination may not be scheduled sooner than 30 days after any administration of an examination to an applicant. An applicant may not be permitted to take an examination for any level of license more than a total of four times during 1 year, regardless of the number of applications submitted. As a prerequisite to licensure of the applicant, he or she:
a. Must be at least 18 years of age.
b. Must have 4 years of proven experience as a fire equipment permittee at a level equal to or greater than the level of license applied for or have a combination of education and experience determined to be equivalent thereto by the State Fire Marshal. Having held a permit at the appropriate level for the required period constitutes the required experience.
c. Must not have been convicted of a felony or a crime punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of the United States or of any state thereof or under the law of any other country. “Convicted” means a finding of guilt or the acceptance of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in any federal or state court or a court in any other country, without regard to whether a judgment of conviction has been entered by the court having jurisdiction of the case. If an applicant has been convicted of any such felony, the applicant shall be excluded from licensure for a period of 4 years after expiration of sentence or final release by the Parole Commission unless the applicant, before the expiration of the 4-year period, has received a full pardon or has had her or his civil rights restored.

This subparagraph does not apply to any holder of or applicant for a permit under paragraph (g) or to a business organization or a governmental entity seeking initial licensure or renewal of an existing license solely for the purpose of inspecting, servicing, repairing, marking, recharging, hydrotesting, and maintaining fire extinguishers used and located on the premises of and owned by such organization or entity.

(e) A fire equipment dealer licensed under this section may apply to convert the license currently held to a higher licensing category, if the licensed dealer:
1. Submits an application for the license on a form in conformance with paragraph (c). The application must be accompanied by a fee as prescribed in s. 633.132 for the type of license requested.
2. Provides evidence of 2 years’ experience as a licensed dealer and meets such relevant educational requirements as are established by rule by the State Fire Marshal for purposes of upgrading a license.
3. Meets the requirements of paragraph (d).
(f) A fire equipment dealer licensed under this section may apply to convert the license currently held to a lower licensing category, if the licensed dealer:
1. Submits an application for the license on a form in conformance with paragraph (c). The application must be accompanied by a fee as prescribed in s. 633.132 for the type of license requested.
2. Submits proof of insurance providing coverage meeting the requirements prescribed in subparagraph (d)3.
3. Submits to an inspection of the facility to ensure all equipment associated with the higher class of license has been removed and submits the required reinspection fee.
(g) A permit of any class may not be issued or renewed to a person by the division, and a permit of any class does not remain operative, unless the person has:
1. Submitted a nonrefundable examination fee in the amount of $50.
2. Successfully completed a training course offered by the State Fire College or an equivalent course approved by the State Fire Marshal.
3. Passed, with a grade of at least 70 percent, a written examination testing his or her knowledge of the rules and statutes governing the activities authorized by the permit and demonstrating his or her knowledge and ability to perform those tasks in a competent, lawful, and safe manner. Such examination must be developed and administered by the State Fire Marshal in accordance with the policies and procedures of the State Fire Marshal. An examination fee must be paid for each examination scheduled. A reexamination may not be scheduled sooner than 30 days after any administration of an examination to an applicant. An applicant may not be permitted to take an examination for any level of permit more than four times during 1 year, regardless of the number of applications submitted. As a prerequisite to taking the permit examination, the applicant must be at least 16 years of age.
(h) An applicant for a license or permit under this section who fails the examination may take it three more times during the 1-year period after he or she originally filed an application for the examination. If the applicant fails the examination within 1 year after the application date and he or she seeks to retake the examination, he or she must file a new application, pay the application and examination fees, and successfully complete a prescribed training course offered by the State Fire College or an equivalent course approved by the State Fire Marshal. The applicant may not submit a new application within 6 months after the date of his or her fourth reexamination. An applicant who passes the examination but does not meet the remaining qualifications prescribed by law and rule within 1 year after the application date must file a new application, pay the application and examination fee, successfully complete a prescribed training course approved by the State Fire College or an equivalent course approved by the State Fire Marshal, and pass the written examination.
(5)(a) No one that is being trained shall perform work requiring a permit unless an individual possessing a valid and current fire equipment permit for the type of work performed is physically present. The trainee must:
1. Be 18 years of age.
2. Possess on his or her person at all times a valid Florida driver’s license or a valid state identification card, issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. A trainee must produce identification to the State Fire Marshal or his or her designated representative upon demand.
(b) No more than two trainees shall be under the supervision of a single trainer, who shall be directly responsible for all work performed by any trainee while under his or her supervision. No trainee shall perform any work not within the scope of the license or permit held by the fire equipment dealer or permittee directly supervising his or her work.
(6) The State Fire Marshal shall adopt rules providing for the approval of the time, place, and curriculum of each training course required by this section.
(7) Every permittee must have a valid and subsisting permit upon his or her person at all times while engaging in the servicing, recharging, repairing, testing, inspecting, or installing of fire extinguishers and preengineered systems, and every licensee or permittee must be able to produce such license or permit upon demand. In addition, every permittee shall at all times carry an identification card containing his or her photograph and other identifying information as prescribed by the State Fire Marshal or the State Fire Marshal’s designee, which shall be produced on demand. The State Fire Marshal shall supply this card at a fee which shall be related to the cost of producing the card.
(8) The fees collected for any such licenses and permits and the filing fees for license and permit examination are hereby appropriated for the use of the State Fire Marshal in the administration of this chapter and shall be deposited in the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund.
(9) This section does not apply to inspections by fire chiefs, fire inspectors, fire marshals, or insurance company inspectors.
(10) All fire extinguishers and preengineered systems that are required by statute or by rule must be serviced, recharged, repaired, hydrotested, tested, inspected, and installed in compliance with this chapter and with the rules adopted by the State Fire Marshal. The State Fire Marshal may adopt by rule the standards of the National Fire Protection Association and of other reputable national organizations.
(11) If the licensee leaves the business organization or dies, the business organization shall immediately notify the State Fire Marshal of the licensee’s departure, shall return the license to the State Fire Marshal, and shall have a grace period of 60 days in which to license another person under the provisions of this chapter, failing which the business shall no longer perform those activities for which a license under this section is required.
History.s. 6, ch. 65-216; s. 4, ch. 67-78; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 71-141; s. 3, ch. 75-240; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 1, 8, ch. 78-141; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 2, ch. 84-243; ss. 1, 2, ch. 85-128; s. 8, ch. 87-287; s. 15, ch. 89-233; s. 3, ch. 90-359; s. 3, ch. 91-189; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 93-276; s. 37, ch. 95-211; s. 10, ch. 95-379; s. 423, ch. 97-102; s. 1, ch. 97-124; s. 2, ch. 98-170; s. 53, ch. 98-419; s. 28, ch. 99-254; s. 1, ch. 2000-155; s. 5, ch. 2002-287; s. 1395, ch. 2003-261; s. 51, ch. 2010-176; s. 35, ch. 2013-183.
Note.Former s. 633.061.