Established: December 28, 1887


From: Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 7:03 AM

To: John Houlihan <[email protected]>



July 18, 2017

Action Needed TODAY

Sorry for the short notice but we just found out about this issue over the weekend.

Tomorrow Wednesday July 19, 2017 the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security will hold a hearing on several bills. The most important to this association’s membership is House Bill 1317.

This bill establishes a Building Code Coordinating Council. In essence any regulation that is promulgated by the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations would have to pass through this board when it comes to issues involving a construction code.

This new BCCC would have the authority to reject, by majority vote, proposed regulations that are inconsistent, redundant, conflicting or overlapping with any other existing or proposed construction codes.

Inconsistent and conflicting are the dangerous words.

The Fire Service has worked hard to promulgate laws and regulations to protect citizens and firefighters. This new BCCC would be a new layer of bureaucracy that would hinder our efforts.

We all know the struggles we have when trying to modify the Building Code to make buildings safer.

We ask that you take a moment and send a message to the members of the committee urging them to defeat this bill.

President Steve Lavoie will be offering testimony at the hearing as will Vice President Chris Dowling. This is a Public Hearing. If you have the time please attend and support them and maybe even testify!

The following is the text of a letter that President Lavoie sent to the members. We would ask that you do the same.

July 15, 2017

Dear Members of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security,

Two years ago, the State of Massachusetts adopted its first uniform fire code for statewide code enforcement; this was done to ensure that the latest standards were being used in a fair and non-conflicting manner. This code went through a strict vetting process which allowed the State to have a maintenance code dealing with fire prevention. After reading the description of the proposed house bill H.1317, our Association believes that this process would not be in the best interest of public safety. The Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts vehemently opposes H. 1317 for the reasons stated below.

House bill H.1317 would make it harder to promulgate much needed life safety regulations in an effective and efficient time frame.

House bill H.1317 denies any specialized codes, rules, or regulations a right of an appeal process. This would create the State of Massachusetts vs the State of Massachusetts within our judicial system.

House bill H.1317 is inconsistent with the current State laws, and will conflict with our current M.G.L. Chapter 143 sections 96 & 97.

House bill H.1317 does not provide a means for emergency promulgations. An example would be the State's quick and effective passing of Chapter 304 Of The Acts Of 2004 "An Act Relative To Fire Safety In The Commonwealth" in response to the tragic Rhode Island station night club fire in 2003.

We believe that the proposed House bill H.1317 would fail us as Public safety officials, and would create multiple issues due to its inconsistency with the current laws. We strongly urge you to oppose House bill H.1317.

Thank you for your consideration.

Steven R. Lavoie, President, FPAM



Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts, Inc.

P.O. Box 2144, Amherst, MA 01004-2144


An Act relative to clarifying homeowners right

 to perform electrical work   - IN LIMBO NO ACTION-

By Mr. Durant of Spencer, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 147) of Peter J. Durant and others relative to the performance of electrical work by single family homeowners. Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.

House Bill NO. 147

Homeowners will be able to obtain permits on single family homes.

We need to keep track of House Bill No. 147 in the 190th Court this year.

Here is the link…

House Bill H155

H155, An Act strengthening enforcement of Chapter 141 and 147 licenses

Adds new section 35YY to GL Chapter 10 to establish a Wiring Inspector Education Trust Fund consisting of 50% of the monies paid to the board of electrical examiners or their board of appeals. The secretary shall develop written criteria for awarding grants and other funding allocations. Amends GL 112:65A to increase maximum fines for practicing a trade or profession without a license to a range of $2,500 to $5,000. Amends GL 141:5 to provide for increased fines for those who engage in electrical work without conforming with the procedures and principles provided in GL Chapter 141. (Same amendment appears in HB 192). Amends GL 143:3L to increase the fine for failing to notify the inspector of wires about work to be done, to $5,000. Updates language to reflect new references to systems. Amends GL 143:3P to streamline the appeals process to the electricians board which in effect decreases transparency and appellant participation.

House Bill   H186

H186, An Act relative to licensure requirements for Jefte Rivera

Directs the Board of Electricians Appeals to allow Jefte Rivera to apply for a certificate B journeyman electrician license; prohibits the Board from denying his application solely because he required additional time to complete his education and work experience requirements; requires Rivera to apply for said license within six months of the effective date of this Act. No general or special laws cited.

Senate Bill  S161

S161, An Act strengthening the enforcement of certain licenses

Establishes a new Wiring Inspector Education Trust Fund on the books of the Commonwealth. The fund is to be financed 50% from monies paid to the state's Board of Electrical Examiners or Board of Electricians Appeals together with any interest earned on the investments, and is in turn to finance the awards of grants to inspector of wires associations, cities or towns in the commonwealth to provide education, training, professional and support services for the benefit of inspectors. The bill also raises a number of fines or fees, including such things like persons practicing these trades without a license.

Here is the link for the full hearing list. Please take a look and let us know if there are any other bills that might impact you.