The Commissioner of Insurance adopts amendments to §34.517 concerning servicing of portable fire extinguishers. Section 34.517 is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the December 21, 2001, issue of the Texas Register (26 TexReg 10485) and will not be republished.
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. Nothing in the rule requires owners of these types of portable extinguishers to service rather than replace unlabeled extinguishers.
Adopted §34.517 allows portable fire extinguishers to be serviced regardless of whether the fire extinguisher carries required labeling or listing by a testing laboratory approved by the Texas Department of Insurance. The amendments to §34.517 describe the three types of portable fire extinguishers that may be serviced. The amendments set forth requirements for labeling after servicing is completed. The three types of portable fire extinguishers listed in the amendments are for commercial use only.
Comment: A commenter asked the department to consider a Standards Interpretation Letter that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provided to the department, which discusses the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) as it relates to the labeling of portable fire extinguishers. The commenter states that the interpretation should be considered for personnel who are servicing and performing visual inspections or maintenance on fire extinguishers. The HCS requires hazardous material to be labeled. In order to comply with the HCS, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in NFPA 10 adopted a label called Hazardous Material Identification System. The department adopted NFPA 10 in 28 TAC § 34.507.
Agency Response: The department appreciates the commenter's concerns, however, the amendments to §34.517 only address a situation where the testing laboratory label is missing. As noted the department adopted NFPA 10, the standard for portable fire extinguishers, in §34.507. Those requirements remain in full force and effect and are unchanged by the adoption of the amendments to this rule.
Neither for or against: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The amendments are adopted pursuant to the Insurance Code Article 5.43-1 and §36.001. Article 5.43-1, as amended by the 77th Legislature under SB 327, requires the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt rules to allow portable fire extinguishers to be serviced regardless of whether the fire extinguisher carries the required labeling or listing. Section 36.001 authorizes the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt rules for the conduct and execution of the duties and functions of the Texas Department of Insurance as authorized by statute.
§34.517 Installation and Service.
(a) The following requirements are applicable to all portable extinguishers.
(1) Portable extinguishers must be installed, serviced, and maintained in compliance with the manufacturer's instructions and with the applicable standards adopted in this subchapter.
(2) A service tag certifying the work performed must be securely attached by the licensee to the portable extinguisher upon completion of the work.
(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 requirement 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) The following requirements are applicable to all fixed fire extinguisher systems.
(1) Fixed systems must be planned, installed, and serviced in compliance with the manufacturer's installation manuals and specifications or the applicable standards adopted in this subchapter.
(2) Upon completion of the installation of a pre-engineered fixed fire extinguisher system, a Type A or Type PL licensee must place an installation label on the system to certify that the system was installed in compliance with the manufacturer's installation manuals and specifications or standards adopted by the commissioner in this subchapter. The licensee whose signature appears on the installation label must be present for the final test of the system prior to certification.
(3) Upon completion of the installation of a fixed fire extinguisher system other than a pre-engineered system, a Type A or Type PL licensee must place an installation label on the system to certify that the system was installed in compliance with the manufacturer's installation manuals and specifications, plans developed by a Type PL licensee or professional engineer, or standards adopted by the commissioner in this subchapter. The licensee whose signature appears on the installation label must be present for the final test of the system prior to certification.
(4) A service tag certifying the work performed must be securely attached by the licensee to the system upon completion of servicing.
(c) Pre-engineered fixed fire extinguisher systems must be installed and serviced by Type A or Type PL licensees only.
(d) A pre-engineered fixed fire extinguisher system, except those covered by subsection (f) of this section, which has been previously installed in one location may be reinstalled in another location if:
(1) the system is of the size and type necessary to protect all hazards;
(2) all parts and equipment, when installed, will function as designed by the manufacturer; and
(3) the system shall comply with all applicable adopted standards.
(e) Fixed fire extinguisher systems other than pre-engineered systems must be planned, installed, or serviced by a Type PL licensee or professional engineer. Installation and servicing of such a system may also be performed by or supervised by a Type A licensee.
(f) All pre-engineered fixed fire extinguishing systems, installed or modified after July 1, 1996, in accordance with NFPA 17 or NFPA 17A or NFPA 96 of the adopted standards, for the protection of restaurant cooking areas, must meet the minimum requirements of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Standard 300, "Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishing Systems for Protection of Restaurant Cooking Area" (UL 300).