Florida Senate - 2019                CS for CS for CS for SB 908
       By the Committees on Rules; Community Affairs; and Banking and
       Insurance; and Senator Hooper
       595-04819-19                                           2019908c3
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to firesafety systems; amending s.
    3         553.792, F.S.; requiring, beginning on a certain date,
    4         that a uniform fire alarm permit application, along
    5         with certain other information, be used and submitted
    6         to the local enforcement agency for any project
    7         requiring a fire alarm permit; providing that such
    8         application may be submitted by certain means;
    9         providing a signature requirement; specifying
   10         information required in, and a form for, such
   11         applications; providing applicability of certain
   12         building permit application procedures; authorizing
   13         contractors, under certain circumstances, to begin
   14         fire alarm system repairs upon filing the uniform fire
   15         alarm permit application; amending s. 633.216, F.S.;
   16         conforming a cross-reference; amending s. 633.312,
   17         F.S.; authorizing local authorities having
   18         jurisdiction to accept uniform summary inspection
   19         reports of certain fire hydrants and fire protection
   20         systems by certain means; requiring the State Fire
   21         Marshal to adopt rules implementing a uniform summary
   22         inspection report and certain submission procedures;
   23         providing requirements for such uniform report and
   24         procedures; providing that such procedures may not
   25         require a contractor to submit certain information;
   26         amending s. 718.112, F.S.; requiring that condominium
   27         association bylaws provide requirements for the
   28         association’s reasonable compliance with the Florida
   29         Fire Prevention Code; defining the term “reasonable
   30         compliance”; specifying authorized means of compliance
   31         for certain residential condominiums; deleting a
   32         requirement for association bylaws to contain a
   33         certain certificate of compliance provision; deleting
   34         an exemption from a requirement to retrofit certain
   35         condominium property with a fire sprinkler system;
   36         deleting obsolete provisions; extending the date
   37         before which a local authority having jurisdiction may
   38         not require completion of a condominium’s retrofitting
   39         with a fire sprinkler system; specifying the date
   40         before which such local authority having jurisdiction
   41         may not require completion of installation of an
   42         engineered life safety system; requiring the State
   43         Fire Marshal, by a certain date, to issue a data call
   44         to all local fire officials to collect data on certain
   45         high-rise condominiums; specifying data that local
   46         fire officials must submit; requiring that all data be
   47         received and compiled into a certain report by a
   48         certain date; requiring that the report be sent to the
   49         Governor and the Legislature by a certain date;
   50         providing an effective date.
   52  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   54         Section 1. Section 553.792, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   55  read:
   56         553.792 Building permit application to local government;
   57  fire alarm permit applications.—
   58         (1) Within 10 days of an applicant submitting an
   59  application to the local government, the local government shall
   60  advise the applicant what information, if any, is needed to deem
   61  the application properly completed in compliance with the filing
   62  requirements published by the local government. If the local
   63  government does not provide written notice that the applicant
   64  has not submitted the properly completed application, the
   65  application shall be automatically deemed properly completed and
   66  accepted. Within 45 days after receiving a completed
   67  application, a local government must notify an applicant if
   68  additional information is required for the local government to
   69  determine the sufficiency of the application, and shall specify
   70  the additional information that is required. The applicant must
   71  submit the additional information to the local government or
   72  request that the local government act without the additional
   73  information. While the applicant responds to the request for
   74  additional information, the 120-day period described in this
   75  subsection is tolled. Both parties may agree to a reasonable
   76  request for an extension of time, particularly in the event of a
   77  force major or other extraordinary circumstance. The local
   78  government must approve, approve with conditions, or deny the
   79  application within 120 days following receipt of a completed
   80  application.
   81         (2) The procedures set forth in subsection (1) apply to the
   82  following building permit applications: accessory structure;
   83  alarm permit; nonresidential buildings less than 25,000 square
   84  feet; electric; irrigation permit; landscaping; mechanical;
   85  plumbing; residential units other than a single family unit;
   86  multifamily residential not exceeding 50 units; roofing; signs;
   87  site-plan approvals and subdivision plats not requiring public
   88  hearings or public notice; and lot grading and site alteration
   89  associated with the permit application set forth in this
   90  subsection. The procedures set forth in subsection (1) do not
   91  apply to permits for any wireless communications facilities or
   92  when a law, agency rule, or local ordinance specify different
   93  timeframes for review of local building permit applications.
   94         (3)Beginning October 1, 2019, for any project requiring a
   95  fire alarm permit, a uniform fire alarm permit application must
   96  be used and submitted to the local enforcement agency along with
   97  any required drawings, plans, and supporting documentation. The
   98  uniform fire alarm permit application may be submitted
   99  electronically or by facsimile and must be signed by the owner,
  100  contractor, or authorized representative of either such person.
  101  The uniform fire alarm permit application must contain the
  102  following information in substantially the following form:
  104                UNIFORM FIRE ALARM PERMIT APPLICATION              
  106         Tax Folio No.: ....
  107         Application No.: ....
  108         Owner or Representative Name: ....
  109         Property Address: ....
  110         City: .... State: .... Zip: ....
  111         Phone: ....
  112         Fee Simple Titleholder’s Name (if other than owner): ....
  113         Fee Simple Titleholder’s Address (if other than owner):
  114  ....
  115         Description of Work: .... New Install .... Replacement ....
  116  Addition .... Other ....
  117         Construction Type: ....
  118         Proposed Use: ....
  119         Alarm Contractor’s Name: ....
  120         Alarm Contractor’s Address: ....
  121         City: .... State: .... Zip: ....
  122         Phone: ....
  123         Alarm Contractor’s License No: ....
  125         Application is hereby made to obtain a permit to do the
  126  work and installation as indicated. I certify that no work or
  127  installation has commenced before the filing of this permit
  128  application. I certify that all of the foregoing information is
  129  true and accurate.
  131         ...(Signature of Owner, Contractor, or Agent)...
  132         Printed Name: ....
  134         (4) The procedures set forth in subsection (1) do not apply
  135  to the installation or replacement of a fire alarm system if a
  136  plans review is not required by the local enforcement agency.
  137         (5)For repairs to an existing fire alarm system that was
  138  previously permitted by the local enforcement agency, the
  139  contractor may begin the repair upon filing the uniform fire
  140  alarm permit application with the local enforcement agency if
  141  the local enforcement agency requires fire alarm permits for
  142  repairs.
  143         Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 633.216, Florida
  144  Statutes, is amended to read:
  145         633.216 Inspection of buildings and equipment; orders;
  146  firesafety inspection training requirements; certification;
  147  disciplinary action.—The State Fire Marshal and her or his
  148  agents or persons authorized to enforce laws and rules of the
  149  State Fire Marshal shall, at any reasonable hour, when the State
  150  Fire Marshal has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of
  151  this chapter or s. 509.215, or a rule adopted thereunder, or a
  152  minimum firesafety code adopted by the State Fire Marshal or a
  153  local authority, may exist, inspect any and all buildings and
  154  structures which are subject to the requirements of this chapter
  155  or s. 509.215 and rules adopted thereunder. The authority to
  156  inspect shall extend to all equipment, vehicles, and chemicals
  157  which are located on or within the premises of any such building
  158  or structure.
  159         (1) Each county, municipality, and special district that
  160  has firesafety enforcement responsibilities shall employ or
  161  contract with a firesafety inspector. Except as provided in s.
  162  633.312(2), and (3), and (4), the firesafety inspector must
  163  conduct all firesafety inspections that are required by law. The
  164  governing body of a county, municipality, or special district
  165  that has firesafety enforcement responsibilities may provide a
  166  schedule of fees to pay only the costs of inspections conducted
  167  pursuant to this subsection and related administrative expenses.
  168  Two or more counties, municipalities, or special districts that
  169  have firesafety enforcement responsibilities may jointly employ
  170  or contract with a firesafety inspector.
  171         Section 3. Present subsections (4) and (5) of section
  172  633.312, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (5)
  173  and (6), respectively, and subsection (3) of that section is
  174  amended, to read:
  175         633.312 Inspection of fire control systems, fire hydrants,
  176  and fire protection systems.—
  177         (3)(a) The inspecting contractor shall provide to the
  178  building owner or hydrant owner and the local authority having
  179  jurisdiction a copy of the applicable uniform summary inspection
  180  report established under this chapter. The local authority
  181  having jurisdiction may accept uniform summary inspection
  182  reports by United States mail, by hand delivery, by electronic
  183  submission, or through a third-party vendor that collects the
  184  reports on behalf of the local authority having jurisdiction.
  185         (b) The State Fire Marshal shall adopt rules to implement a
  186  uniform summary inspection report and submission procedures to
  187  be used by all third-party vendors and local authorities having
  188  jurisdiction. For purposes of this section, a uniform summary
  189  inspection report must record the address where the fire
  190  protection system or hydrant is located, the company and person
  191  conducting the inspection and their license number, the date of
  192  the inspection, and the fire protection system or hydrant
  193  inspection status, including a brief summary of each deficiency,
  194  critical deficiency, noncritical deficiency, or impairment
  195  found. A contractor’s detailed inspection report is not required
  196  to follow the uniform summary inspection report format. The
  197  State Fire Marshal shall establish by rule a submission
  198  procedure for each means provided under paragraph (a) by which a
  199  local authority having jurisdiction may accept uniform summary
  200  inspection reports. Each of the submission procedures must allow
  201  a contractor to attach additional documents with the submission
  202  of a uniform summary inspection report, including a physical
  203  copy of the contractor’s detailed inspection report. A
  204  submission procedure may not require a contractor to submit
  205  information contained within the detailed inspection report
  206  unless the information is required to be included in the uniform
  207  summary inspection report.
  208         (4) The maintenance of fire hydrant and fire protection
  209  systems as well as corrective actions on deficient systems is
  210  the responsibility of the owner of the system or hydrant.
  211  Equipment requiring periodic testing or operation to ensure its
  212  maintenance shall be tested or operated as specified in the Fire
  213  Prevention Code, Life Safety Code, National Fire Protection
  214  Association standards, or as directed by the appropriate
  215  authority, provided that such appropriate authority may not
  216  require a sprinkler system not required by the Fire Prevention
  217  Code, Life Safety Code, or National Fire Protection Association
  218  standards to be removed regardless of its condition. This
  219  section does not prohibit governmental entities from inspecting
  220  and enforcing firesafety codes.
  221         Section 4. Paragraph (l) of subsection (2) of section
  222  718.112, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  223         718.112 Bylaws.—
  224         (2) REQUIRED PROVISIONS.—The bylaws shall provide for the
  225  following and, if they do not do so, shall be deemed to include
  226  the following:
  227         (l) Firesafety.An association must ensure reasonable
  228  compliance with the Florida Fire Prevention Code. For purposes
  229  of this paragraph, the term “reasonable compliance means the
  230  ability to select alternative solutions to ensure that the
  231  property meets the level of firesafety required by the Florida
  232  Fire Prevention Code. As to a residential condominium building
  233  that is a high-rise building as defined under the Florida Fire
  234  Prevention Code, the association may either retrofit a fire
  235  sprinkler system or install an engineered life safety system as
  236  specified in the Florida Fire Prevention Code Certificate of
  237  compliance.— A provision that a certificate of compliance from a
  238  licensed electrical contractor or electrician may be accepted by
  239  the association’s board as evidence of compliance of the
  240  condominium units with the applicable fire and life safety code
  241  must be included. Notwithstanding chapter 633 or of any other
  242  code, statute, ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation, or
  243  any interpretation of the foregoing, an association, residential
  244  condominium, or unit owner is not obligated to retrofit the
  245  common elements, association property, or units of a residential
  246  condominium with a fire sprinkler system in a building that has
  247  been certified for occupancy by the applicable governmental
  248  entity if the unit owners have voted to forego such retrofitting
  249  by the affirmative vote of a majority of all voting interests in
  250  the affected condominium.
  251         1. The local authority having jurisdiction may not require
  252  completion of retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system or
  253  completion of installation of an engineered life safety system
  254  before January 1, 2024 2020. By December 31, 2016, a residential
  255  condominium association that is not in compliance with the
  256  requirements for a fire sprinkler system and has not voted to
  257  forego retrofitting of such a system must initiate an
  258  application for a building permit for the required installation
  259  with the local government having jurisdiction demonstrating that
  260  the association will become compliant by December 31, 2019.
  261         1. A vote to forego retrofitting may be obtained by limited
  262  proxy or by a ballot personally cast at a duly called membership
  263  meeting, or by execution of a written consent by the member, and
  264  is effective upon recording a certificate attesting to such vote
  265  in the public records of the county where the condominium is
  266  located. The association shall mail or hand deliver to each unit
  267  owner written notice at least 14 days before the membership
  268  meeting in which the vote to forego retrofitting of the required
  269  fire sprinkler system is to take place. Within 30 days after the
  270  association’s opt-out vote, notice of the results of the opt-out
  271  vote must be mailed or hand delivered to all unit owners.
  272  Evidence of compliance with this notice requirement must be made
  273  by affidavit executed by the person providing the notice and
  274  filed among the official records of the association. After
  275  notice is provided to each owner, a copy must be provided by the
  276  current owner to a new owner before closing and by a unit owner
  277  to a renter before signing a lease.
  278         2. If there has been a previous vote to forego
  279  retrofitting, a vote to require retrofitting may be obtained at
  280  a special meeting of the unit owners called by a petition of at
  281  least 10 percent of the voting interests. Such a vote may only
  282  be called once every 3 years. Notice shall be provided as
  283  required for any regularly called meeting of the unit owners,
  284  and must state the purpose of the meeting. Electronic
  285  transmission may not be used to provide notice of a meeting
  286  called in whole or in part for this purpose.
  287         3. As part of the information collected annually from
  288  condominiums, the division shall require condominium
  289  associations to report the membership vote and recording of a
  290  certificate under this subsection and, if retrofitting has been
  291  undertaken, the per-unit cost of such work. The division shall
  292  annually report to the Division of State Fire Marshal of the
  293  Department of Financial Services the number of condominiums that
  294  have elected to forego retrofitting.
  295         2.4. Notwithstanding s. 553.509, a residential association
  296  may not be obligated to, and may forego the retrofitting of, any
  297  improvements required by s. 553.509(2) upon an affirmative vote
  298  of a majority of the voting interests in the affected
  299  condominium.
  300         Section 5. By July 1, 2019, the State Fire Marshal shall
  301  issue a data call to all local fire officials to collect data
  302  regarding high-rise condominiums greater than 75 feet in height
  303  which have not retrofitted with a fire sprinkler system or an
  304  engineered life safety system in accordance with ss. 633.208(5)
  305  and 718.112(2)(l), Florida Statutes. Local fire officials shall
  306  submit such data to the State Fire Marshal and shall include,
  307  for each individual building, the address, the number of units,
  308  and the number of stories. By July 1, 2020, all data must be
  309  received and compiled into a report by city and county. By
  310  September 1, 2020, the report must be sent to the Governor, the
  311  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  312  Representatives.
  313         Section 6. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.