(1) The State Fire Marshal shall adopt, by rule pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, the Florida Fire Prevention Code which shall contain or incorporate by reference all firesafety laws and rules that pertain to and govern the design, construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, and demolition of public and private buildings, structures, and facilities and the enforcement of such firesafety laws and rules. The State Fire Marshal shall adopt a new edition of the Florida Fire Prevention Code every third year. (2) The State Fire Marshal shall adopt the National Fire Protection Association’s Standard 1, Fire Prevention Code but shall not adopt a building, mechanical, or plumbing code. The State Fire Marshal shall adopt the Life Safety Code, Pamphlet 101, current editions, by reference. The State Fire Marshal may modify the selected codes and standards as needed to accommodate the specific needs of the state. Standards or criteria in the selected codes shall be similarly incorporated by reference. The State Fire Marshal shall incorporate within sections of the Florida Fire Prevention Code provisions that address uniform firesafety standards as established in s. 633.022. The State Fire Marshal shall incorporate within sections of the Florida Fire Prevention Code provisions addressing regional and local concerns and variations. (3) No later than 180 days before the triennial adoption of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, the State Fire Marshal shall notify each municipal, county, and special district fire department of the triennial code adoption and steps necessary for local amendments to be included within the code. No later than 120 days before the triennial adoption of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, each local jurisdiction shall provide the State Fire Marshal with copies of its local fire code amendments. The State Fire Marshal has the option to process local fire code amendments that are received less than 120 days before the adoption date of the Florida Fire Prevention Code. (a) The State Fire Marshal shall review or cause the review of local amendments to determine:
1. If the local amendment should be adopted as a statewide provision;
2. That the local amendment does not provide a lesser degree of lifesafety than the code otherwise provides; and
3. That the local amendment does not reference a different edition of the national fire codes or other national standard than the edition provided or referenced in the uniform or minimum firesafety codes adopted by the State Fire Marshal or prescribed by statute.
(b) Any local amendment to the Florida Fire Prevention Code adopted by a local government shall be effective only until the adoption of the new edition of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, which shall be every third year. At such time, the State Fire Marshal shall adopt such amendment as part of the Florida Fire Prevention Code or rescind the amendment. The State Fire Marshal shall immediately notify the respective local government of the rescission of the amendment and the reason for the rescission. After receiving such notice, the respective local government may readopt the rescinded amendment. Incorporation of local amendments as regional and local concerns and variations shall be considered as adoption of an amendment pursuant to this section.
(4) The State Fire Marshal shall update, by rule adopted pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, the Florida Fire Prevention Code every 3 years. Once initially adopted and subsequently updated, the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Life Safety Code shall be adopted for use statewide without adoptions by local governments. When updating the Florida Fire Prevention Code and the most recent edition of the Life Safety Code, the State Fire Marshal shall consider changes made by the national model fire codes incorporated into the Florida Fire Prevention Code, the State Fire Marshal’s own interpretations, declaratory statements, appellate decisions, and approved statewide and local technical amendments. (5) Upon the conclusion of a triennial update to the Florida Fire Prevention Code and notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the State Fire Marshal may address the issues identified in this subsection by amending the Florida Fire Prevention Code, subject only to the rule adoption procedures of chapter 120. Following the approval of any amendments to the Florida Fire Prevention Code by the State Fire Marshal and publication on the State Fire Marshal’s website, authorities having jurisdiction to enforce the Florida Fire Prevention Code may enforce the amendments to the code. The State Fire Marshal may approve only amendments that are needed to address:
(a) Conflicts within the updated Florida Fire Prevention Code;
(b) Conflicts between the updated Florida Fire Prevention Code and the Florida Building Code adopted pursuant to chapter 553;
(c) The omission of Florida-specific amendments that were previously adopted in the Florida Fire Prevention Code; or
(d) Unintended results from the integration of Florida-specific amendments that were previously adopted with the model code.
(6) The Florida Fire Prevention Code does not apply to, and no code enforcement action shall be brought with respect to, zoning requirements or land use requirements. Additionally, a local code enforcement agency may not administer or enforce the Florida Fire Prevention Code to prevent the siting of any publicly owned facility, including, but not limited to, correctional facilities, juvenile justice facilities, or state universities, community colleges, or public education facilities. This section shall not be construed to prohibit local government from imposing built-in fire protection systems or fire-related infrastructure requirements needed to properly protect the intended facility.
(7) Any local amendment adopted by a local government must strengthen the requirements of the minimum firesafety code.
(8) Within 30 days after a local government adopts a local amendment, the local government must transmit the amendment to the Florida Building Commission and the State Fire Marshal.
(9) The State Fire Marshal shall make rules that implement this section and ss. 633.01 and 633.025 for the purpose of accomplishing the objectives set forth in those sections. (10) Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, if a county or a municipality within that county adopts an ordinance providing for a local amendment to the Florida Fire Prevention Code and that amendment provides a higher level of protection to the public than the level specified in the Florida Fire Prevention Code, the local amendment becomes effective without approval of the State Fire Marshal and is not rescinded pursuant to the provisions of this section, provided that the ordinance meets one or more of the following criteria:
(a) The local authority has adopted, by ordinance, a fire service facilities and operation plan that outlines goals and objectives for related equipment, personnel, and capital improvement needs of the local authority related to the specific amendment for the next 5 years;
(b) The local authority has adopted, by ordinance, a provision requiring proportionate reduction in, or rebate or waivers of, impact or other fees or assessments levied on buildings that are built or modified in compliance with the more stringent firesafety standards required by the local amendment; or
(c) The local authority has adopted, by ordinance, a growth management plan that requires buildings and structures to be equipped with more stringent firesafety requirements required by the local amendment when these firesafety requirements are used as the basis for planning infrastructure development, uses, or housing densities.
Except as provided in s. 633.022, the local appeals process shall be the venue if there is a dispute between parties affected by the provisions of the more stringent local firesafety amendment adopted as part of the Florida Fire Prevention Code pursuant to the authority in this subsection. Local amendments adopted pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed local or regional variations and published as such in the Florida Fire Prevention Code. The act of publishing locally adopted firesafety amendments to the Florida Fire Prevention Code shall not be construed to mean that the State Fire Marshal approves or denies the authenticity or appropriateness of the locally adopted firesafety provision, and the burden of protecting the local firesafety amendment remains solely with the adopting local governmental authority.
(11) The design of interior stairways within dwelling units, including stair tread width and riser height, landings, handrails, and guards, must be consistent with chapter 10 of the Florida Building Code.
(12) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the State Fire Marshal shall study the use of managed, facilities-based, voice-over-Internet-protocol telephone service for monitoring fire alarm signals. If the study determines that voice-over-Internet-protocol telephone service technology provides a level of protection equivalent to that required by NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm Code, the State Fire Marshal shall initiate rulemaking pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 by December 1, 2008, to allow the use of this technology as an additional method of monitoring fire alarm systems. (13)(a) The State Fire Marshal shall issue an expedited declaratory statement relating to interpretations of provisions of the Florida Fire Prevention Code according to the following guidelines: 1. The declaratory statement shall be rendered in accordance with s. 120.565, except that a final decision must be issued by the State Fire Marshal within 45 days after the division’s receipt of a petition seeking an expedited declaratory statement. The State Fire Marshal shall give notice of the petition and the expedited declaratory statement or the denial of the petition in the next available issue of the Florida Administrative Weekly after the petition is filed and after the statement or denial is rendered.
2. The petitioner must be the owner of the disputed project or the owner’s representative.
3. The petition for an expedited declaratory statement must be:
a. Related to an active project that is under construction or must have been submitted for a permit.
b. The subject of a written notice citing a specific provision of the Florida Fire Prevention Code which is in dispute.
c. Limited to a single question that is capable of being answered with a “yes” or “no” response.
(b) A petition for a declaratory statement which does not meet all of the requirements of this subsection must be denied without prejudice. This subsection does not affect the right of the petitioner as a substantially affected person to seek a declaratory statement under s. 633.01(6).
(14) A condominium, cooperative, or multifamily residential building that is less than four stories in height and has an exterior corridor providing a means of egress is exempt from installing a manual fire alarm system as required in s. 9.6 of the most recent edition of the Life Safety Code adopted in the Florida Fire Prevention Code. This is intended to clarify existing law.
(15) The Legislature finds that the electronic filing of construction plans will increase governmental efficiency, reduce costs, and increase timeliness of processing permits. If the fire code administrator or fire official provides for electronic filing, any construction plans, drawings, specifications, reports, final documents, or documents prepared or issued by a licensee may be dated and electronically signed and sealed by the licensee in accordance with part I of chapter 668, and may be transmitted electronically to the fire code administrator or fire official for approval.