Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 13. Housing
Agency 5. Department of Housing and Community Development
Chapter 51. Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code
1/21/2020

13VAC5-51-51. Section 105 Enforcing Agency.

A. 105.1 Fire official. Each enforcing agency shall have an executive official in charge, hereinafter referred to as the "fire official."

Note: Fire officials are subject to sanctions in accordance with the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).

B. 105.1.1 Appointment. The fire official shall be appointed in a manner selected by the local government having jurisdiction. After permanent appointment, the fire official shall not be removed from office except for cause after having been afforded a full opportunity to be heard on specific and relevant charges by and before the appointing authority.

C. 105.1.2 Notification of appointment. The appointing authority of the local governing body shall notify the DHCD and the State Fire Marshal's Office (SFMO) within 30 days of the appointment or release of the permanent or acting fire official.

D. 105.1.3 Qualifications. The fire official shall have at least five years of fire-related experience as a firefighter, fire officer, licensed professional engineer or architect, fire or building inspector, contractor or superintendent of fire protection-related or building construction or at least five years of fire-related experience after obtaining a degree in architecture or engineering, with at least three years in responsible charge of work. Any combination of education and experience that would confer equivalent knowledge and ability shall be deemed to satisfy this requirement. The fire official shall have general knowledge of sound engineering practice with respect to the design and construction of structures, the basic principles of fire prevention and protection, the accepted requirements for means of egress and the installation of elevators and other service equipment necessary for the health, safety and general welfare of the occupants and the public. The local governing body may establish additional qualification requirements.

E. 105.2 Certification. The permanent or acting fire official shall obtain certification from the BHCD in accordance with the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21) within one year after permanent or acting appointment.

Exception: A fire official appointed prior to April 1, 1994, continuously employed by the same local governing body as the fire official shall comply with required DHCD training under the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).

F. 105.2.1 Noncertified fire official. Except for a fire official exempt from certification under the exception to Section 105.2, any acting or permanent fire official who is not certified as a fire official in accordance with the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21) shall attend the core module of the Virginia Building Code Academy or an equivalent course in an individual or regional code academy accredited by DHCD within 180 days of appointment. This requirement is in addition to meeting the certification requirement in Section 105.2.

G. 105.3 Technical assistant. The local governing body or its designee may utilize one or more technical assistants who, in the absence of the fire official, shall have the powers and perform the duties of the fire official.

Note: Technical assistants are subject to sanctions in accordance with the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).

H. 105.3.1 Notification. The fire official shall notify the DHCD within 60 days of the employment, contract or termination of all technical assistants for enforcement of the SFPC.

I. 105.3.2 Qualifications. A technical assistant shall have at least three years of experience and general knowledge in at least one of the following areas: fire protection, firefighting, electrical, building, plumbing or mechanical trades. Any combination of education and experience that would confer equivalent knowledge and ability shall be deemed to satisfy this requirement. The locality may establish additional qualification requirements.

J. 105.3.3 Certification. All technical assistants employed by or under contract to an enforcing agency for enforcing the SFPC shall be certified in the appropriate subject area in accordance with the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21) within one and one-half years after permanent or acting appointment. When required by a locality to have two or more certifications, the remaining certifications shall be obtained within three years from the date of such requirement.

Exception: Any technical assistant continuously employed by or continuously under contract to the same enforcing agency for enforcing the SFPC since before April 1, 1994, shall be exempt from the provisions of this section; however, such exempt technical assistant shall comply with required DHCD training under Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).

Note: Continuing education and periodic training requirements for DHCD certifications are set out in the Virginia Certification Standards (13VAC5-21).

K. 105.4 Control of conflict of interest. The standards of conduct for officials and employees of the enforcing agency shall be in accordance with the provisions of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act, Chapter 31 (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 27-97 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 16, Issue 20, eff. September 15, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 25, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 22, Issue 03, eff. November 16, 2005; Errata, 22:5 VA.R. 734 November 14, 2005; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 14, eff. May 1, 2008; Volume 34, Issue 18, eff. October 16, 2018.

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