Proposed Missouri Fire Prevention Bill
A proposed bill is being prepared by the St. Joseph. Mo., chamber of commerce which will provide for the appointment of a fire marshal for that state, and will take care of all matters in connection with fire prevention and incendiarism. The bill, it is said, has been drawn with the intention of meeting objections of legislators who have turned down fire marshal bills in Missouri during the last ten years. The drastic provisions of the measure introduced two years ago have been eliminated, but the main features of that bill have been retained. Under the provisions of the proposed law the investigation of fires of supposedly incendiary origin will be in the hands of a fire marshal, but any prosecutions will be in charge of local authorities in the county or cities or towns where the fire occurs.
The proposed bill is now being sent to chambers of commerce throughout the state for criticism and suggestions as to amendments. It was drawn by a sub-committee of the fire prevention committee of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. It provides for the creation of a fire marshal at a salary of $5,000 a year. He shall serve four years and be appointed by the governor. He shall have a chief deputy and such office deputies as shall be necessary, and all municipal fire marshals or fire chiefs shall, by virtue of their positions, be special assistants to the state fire marshal.
The bill is drawn in sixteen sections and covers nine typewritten pages. The duties of fire marshal, as to regulation, are outlined as follows in Section 5:
- The prevention of fires.
- The storage, sale or use of combustibles and explosives.
- The construction and maintenance of automatic or other fire alarm systems and fire extinguishing equipments.
- The construction, maintenance and regulation of fire escapes.
- The suppression of arson and the investigation of the cause, origin and circumstances of fires.
- The means and adequacy of exit in case of fire from factories, asylums, hospitals, churches, schools, halls, theatres and all other places in which numbers of persons work, live and congregate from time to time for any purpose. The state fire marshal, his deputy and assistants, shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as are set forth in other sections of this act, and as may be conferred and imposed from time to time by law.
The bill contains an emergency clause making it effective upon passage.