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SUBCHAPTER E. FIRE EXTINGUISHER RULES

28 TAC §34.517

The Texas Department of Insurance proposes amendments to §34.517 concerning servicing of portable fire extinguishers. These amendments are necessary to implement legislation enacted by the 77th Legislature in Senate Bill 327. Senate Bill 327 amended Article 5.43-1 of the Insurance Code, which regulates the leasing, renting, selling, installing, and servicing of portable fire extinguishers and the planning, certifying, installing, or servicing of fixed fire extinguisher systems. Article 5.43-1 prohibited the servicing, leasing, selling, renting or installing of portable fire extinguishers, fixed fire extinguisher systems, and extinguisher equipment not labeled or listed by a testing laboratory approved by the Texas Department of Insurance. As amended, Article 5.43-1 requires the commissioner by rule to allow portable fire extinguishers to be serviced regardless of whether the fire extinguisher carries the required labeling or listing. The proposed amendments to §34.517 describe the types of portable fire extinguishers that may be serviced. The three types of portable fire extinguishers listed in the proposed amendments are for commercial use only. The proposed amendments set forth requirements for labeling after servicing is completed. Nothing in the rule requires owners of these types of portable extinguishers to service rather than replace unlabeled extinguishers.

G. Mike Davis, state fire marshal, has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments will be in effect, there will be no fiscal impact to state and local governments as a result of the enforcement or administration of the rule. There will be no measurable effect on local employment or the local economy as a result of the proposal.

Mr. Davis has determined that for each year of the first five years the sections are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of the amendments will be cost savings to consumers who choose to service existing fire extinguishers in lieu of having to purchase new fire extinguishers. Mr. Davis has determined that this proposal will have no adverse economic effect since it allows owners of the three categories of extinguishers to choose whether to service or replace unlabeled extinguishers. Any economic cost to persons required to comply with these amendments, including any entity qualifying as a small or micro business under Government Code §2006.001, for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments will be in effect are the result of the legislative enactment of Senate Bill 327, and not as a result of the adoption, enforcement, or administration of the proposed amendments. It is not legal or feasible to waive the requirements of this rule for small or micro-businesses. To do so would allow differentiation of protection between consumers/customers of small entities compared to those protections provided to the consumers/customers of large entities.

To be considered, written comments on the proposal must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 20, 2002 to Lynda H. Nesenholtz, General Counsel and Chief Clerk, Mail Code 113-2A, Texas Department of Insurance, P. O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104. An additional copy of the comments must be simultaneously submitted to G. Mike Davis, State Fire Marshall, Mail Code 112-FM Texas Department of Insurance, P.O. Box 149221, Austin, Texas 78714-9221. A request for a public hearing should be submitted separately to the Office of the Chief Clerk.

The amendments are proposed pursuant to the Insurance Code article 5.43-1 and §36.001. Article 5.43-1 regulates the leasing, renting, selling, installing, and servicing of portable fire extinguishers and the planning, certifying, installing, or servicing of fixed fire extinguisher systems. Article 5.43-1 also prohibits the servicing, leasing, selling, renting or installing of portable fire extinguishers, fixed fire extinguisher systems, and extinguisher equipment not labeled or listed by a testing laboratory approved by the Texas Department of Insurance. Section 36.001 provides that the Commissioner of Insurance may adopt rules to execute the duties and functions of the Texas Department of Insurance as authorized by statute.

The following article is affected by this proposal: Article 5.43-1

§34.517. Installation and Service.

(a) The following requirements are applicable to all portable extinguishers.

(1) (No change.)

(2) (No change.) (3) When requested in writing by the owner, a portable fire extinguisher of the type described in subparagraphs (A), (B) and (C) of this paragraph may be serviced in accordance with the requirements of this subchapter, regardless of whether it carries the label of approval or listing of a testing laboratory approved in accordance with this subchapter.

(A) All portable fire extinguishers that are serviced in accordance with the requirements of the United States Coast Guard and installed for use in foreign shipping vessels;

(B) All portable carbon dioxide fire extinguishers that are serviced in accordance with the requirements of the United States Department of Transportation; or

(C) Cartridge actuated portable fire extinguishers used exclusively by employees of the firm owning the extinguishers.

(4) A licensee who services portable fire extinguishers in accordance with paragraph (3) of this subsection, shall comply with the following:

(A) The back of the service tag shall be plainly marked with the words "No Listing Mark". (B) All missing markings, code symbols, instructions and information, required by the applicable performance standard and fire test standard specified in §34.507(1) of this subchapter (relating to adopted standards and recommendations), except for the approving or listing mark of the testing laboratory, shall be affixed to each extinguisher in the form of a label designated in the standard.

(b)-(f) (No change.)



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