Sen. Stamas, Rep. Glenn introduce construction code fire safety bills

Legislation inspired by Midland fire chief

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation prompted by Midland Fire Chief Chris Coughlin would add valuable knowledge to a state commission dealing with construction codes in Michigan

Sen. Jim Stamas and Rep. Gary Glenn, both of Midland, on Tuesday announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation that would add fire protection expertise to Michigan’s Construction Code Commission. The 17-member panel that adopts statewide building code standards would be required to include a certified fire protection specialist or a fire inspector and plans examiner under terms of the legislation.

Senate Bill 279 and House Bill 4400 are similar to legislation that Glenn introduced last session after he was approached by Chief Coughlin with the idea of making sure at least one person on the commission has fire prevention training. The bill overwhelmingly passed the House last session but was not brought up for a vote by the Senate, so Glenn and Stamas are again tackling the initiative in the 2017-18 legislative session.

“There is no question our Construction Code Commission would be improved with enhanced fire protection expertise,” Stamas said. “We need to require that someone on that commission has an extensive background in fire prevention and inspection. This legislation will do just that.”

The legislation would dictate that the state fire marshal’s designee on the commission would have the proper training and be certified by the National Fire Protection Association.

“Chief Coughlin deserves thanks for bringing this issue to our attention,” Glenn said. “He saw a need and he stepped up to do something about it. I look forward to working with Senator Stamas to make sure this plan becomes state law.”