Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hawaii fire inspections to be few and far between

Gov. Linda Lingle today signed SB 564, requested by the State Fire Council, decreasing the frequency from once every two years to once every five years for county fire departments to inspect all public buildings other than schools and airports. Fire chiefs can, however, use their discretion and inspect more often.

Public schools will continue to be inspected annually by county fire departments. Airports are the responsibility of the state.

“This bill would allow a county fire department to inspect buildings according to its fire and life safety risk,” said Kenneth G. Silva, Chair of the State Fire Council and Fire Chief of the Honolulu Fire Department, in March 31 testimony to the House Finance Committee. “As our state community and population continue to grow, fire department personnel have not increased proportionately, thus making it difficult, if not impossible, to inspect all buildings in two years.”

No one testified against the measure, and it received unanimous support on every legislative vote.