130th Ohio General Assembly
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Sub. H. B. No. 41  As Passed by the House
As Passed by the House

127th General Assembly
Regular Session
2007-2008
Sub. H. B. No. 41


Representative Uecker 

Cosponsors: Representatives McGregor, J., Stebelton, Brown, Flowers, Fende, Wagoner, Stewart, D., Yuko, Chandler, Goyal, Harwood, Luckie, Skindell 



A BILL
To amend section 4745.01 and to enact sections 4770.01 to 4770.14 and 4770.99 of the Revised Code to require the licensure of persons operating security or life-safety systems companies or companies providing locksmith services and of individuals performing specified types of security or life-safety systems work or locksmith services and to establish the Security or Life-Safety Systems Advisory Board in the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That section 4745.01 be amended and sections 4770.01, 4770.02, 4770.03, 4770.04, 4770.05, 4770.06, 4770.07, 4770.08, 4770.09, 4770.10, 4770.11, 4770.12, 4770.13, 4770.14, and 4770.99 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 4745.01.  (A) "Standard renewal procedure," as used in Chapters 905., 907., 909., 911., 913., 915., 918., 921., 923., 927., 942., 943., 953., 1321., 3710., 3713., 3719., 3731., 3742., 3748., 3769., 3783., 3921., 3951., 4104., 4105., 4143., 4169., 4561., 4703., 4707., 4709., 4713., 4715., 4717., 4723., 4725., 4727., 4728., 4729., 4731., 4733., 4734., 4735., 4739., 4741., 4747., 4749., 4752., 4753., 4755., 4757., 4758., 4759., 4761., 4766., 4770., 4773., and 4775. of the Revised Code, means the license renewal procedures specified in this chapter.
(B) "Licensing agency," as used in this chapter, means any department, division, board, section of a board, or other state governmental unit subject to the standard renewal procedure, as defined in this section, and authorized by the Revised Code to issue a license to engage in a specific profession, occupation, or occupational activity, or to have charge of and operate certain specified equipment, machinery, or premises.
(C) "License," as used in this chapter, means a license, certificate, permit, card, or other authority issued or conferred by a licensing agency by authority of which the licensee has or claims the privilege to engage in the profession, occupation, or occupational activity, or to have control of and operate certain specific equipment, machinery, or premises, over which the licensing agency has jurisdiction.
(D) "Licensee," as used in this chapter, means either the person to whom the license is issued or renewed by a licensing agency, or the person, partnership, or corporation at whose request the license is issued or renewed.
(E) "Renewal" and "renewed," as used in this chapter and in the chapters of the Revised Code specified in division (A) of this section, includes the continuing licensing procedure provided in Chapter 3748. of the Revised Code and rules adopted under it and in sections 1321.05 and 3921.33 of the Revised Code, and as applied to those continuing licenses any reference in this chapter to the date of expiration of any license shall be construed to mean the due date of the annual or other fee for the continuing license.
Sec. 4770.01.  As used in this chapter:
(A) "Access control system" means a combination of electronic equipment and devices that does not emit transmissions requiring public sector response and that is designed and arranged for the control of authorized individuals, vehicles, and materials through entrances and exits of a controlled area or premises.
(B) "Burglar alarm detection system" means an assembly of equipment and devices designed and arranged to signal either a threat to an occupant due to an unauthorized entry or an attempted entry of a person or an object into the area protected by the system.
(C) "Closed-circuit television" means an in-house television system or video monitoring system in which a transmitter (camera) feeds one or more receivers (monitors) through a closed cable or other transmission method.
(D) "Compliance agent" means a person employed by a security or life-safety systems company to receive service of process in this state and any notices and to perform other duties as specified in rules adopted by the security or life-safety systems advisory board.
(E) "Fire alarm and detection system" means an assembly of equipment and devices designed and arranged to signal a fire.
(F) "Locksmith services" means servicing, installing, repairing, rebuilding, rekeying, repinning, adjusting, or installing locks, mechanical or electronic security devices, annunciation devices not designed to require a response by law enforcement, or the opening of a lock by a means not intended by the manufacturer of the device.
(G) "Monitoring" means the transmission and receipt of signals and the retransmission of information received from a security or life-safety system to the proper individual as required by law or as directed by the user of the security or life-safety system.
(H) "Operator" means an individual who performs the function of alarm operator, dispatcher, or monitor for a security or life-safety system.
(I) "Security or life-safety system" means an assembly of electronic equipment and devices that provides, as its main purpose, the protection of life or property and the detection of threats or violations to the security of the protected premises. "Security or life-safety system" includes a burglary alarm detection system, fire alarm and detection system, access control system, and closed-circuit television. "Security or life-safety system" does not include an electronic system that is activated by a device that an individual carries on the individual's self that, if activated by the individual, allows the individual to contact or signal outside medical assistance in the case of an emergency.
(J) "Technician" means an individual who performs the installation and repair of security or life-safety systems or who provides locksmith services.
Sec. 4770.02. (A) No person shall operate a company to sell, install, repair, monitor, or inspect any security or life-safety system for a profit or to provide locksmith services for a profit in this state unless that person is licensed pursuant to this chapter. Any person conducting business as a security or life-safety systems company in multiple locations in this state need have only one license that lists the office address of each location within this state.
(B) No individual shall sell, lease, rent, plan, install, monitor, maintain, repair, test, or inspect a security or life-safety system for a profit or provide locksmith services for a profit unless that individual has an appropriate license issued pursuant to this chapter as a technician, salesperson, or operator in one or more of the following specialties: access control system, burglar alarm detection system, closed-circuit television, fire alarm and detection system, locksmith services, or monitoring.
Sec. 4770.03.  This chapter does not apply to any of the following:
(A) A person licensed as an engineer or architect who only designs, inspects, or plans security or life-safety systems;
(B) A person who services or installs, repairs, rebuilds, rekeys, repins, or adjusts locks in or on safes or vaults and does not provide other types of locksmith services;
(C) An electrician who holds a certificate issued by the state fire marshal pursuant to section 3737.65 of the Revised Code or an electrical contractor licensed under Chapter 4740. of the Revised Code;
(D) Any other person the security or life-safety systems advisory board exempts pursuant to rules the board adopts pursuant to division (A) of section 4770.05 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4770.04. (A) There is hereby established in the office of the state fire marshal the security or life-safety systems advisory board, consisting of seven voting members. One member shall be the state fire marshal, and the governor shall appoint the remaining six members. One of the appointed members shall represent businesses that provide monitoring services, one shall operate a business that provides locksmith services, one shall be a consumer who uses a security or life-safety system, one shall be a representative of the buckeye state sheriff's association or its successor organization, and two shall be individuals who are licensed pursuant to this chapter and who have at least five years experience in the security or life-safety systems industry. No two members of the board may be employed by the same company.
(B) Not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section, the governor shall make the initial appointments to the board. Of the initial appointments to the board, two shall be for terms of four years, two shall be for terms of three years, and two shall be for a term of two years. Thereafter, each term shall be for four years, ending on the same day of the same month as the term that it succeeds. Each member shall hold office from the date of appointment until the end of the term for which appointed. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments. A member appointed to fill a vacancy prior to the expiration of a term shall hold office for the remainder of that term. A member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration of the term until the member's successor takes office. No member may be appointed for more than two consecutive terms of four years.
(C) The members of the board shall not be compensated but shall be reimbursed for actual expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of their duties as members.
(D) The state fire marshal may employ administrative staff as the state fire marshal determines necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
Sec. 4770.05. (A) The security or life-safety systems advisory board shall adopt rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that do all of the following:
(1) Establish a separate license for an individual to receive as a technician, salesperson, or operator, and require an individual to obtain a technician, salesperson, or operator license for each specialty listed in division (B) of section 4770.02 of the Revised Code that the individual wishes to practice;
(2) Establish application procedures and overall requirements for applicants for initial licensure to satisfy that include all of the following:
(a) A requirement that a company provide its primary business address to the state fire marshal to receive a license;
(b) A requirement that criminal background checks be conducted for each applicant for any type of license;
(c) Training and examination requirements that are based on measurable objectives and are designed to ensure and accurately test an applicant's proficiency, and that each individual applying for a license as a technician, salesperson, or operator must satisfy for each specialty listed in division (B) of section 4770.02 of the Revised Code that the applicant wishes to practice;
(3) Establish procedures to have criminal background checks conducted for all applicants and for employees described in section 4770.06 of the Revised Code and to process applications;
(4) Establish a system that allows an individual who is licensed as a technician, salesperson, or operator to receive additional licenses in multiple specialties listed in division (B) of section 4770.02 of the Revised Code;
(5) Establish training and examination requirements that must be satisfied by an individual applying for licensure in multiple specialties pursuant to the system established by the board under division (A)(4) of this section and require a licensee to satisfy the examination and training requirements established by the board for each additional specialty that the licensee wishes to practice;
(6) Establish and implement standards for the operation of security or life-safety systems companies and companies providing locksmith services;
(7) Create a provisional license for a person enrolled in an apprenticeship program and who must engage in an activity described in division (B) of section 4770.02 of the Revised Code as a part of that program, establish requirements for an applicant to obtain a provisional license, and require the state fire marshal to issue a provisional license to an applicant who meets the requirements established pursuant to division (A)(7) of this section;
(8) Establish requirements that each licensee must satisfy to renew each type of license, including continuing education requirements and a requirement that a company must provide its primary business address to the state fire marshal;
(9) Establish requirements an institution wishing to offer courses that a licensee may take to satisfy continuing education requirements the board establishes pursuant to division (A)(8) of this section shall satisfy in order to offer courses for which a licensee may receive credit toward completing such continuing education requirements;
(10) Establish requirements that instructors who teach courses that a licensee may take to satisfy continuing education requirements established by the board shall satisfy in order to teach such courses;
(11) Establish requirements that a person shall satisfy to be designated a compliance agent by a licensed company in accordance with section 4770.08 of the Revised Code, including that the person must hold a license issued under this chapter as a technician, operator, or salesperson;
(12) Specify the duties of the compliance agent designated by a company;
(13) Specify information that the state fire marshal shall collect and maintain as part of a registry of personnel employed by a company licensed under this chapter and licensees;
(14) Establish procedures for hearing appeals from the actions and decisions of the state fire marshal;
(15) Designate crimes, including dishonesty and corruption, that relate to the performance of a licensee that disqualify a person from holding a license pursuant to this chapter;
(16) As the board determines necessary, specify any person who is exempt from the requirements of this chapter in addition to those persons specified in section 4770.03 of the Revised Code;
(17) Establish fees to cover the cost of each examination the board determines that an applicant for licensure as a technician, salesperson, or operator shall successfully pass to receive a license and establish fees that are less than those specified in division (A)(3) of section 4770.14 of the Revised Code that a licensee shall pay to obtain licensure in multiple specialties in accordance with the system established by the board pursuant to division (A)(4) of this section or to obtain multiple licenses as a technician, salesperson, or operator.
(B) The board shall not adopt any rule that unreasonably restricts competition or the availability of services requiring licenses pursuant to this chapter or unnecessarily increases the cost of services without a corresponding benefit.
(C) If the board or the state fire marshal receives any information regarding an applicant's customer list, including the name, address, or telephone number of a customer of the applicant, the board or the state fire marshal shall keep that information confidential and that information is not considered a public record under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4770.06.  A company or individual who wishes to be licensed under this chapter shall submit an application to the state fire marshal on a form the state fire marshal provides and, except as otherwise provided in this section, the appropriate fees specified in section 4770.14 of the Revised Code. An individual applying for licensure as a technician, operator, or salesperson pursuant to this chapter may apply for licensure in one or more of the specialties listed in division (B) of section 4770.02 of the Revised Code in accordance with the system established by the board pursuant to division (A)(4) of section 4770.05 of the Revised Code and may apply for one or more types of licenses. An individual applying for licensure in multiple specialties or for multiple licenses as a technician, salesperson, or operator shall successfully complete the training and examination requirements for each specialty the individual wishes to practice or for each license the individual wishes to receive. If an individual applies for licensure in multiple specialties or applies for multiple types of licenses, and that individual holds a license issued pursuant to this chapter as a technician, salesperson, or operator, the state fire marshal shall charge that individual the reduced fee for licensure established by the board in rules adopted pursuant to division (A) of section 4770.05 of the Revised Code and the appropriate examination fee established in rules adopted by the board pursuant to that division. The state fire marshal shall not charge that individual the initial license fee specified under division (A)(3) of section 4770.14 of the Revised Code if the individual holds a license issued pursuant to this chapter at the time the individual applies for licensure in multiple specialties or applies for additional licenses as a technician, salesperson, or operator.
The state fire marshal shall issue a license to any person who files with the state fire marshal an application, pays the appropriate fees specified in section 4770.14 of the Revised Code, and meets all other requirements the board establishes in rules adopted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
The state fire marshal shall maintain a registry of personnel employed by a company licensed under this chapter and licensees in accordance with the rules adopted by the board under division (A)(13) of section 4770.05 of the Revised Code and shall make that registry available to the public.
Any person who is employed by a company licensed under this chapter and who is not licensed as a technician, salesperson, or operator pursuant to this chapter, but who has access to information in the ordinary course of employment that would allow that individual to circumvent security or life-safety systems, shall satisfy any criminal background check requirements for licensees established by the board pursuant to section 4770.05 of the Revised Code. The state fire marshal shall not issue a license to any person who employs an individual who has been convicted of a felony.
Sec. 4770.07.  The state fire marshal may grant licenses to a person who is registered or licensed in another state that the security or life-safety systems advisory board determines and indicates in rule to have registration or licensing requirements that are approximately equal, in substance and intent, to the requirements of this state and that extends reciprocity similar to that offered in this section to an individual or company that is licensed in this state pursuant to this chapter. The state fire marshal shall issue a license to any such person who files an application on a form the state fire marshal provides, pays the appropriate fee, and meets any other qualifications established by the board in rules adopted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
A burglar alarm detection system company or fire alarm and detection system company that has the company's principal place of business located in another state and that is licensed pursuant to this chapter is not required to have an office or a compliance agent with a physical presence in this state if the state where the company's principal place of business is located requires the company to designate a person as a compliance agent, requires a person to satisfy requirements that are similar to the requirements the board establishes pursuant to section 4770.05 of the Revised Code to be a compliance agent, and requires the compliance agent to perform duties that are similar to those duties the board establishes for compliance agents pursuant to that section. The company shall designate a representative with a physical presence in this state who will receive notices and forward those notices to the company's compliance agent. A post office box shall not be considered a representative with a physical presence in this state. If the state where the company's principal place of business is located does not require the company to designate a compliance agent, the company shall designate a person who has a physical presence in this state as the compliance agent for the company and that person shall satisfy the requirements the board establishes for a person to be a compliance agent in accordance with section 4770.05 of the Revised Code.
Notwithstanding any requirement of this chapter to the contrary, any security or life-safety systems company licensed in a state the board determines to have licensing requirements approximately equal to those of this state may perform monitoring in this state if the company files an application with the state fire marshal on the form the state fire marshal provides and pays the appropriate fee. If the state where the company is licensed requires the company to designate a person as a compliance agent, requires a person to satisfy requirements that are similar to the requirements the board establishes pursuant to section 4770.05 of the Revised Code to be a compliance agent, and requires the compliance agent to perform duties that are similar to the duties the board establishes for compliance agents pursuant to that section, the company is not required to designate a compliance agent in this state. If the state where the company is licensed does not require the company to designate a compliance agent, the company shall designate a person who has a physical presence in this state as the compliance agent for the company and that person shall satisfy the requirements the board establishes for a person to be a compliance agent in accordance with section 4770.05 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4770.08.  A company that is licensed under this chapter shall display a license or a branch office license, as appropriate, at each location from which the licensee offers security or life-safety system services. Except as otherwise specified in section 4770.07 of the Revised Code, each company licensed under this chapter shall designate an individual to serve as a compliance agent for that company. The individual designated as the compliance agent for the company shall satisfy the requirements established by the security or life-safety systems advisory board under section 4770.05 of the Revised Code.
Any person who operates a company licensed pursuant to this chapter who changes the primary mailing address of the company as previously filed after applying for licensure or renewal under section 4770.06, 4770.07, or 4770.09 of the Revised Code shall notify the state fire marshal of any change of address within thirty days of that change.
Any individual required to be licensed as a technician, operator, or salesperson pursuant to this chapter shall carry the individual's license while servicing, testing, repairing, or installing a security or life-safety system for profit or providing locksmith services for a profit and shall produce the license for inspection upon the request of any building official who has jurisdiction over the building in which the licensee is performing activities described in division (B) of section 4770.02 of the Revised Code or other authorized person designated in rules adopted by the board in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4770.09.  A license issued under this chapter is valid for one year. The state fire marshal shall renew licenses pursuant to the standard renewal procedure specified in Chapter 4745. of the Revised Code. Any licensee who wishes to renew the licensee's license issued pursuant to this chapter shall submit an application and the appropriate fee specified in section 4770.14 of the Revised Code to the state fire marshal. Upon receipt of a licensee's application and fee, the state fire marshal shall renew a licensee's license if the licensee satisfies the renewal requirements established by the security or life-safety systems advisory board in rules the board adopts in accordance with section 4770.05 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4770.10. The state fire marshal may enforce this chapter irrespective of the place or location in which a violation of this chapter occurs, and upon the complaint of any person or on the initiative of the state fire marshal. The state fire marshal may cause to be investigated the business and business methods of any licensed or unlicensed person, employee, or applicant for a license.
To enforce this chapter and conduct any investigation authorized by it, the state fire marshal may do any of the following:
(A) Subpoena any person in this state and require the production of any papers the state fire marshal determines necessary;
(B) Administer oaths;
(C) Take depositions of any individuals subpoenaed;
(D) Employ field investigators.
The state fire marshal, acting pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code and within guidelines the security or life-safety systems advisory board establishes by rule, may take disciplinary action against any licensee who violates this chapter.
The state fire marshal, as necessary in the performance of the state fire marshal's duties under this chapter, may receive any criminal background check directly from the United States department of justice.
Sec. 4770.11. (A) The state fire marshal may revoke or suspend the license of any person for any of the following reasons:
(1) Knowingly violating any provision of this chapter;
(2) Engaging in an activity described in division (B) of section 4770.02 of the Revised Code for which the person does not hold the appropriate license or permitting another person to engage in such an activity for which that person does not hold the appropriate license;
(3) Being negligent or incompetent in the performance of the activities for which the licensee holds a license;
(4) Knowingly misrepresenting information or the licensee's abilities, making false promises, or dishonest or illegal dealing with regard to the performance of the activities for which the licensee holds a license;
(5) A continued course of misrepresentation or making false promises as described in division (A)(4) of this section individually, through employees or agents, through advertising, or otherwise;
(6) Failure to notify the state fire marshal of any change of primary business address as required under section 4770.08 of the Revised Code;
(7) Failure to complete any apprenticeship program required by rule for the holder of a provisional license;
(8) Being convicted of or pleading guilty to an offense that the security or life-safety systems advisory board designates in the rules the board adopts in accordance with division (A) of section 4770.05 of the Revised Code that disqualifies a person from holding a license issued pursuant to this chapter.
(B) No person, while under suspension or revocation of a license, may be employed by or otherwise associated with any company licensed under this chapter.
Sec. 4770.12. The state fire marshal, with the advice of the security or life-safety systems advisory board, annually shall file a report with the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives. The report shall provide details regarding the cost of administering this chapter, the effectiveness of this chapter in protecting the public interest, the length of time it takes to conduct criminal background checks, the type and number of licenses issued, enforcement information, and any other information that the state fire marshal and board wish to convey.
Sec. 4770.13. No municipal corporation, county, or township may enact any ordinance that conflicts with this chapter. This restriction shall not be construed to prohibit any political subdivision from enacting an ordinance that establishes regulatory schemes designed to prevent false alarm dispatches, schemes that require the issuance of permits to security or life-safety system users, or penalties to users for excessive false alarm dispatches. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent a political subdivision from licensing or regulating a person licensed under this chapter when that person is engaged in activities that are not related to security or life-safety systems or providing locksmith services or are not governed by this chapter.
The state and the political subdivisions of this state shall not charge license or registration fees to a company or individual licensed under this chapter other than as provided in this chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a political subdivision from levying a business license fee or vendor permit fee, business or occupation tax, or other tax upon a company licensed under this chapter provided that any fees or taxes levied are levied on all other types of businesses within its boundaries and are based on the physical presence of the business.
Sec. 4770.14. (A) Except as may otherwise be provided pursuant to division (B) of this section, the state fire marshal shall charge the following fees:
(1) For initial licensure for a company, two hundred sixty dollars;
(2) For renewal of a license issued to a company, one hundred fifty dollars;
(3) For initial licensure as a technician, operator, or salesperson, and for renewal of a license as a technician, operator, or salesperson, forty dollars;
(4) For an examination required to obtain licensure as a technician, operator, or salesperson, the amount the security or life-safety systems advisory board specifies in rules the board adopts pursuant to division (A) of section 4770.05 of the Revised Code.
(B) The board, subject to the approval of the controlling board, may adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to establish fees for the issuance or renewal of a license issued to a company or to an individual as a technician, operator, or salesperson in excess of the fees specified in divisions (A)(1) to (A)(3) of this section if the cost associated with administering and enforcing this chapter increases, provided that such fees do not exceed the amounts specified in this section by more than fifty per cent.
(C) The state fire marshal shall deposit all money collected under this chapter in the state treasury to the credit of the security or life-safety systems fund, which is hereby created. Money credited to the fund shall be used solely to pay costs associated with the administration of this chapter and the rules adopted under it.
Sec. 4770.99.  Whoever violates section 4770.02 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.
Section 2. That existing section 4745.01 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.
Section 3. Sections 4770.02 and 4770.99 of the Revised Code, as enacted by this act, take effect four hundred eighty days after the effective date of this act.
Section 4. Notwithstanding section 4770.04 of the Revised Code as enacted by this act, persons appointed to the Security or Life-Safety Systems Advisory Board during the two years following the effective date of this act need not be licensed as required under that section.
Section 5. Not later than one hundred eighty days after the appointment of all initial members to the Security or Life-Safety Systems Advisory Board, the Board shall adopt the rules as required under this act.
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