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The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 20: Internal Security and Public Safety

Chapter 173: PREVENTION AND INVESTIGATION OF FIRES

  • Subchapter 001: GENERAL PROVISIONS
  • § 2681. Commissioner of public safety as fire marshal; deputy and assistants; HAZMAT emergency operation team

    (a) The commissioner of public safety shall be ex officio fire marshal. The commissioner shall annually by March 15 submit to the governor a detailed report. A copy of this report shall be mailed to each fire department, paid or volunteer, in the state of Vermont. Subject to the approval of the governor, the commissioner may appoint a deputy fire marshal and other necessary assistants who shall assist him or her as state fire marshal.

    (b), (c) [Repealed.]  (Amended 1971, No. 75, § 1, eff. April 16, 1971; 1973, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1993, No. 194 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. June 14, 1994; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294p; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294y, eff. April 1, 2005; 2005, No. 8, § 1, eff. April 25, 2005; 2009, No. 135 (Adj. Sess.), § 26(8)(B), eff. May 29, 2010.)

  • §§ 2682, 2683. Repealed. 1971, No. 75, § 2, eff. April 16, 1971.

  • § 2684. Repealed. 1979, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 11.

  • § 2685. Record of fires

    The fire marshal shall keep in his or her office a record of every fire occurring in this state which causes serious injury to any person or loss or damage to property in excess of $200.00. He or she shall record all the facts concerning these fires, including statistics as to their extent and the damage caused thereby, and whether the losses were covered by insurance and, if so, in what amount. The record shall be made daily from the reports made to him or her under the provisions of this chapter. All such records shall be public, except information and testimony taken where arson is suspected. (Amended 1973, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • §§ 2686, 2687. Repealed. 1961, No. 189.

  • § 2688. Report of fire insurance company

    When required by the commissioner, a fire insurance company or association transacting business in this state shall report to such commissioner, after the adjustment of a loss, the amount of all policies issued by such company or association on the property destroyed or damaged, the amount paid or payable on account of such loss, and such other information relating to the matter as the commissioner may require.

  • § 2689. Failure of officer to perform duty

    An officer referred to in section 2831 of this title who wilfully neglects to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter shall be fined not more than $100.00 nor less than $10.00.


  • Subchapter 002: FIRE SAFETY DIVISION
  • §§ 2721-2727. Repealed. 1971, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.

  • § 2728. Director of fire safety

    There shall be a director of fire safety, who shall be responsible for the operation and supervision of the fire safety division of the department of public safety. The director shall report directly to the commissioner and shall serve as a member of the fire service training council. The director shall be an exempt state employee and shall be appointed by the commissioner, with the approval of the governor. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 2005.)

  • § 2729. General provisions

    (a) A person shall not build or cause to be built any structure that is unsafe or likely to be unsafe to other persons or property in case of fire or generation and leakage of carbon monoxide.

    (b) A person shall not maintain, keep or operate any premises or any part thereof, or cause or permit to be maintained, kept, or operated, any premises or part thereof, under his or her control or ownership in a manner that causes or is likely to cause harm to other persons or property in case of fire or generation and leakage of carbon monoxide.

    (c) On premises under a person's control, excluding single family owner-occupied houses and premises, that person shall observe rules adopted under this subchapter for the prevention of fires and carbon monoxide leakage that may cause harm to other persons or property.

    (d) Any condominium or multiple unit dwelling using a common roof, or row houses so-called, or other residential buildings in which people sleep, including hotels, motels, and tourist homes, excluding single family owner-occupied houses and premises, whether the units are owned or leased or rented, shall be subject to the rules adopted under this subchapter and shall be provided with one or more carbon monoxide detectors, as defined in 9 V.S.A. § 2881(3), properly installed according to the manufacturer's requirements. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 2005; amended 2005, No. 19, § 2, eff. July 1, 2005.)

  • § 2730. Definitions

    (a) As used in this subchapter, "public building" means:

    (1)(A) a building owned or occupied by a public utility, hospital, school, house of worship, convalescent center or home for elders or persons who have an infirmity or a disability, nursery, kindergarten, or child care;

    (B) a building in which two or more persons are employed, or occasionally enter as part of their employment or are entertained, including private clubs and societies;

    (C) a cooperative or condominium;

    (D) a building in which people rent accommodations, whether overnight or for a longer term;

    (E) a restaurant, retail outlet, office or office building, hotel, tent, or other structure for public assembly, including outdoor assembly, such as a grandstand;

    (F) a building owned or occupied by the State of Vermont, a county, a municipality, a village, or any public entity, including a school or fire district.

    (2) Use of any portion of a building in a manner described in this subsection shall make the entire building a "public building" for purposes of this subsection. For purposes of this subsection, a "person" does not include an individual who is directly related to the employer and who resides in the employment-related building.

    (b) The term "public building" does not include:

    (1) An owner-occupied single family residence, unless used for a purpose described in subsection (a) of this section.

    (2) A family residence registered as a child care home under 33 V.S.A. chapter 35, or specifically exempted from registration by 33 V.S.A. § 3502(b)(1).

    (3) Farm buildings on a working farm or farms. For purposes of this subchapter and subchapter 3 of this chapter, the term "working farm or farms" means farms with fewer than the equivalent of 10 full-time employees who are not family members and who do not work more than 26 weeks a year. In addition, the term means a farm or farms:

    (A) Whose owner is actively engaged in farming.

    (B) If the farm or farms are owned by a partnership or a corporation, one that includes at least one partner or principal of the corporation who is actively engaged in farming.

    (C) Where the farm or farms are leased, the lessee is actively engaged in farming. The term "farming" means:

    (i) the cultivation or other use of land for growing food, fiber, Christmas trees, maple sap, or horticultural and orchard crops;

    (ii) the raising, feeding, or management of livestock, poultry, equines, fish, or bees;

    (iii) the production of maple syrup;

    (iv) the operation of greenhouses;

    (v) the on-site storage, preparation, and sale of agricultural products principally produced on the farm. Notwithstanding this definition of farming, housing provided to farm employees other than family members shall be treated as rental housing and shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter. In addition, any farm building that is open for public tours and for which a fee is charged for those tours shall be considered a public building.

    (4) A single family residence with an accessory dwelling unit as permitted under 24 V.S.A. § 4406(4)(D).

    (c) For the purpose of this subchapter, subchapter 3 of this chapter, and 21 V.S.A. chapter 4, the words "premises," "building," and "structure," or any part thereof shall mean "public building" as defined in this section.

    (d) "Historic building" or "historic structure" means any structure that has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the State Register of Historic Places or that has been determined to be historically significant by the Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation or that meets the standards adopted by the Division for Historic Preservation pursuant to 22 V.S.A. § 723(a).

    (e) The phrase "damage or destroy the historic architectural integrity of the historic building or structure" means to have an undue adverse impact on historically significant features of the historic architectural integrity of the building. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 2005; amended 2007, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 122.)

  • § 2731. Rules; inspections; variances

    (a) The Commissioner is authorized to adopt rules regarding the construction of buildings, maintenance and operation of premises, and prevention of fires and removal of fire hazards, and to prescribe standards necessary to protect the public, employees, and property against harm arising out of or likely to arise out of fire.

    (b) The Commissioner shall conduct inspections of premises to assure that the rules adopted under this subchapter are being observed and may establish priorities for enforcing these rules and standards based on the relative risks to persons and property from fire of particular types of premises. The Commissioner may also conduct inspections to assure that buildings are constructed in accordance with approved plans and drawings.

    (c) The following fire prevention and building code fees are established:

    (1) The permit application fee for a construction plan approval shall be based on $8.00 per each $1,000.00 of the total valuation of the construction work proposed to be done for all buildings, but in no event shall the permit application fee exceed $185,000.00 nor be less than $50.00.

    (2) When an inspection is required due to the change in use or ownership of a public building, the fee shall be $125.00.

    (3) The proof of inspection fee for fire suppression, alarm, detection, and any other fire protection systems shall be $30.00.

    (4) Three-year initial certificate of fitness and renewal fees for individuals performing activities related to fire or life safety established under subsection (a) of this section shall be:

    (A) Water-based fire protection system design:

    (i) Initial certification: $150.00.

    (ii) Renewal: $50.00.

    (B) Water-based fire protection system installation, maintenance, repair, and testing:

    (i) Initial certification: $115.00.

    (ii) Renewal: $50.00.

    (C) Gas appliance installation, inspection, and service: $60.00.

    (D) Oil burning equipment installation, inspection, and service: $60.00.

    (E) Fire alarm system inspection and testing: $90.00.

    (F) Limited oil burning equipment installation, inspection, and service: $60.00.

    (G) Domestic water-based fire protection system installation, maintenance, repair, and testing:

    (i) Initial certification: $60.00.

    (ii) Renewal: $20.00.

    (H) Fixed fire extinguishing system design, installation, inspection, servicing, and recharging:

    (i) Initial certification: $60.00.

    (ii) Renewal: $20.00.

    (I) Emergency generator installation, maintenance, repair, and testing: $30.00;

    (J) Chimney and solid fuel burning appliance cleaning, maintenance, and evaluation: $30.00.

    (d) The Commissioner shall make all practical efforts to process permits in a prompt manner. The Commissioner shall establish time limits for permit processing as well as procedures and time periods within which to notify applicants whether an application is complete.

    (e) The Commissioner may grant variances or exemptions from rules adopted under this subchapter where strict compliance would entail practical difficulty, unnecessary hardship, or is otherwise found unwarranted, provided that:

    (1) any such variance or exemption secures the public safety and health;

    (2) any petitioner for such a variance or exemption can demonstrate that the methods, means, or practices proposed to be taken in lieu of compliance with the rule or rules provide, in the opinion of the Commissioner, equal protection of the public safety and health as provided by the rule or rules;

    (3) the rule or rules from which the variance or exemption is sought has not also been adopted as a rule or standard under 21 V.S.A. chapter 3, subchapters 4 and 5; and

    (4) any such variance or exemption does not violate any of the provisions of 26 V.S.A. chapters 3 and 20 or any rules adopted thereunder.

    (f) The Commissioner shall, in State-funded buildings or new additions to State-funded buildings on which construction is begun after June 30, 2001, meet the standards contained in "The Vermont Guidelines for Energy Efficient Commercial Construction" as published in its most recent edition by the Department of Public Service.

    (g) "Publicly funded building" as used in this section means any public building or an addition thereto that is paid for in whole or in part with federal, State, or municipal monies.

    (h) A building owner or contractor engaged in an older and historic renovation project may propose innovative, performance-based alternatives in lieu of strict fire and building code compliance. The Commissioner shall consider such alternatives and shall accept those that provide equivalent protection of the public safety and health. A decision to accept or deny a proposed alternative shall be in writing and explain the reasons for accepting or denying the alternative.

    (i)(1) The Department approves stamped architectural plans by issuing a plan review letter. If, upon final inspection, the Department requires structural changes, additional life safety modifications, or State-mandated accessibility modifications, and the modifications or changes are not the result of design or construction changes by the owner, the owner or architect:

    (A) may apply for a variance or exemption as provided in subsection (e) of this section, section 2732 of this title, or 26 V.S.A. § 124; and

    (B) if the variance or exemption request is denied, upon the completion of the structural changes or additional life safety, or State-mandated accessibility modifications, as the case may be, may apply to the Commissioner for a reimbursement of some or all of the plan review fee paid for the project.

    (2) The decisions of the Commissioner pursuant to this subsection shall be final. The Commissioner shall adopt rules to carry out the provisions of this subsection. This subsection shall not apply to design or construction changes necessary to comply with an alternative method of life safety code or State-mandated accessibility compliance requested by the owner after the plan review.

    (j) Rules adopted under this section shall require that information written, approved, and distributed by the Commissioner on the type, placement, and installation of photoelectric smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors be conspicuously posted in the retail sales area where the detectors are sold.

    (k) Building codes. Pursuant to his or her authority under this section, the Commissioner of Public Safety shall:

    (1) Develop and maintain on the Department website a graphic chart or grid depicting categories of construction, including new construction, major rehabilitation, change of use, and additions, and the respective building codes that apply to each category.

    (2) Whenever practicable and appropriate, offer the opportunity to construction and design professionals to participate in Division of Fire Safety staff training.

    (3) Update building codes on three-year cycles, consistent with codes developed by code-writing authorities, to keep pace with technology, products, and design.

    (4) Create a publicly accessible database of decisions that are decided on appeal to the Commissioner.

    (l) Provision of a certificate as required by 30 V.S.A. §§ 51 (residential building energy standards) or 53 (commercial building energy standards) shall be a condition precedent to the issuance of a certificate of use or occupancy for a public building under the rules adopted pursuant to this section. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 2005; amended 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294aa, eff. April 1, 2005; 2005, No. 72, § 15; 2007, No. 180 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 29, 2008; 2009, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2011, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. May 14, 2012; 2013, No. 89, § 5; 2015, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 37.)

  • § 2732. Historic variance appeals board; variances; exemptions

    (a) An historic variance appeals board is created. The board shall consist of the following three members: the commissioner of public safety or designee, who shall be chair; the state historic preservation officer or designee; and a representative of the Vermont historic preservation community appointed by the governor. A board member who is not a state employee shall be entitled to compensation and expenses as provided by 32 V.S.A. § 1010.

    (b) The board shall hear and determine all requests for variances or exemptions from the rules adopted by the commissioner under this subchapter for historic buildings and structures. A request for a variance or exemption may be granted where an applicant has demonstrated that strict compliance would entail practical difficulty, or unnecessary hardship, or would damage or destroy the historic architectural integrity of the historic building or structure, or is otherwise found unwarranted, provided that:

    (1) any such variance or exemption secures the public safety and health;

    (2) any petitioner for such a variance or exemption can demonstrate that the methods, means, or practices proposed to be taken in lieu of compliance with the rule or rules provide, in the opinion of the board, equal protection of the public safety and health as provided by rule or rules;

    (3) the rule or rules from which the variance or exemption is sought have not also been adopted as a rule or standard under subchapters 4 and 5 of chapter 3 of Title 21; and

    (4) any such variance or exemption does not violate any of the provisions of chapters 3 and 20 of Title 26 or any rules adopted thereunder.

    (c) The board may permit a person seeking a variance or exemption to phase in compliance with the rules adopted under this subchapter in lieu of or in addition to granting the variance or exemption requested. The period of phased in compliance shall be reasonable but shall state a date by which compliance shall be achieved.

    (d) Any person seeking a variance or exemption for work involving an historic building shall file a written request with the commissioner. The request shall describe the rule or rules from which the variance or exemption is sought, the reasons why a variance or exemption is sought, and a description as to how any alternative means of protecting the public safety and health is to be provided. The board shall meet and consider such requests within 15 working days of the request being filed with the commissioner. In deciding whether to grant or deny the request, the board shall take testimony or receive information from the applicant or his or her representatives, and from fire safety division staff. A decision of the board based on a majority vote of those members present shall be binding. The board shall issue a written determination granting or denying, in whole or in part, any variance or exemption request, or permission to phase in compliance, within 60 days of hearing the request. If a grant is conditional, the condition shall be clearly stated in writing. Failure to act on a request within 60 days shall be deemed approval of the request, provided that the public safety and health is not imminently threatened.

    (e) The board may adopt, amend, or repeal procedural rules to carry out the provisions of this section.

    (f) The board is attached to the department of public safety for administrative purposes.

    (g) The board shall be subject to the requirements of subchapters 2 and 3 of chapter 5 of Title 1. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 2005.)

  • § 2733. Orders to repair, rehabilitate, or remove structure

    (a) Whenever the commissioner finds that premises or any part of them does not meet the standards adopted under this subchapter, the commissioner may order it repaired or rehabilitated. If it is not repaired or rehabilitated within a reasonable time as specified by the commissioner in his or her order, the commissioner may order the premises or part of them closed, if by doing so the public safety will not be imperiled; otherwise he or she shall order demolition and removal of the structure, or fencing of the premises. Whenever a violation of the rules is deemed to be imminently hazardous to persons or property, the commissioner shall order the violation corrected immediately. If the violation is not corrected, the commissioner may then order the premises or part of them immediately closed and to remain closed until the violation is corrected.

    (b) Whenever a structure, by reason of age, neglect, want of repair, action of the elements, destruction, either partial or total by fire or other casualty or other cause, is so dilapidated, ruinous, decayed, filthy, unstable, or dangerous as to constitute a material menace or damage in any way to adjacent property, or to the public, and has so remained for a period of not less than one week, the commissioner may order such structure demolished and removed.

    (c) Orders issued under this section shall be served by certified mail with return receipt requested or in the discretion of the commissioner, shall be served in the same manner as summonses are served under the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure promulgated by the supreme court, to all persons who have a recorded interest in the property recorded in the place where land records for the property are recorded, including owners, tenants, mortgagees, attaching creditors, lien holders, and public utilities or water companies serving the premises. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 2005.)

  • § 2734. Penalties

    (a) A person who violates any provision of this subchapter or any order or rule issued pursuant thereto shall be fined not more than $10,000.00. The state's attorney of the county in which such violation occurs shall prosecute the violation and may commence a proceeding in the superior court to compel compliance with such order or rule, and such court may make orders and decrees therein by way of writ of injunction or otherwise.

    (b) A person who fails to comply with a lawful order issued under authority of this subchapter in case of sudden emergency shall be fined not more than $20,000.00. A person who fails to comply with an order requiring notice shall be fined $200.00 for each day's neglect commencing with the effective date of such order or the date such order is finally determined if an appeal has been filed.

    (c) The commissioner may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, assess an administrative penalty of not more than $1,000.00 for each violation of this subchapter or any rule adopted under this subchapter. Penalties assessed pursuant to this subsection shall be based on the severity of the violation. An election by the commissioner to proceed under this subsection shall not limit or restrict the commissioner's authority under subsection (a) of this section.

    (d) Violation of any rule adopted under this subchapter shall be prima facie evidence of negligence in any civil action for damage or injury which is the result of the violation. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 2005.)

  • § 2735. State buildings

    The Commissioner shall establish a risk classification system for all State buildings. State buildings classified as high or medium risk shall be inspected at least every five years. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 2005; amended 2011, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. May 14, 2012.)

  • § 2736. Municipal enforcement

    (a) The legislative body of a municipality may appoint one or more trained and qualified officials and may establish procedures to enforce rules and standards adopted under subsection 2731(a) of this title. After considering the type of buildings within the municipality, if the commissioner determines that the training, qualifications and procedures are sufficient, he or she may assign responsibility to the municipality for enforcement of some or all of these rules and standards. The commissioner may also assign responsibility for enforcement of the rules of the access board adopted under section 2902 of this title. The commissioner shall provide continuing review, consultation, and assistance as may be necessary. The assignment of responsibility may be revoked by the commissioner after notice and an opportunity for hearing if the commissioner determines that the training, qualifications, or procedures are insufficient. The assignment of responsibility shall not affect the commissioner's authority under this subchapter.

    (b) If a municipality assumes responsibility under subsection (a) of this section for performing any functions that would be subject to a fee established under subsection 2731(a) of this title, the municipality may establish and collect reasonable fees for its own use, and no fee shall be charged for the benefit of the state.

    (c) Subject to rules adopted under section 2731 of this title, municipal officials appointed under this section may enter any premises in order to carry out the responsibilities of this section. The officials may order the repair, rehabilitation, closing, demolition, or removal of any premises to the same extent as the commissioner may under section 2732 of this title.

    (d) Upon a determination by the commissioner that a municipality has established sufficient procedures for granting variances and exemptions, such variances and exemptions may be granted to the same extent authorized under subsection 2731(b) of this title.

    (e) The results of all activities conducted by municipal officials under this section shall be reported to the commissioner periodically upon request.

    (f) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to decrease the authority of municipal officials under other laws, including laws concerning building codes and laws concerning housing codes. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 2005.)

  • § 2737. Building permits

    Each municipality shall provide to the commissioner upon request information regarding building permits issued by the municipality. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 2005.)

  • § 2738. Fire prevention and building inspection special fund

    (a) The fire prevention and building inspection special fund revenues shall be from the following sources:

    (1) fees relating to construction and inspection of public building and fire prevention inspections under section 2731 of this title;

    (2) fees relating to boilers and pressure vessels under section 2883 of this title;

    (3) fees relating to electrical installations and inspections and the licensing of electricians under 26 V.S.A. §§ 891-915;

    (4) fees relating to cigarette certification under section 2757 of this title; and

    (5) fees relating to plumbing installations and inspections and the licensing of plumbers under 26 V.S.A. §§ 2171-2199.

    (b) Fees collected under subsection (a) of this section shall be available to the department of public safety to offset the costs of the division of fire safety.

    (c) The commissioner of finance and management may anticipate receipts to this fund and issue warrants based thereon. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 2005; amended 2005, No. 6, § 85, eff. March 26, 2005; 2009, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 2739. Repealed. 2009, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 9(b).

  • § 2751. Repealed. 1977, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.

  • § 2752. Smoking

    (a) A person who smokes a pipe, cigar or cigarette in a mill, factory, barn, stable or other outbuilding belonging to or occupied by another person, or in a public building in which a notice containing this section, prohibiting such smoking, signed by the owner, agent, occupant or custodian of the same is posted conspicuously near the main entrance thereof, shall be fined not more than $5.00.

    (b) All prosecutions under this section shall be commenced within thirty days from the date of the offense.


  • Subchapter 002A: FIRE SAFETY AND CIGARETTES
  • § 2756. Purpose

    It is the intent of this act to require that only reduced ignition propensity cigarettes be sold in Vermont. Although these cigarettes are not guaranteed to self-extinguish, they are expected to reduce fires and related personal injury and property damage caused by cigarette smoking. (Added 2005, No. 68, § 1, eff. May 1, 2006.)

  • § 2757. Cigarettes; reduced ignition propensity

    (a) As used in this section:

    (1) "Cigarette" means any product that contains any amount of nicotine, irrespective of size, shape, or presence of other ingredients, and is intended to be burned or heated under ordinary conditions of use and consists of or contains any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or in any other substance, other than tobacco, and because of its appearance, the type of tobacco used, and its packaging or labeling is offered to or purchased by consumers as a cigarette.

    (2) "Manufacturer" means any person or a successor that manufactures or produces cigarettes or causes cigarettes to be manufactured or produced, whether in-State or out-of-state, and intends to sell the cigarettes in Vermont directly or through an importer, including any first purchaser that intends to resell cigarettes.

    (3) "Quality control and quality assurance program" means laboratory procedures implemented to ensure that operator bias, systematic and nonsystematic methodological errors, and equipment-related problems do not affect the results of the testing and to ensure that the testing repeatability remains within the required repeatability value for any test trial used to certify cigarettes under this section.

    (4) "Repeatability" means the range of values within which the repeat results of cigarette test trials from a single laboratory will fall 95 percent of the time.

    (5) "Retail dealer" means any person other than a wholesale dealer engaged in the sale of cigarettes or tobacco products.

    (6) "Sale" or "selling" means any transfer of title or possession, exchange or barter, conditional or otherwise, and includes the giving of cigarettes as samples, prizes, or gifts and the exchange of cigarettes for any consideration.

    (7) "Stamping agent" means any stamping agent pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 1916.

    (8) "Wholesale dealer" means any person that sells cigarettes or tobacco products to retail dealers or other persons for resale, and includes any person that owns, operates, or maintains one or more cigarette or tobacco product vending machines wherever located. "Wholesale dealer" also includes the dealer's agent.

    (b) No cigarettes may be manufactured in this State or sold or offered for sale to any person in this State unless the cigarettes have been tested in accordance with the test method and meet the performance standard specified in this subsection, and the manufacturer has filed a written certification with the Commissioner in accordance with subsection (c) of this section. The performance standard for cigarettes sold or offered for sale in Vermont includes all the following:

    (1) Testing of cigarettes shall be conducted in accordance with the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard E2187-04 "Standard Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes." The Commissioner may adopt a subsequent ASTM Standard Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes upon a finding that the subsequent method does not result in a change in the percentage of full-length burns exhibited by any tested cigarette when compared to the percentage of full-length burns the same cigarette would exhibit when tested in accordance with ASTM Standard E2187-04 and the performance standard of this subsection.

    (2) Testing of cigarettes shall be conducted on ten layers of filter paper.

    (3) No more than 25 percent of the cigarettes tested in a test trial shall exhibit full-length burns. Forty replicate tests shall comprise a complete test trial for each cigarette tested.

    (4) The performance standard required by this subsection shall only be applied to a complete test trial.

    (5) Laboratories that conduct tests in accordance with this subsection (b) shall implement a quality control and quality assurance program that includes a procedure to determine the repeatability of the testing results. The repeatability value shall be no greater than 0.19.

    (6) Each cigarette listed in a certification that uses lowered permeability bands in the cigarette paper to achieve compliance with the performance standard in this subsection shall have at least two nominally identical bands on the paper surrounding the tobacco column. At least one complete band shall be located at least 15 millimeters from the lighting end of the cigarette. For cigarettes on which the bands are positioned by design, there shall be at least two bands located at least 15 millimeters from the lighting end and ten millimeters from the filter end of the tobacco column. In the case of an unfiltered cigarette, the two complete bands shall be located at least 15 millimeters from the lighting end and ten millimeters from the labeled end of the tobacco column.

    (7) The manufacturer of a cigarette that the Commissioner determines cannot be tested in accordance with the test method required by this subsection shall propose to the Commissioner a test method and performance standard for that cigarette. The Commissioner may approve a test method and performance standard that the Commissioner determines is equivalent to the requirement of this subsection, and the manufacturer may use that test method and performance standard for certification pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

    (8) A manufacturer shall retain all data from testing conducted under this section for a period of three years. The manufacturer shall provide that data to the Commissioner and the Attorney General upon request in order to ensure compliance with the performance standard required by this subsection.

    (c) Each manufacturer shall submit to the Commissioner written certification attesting that each cigarette has been tested in accordance with and has met the performance standard required under subsection (b) of this section. The description of each cigarette listed in the certification shall include the brand; style; length in millimeters; circumference in millimeters; flavor, if applicable; filter or nonfilter; package description, such as a soft pack or box; and the mark approved pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Upon request, this certification shall be made available to the Attorney General and Department of Liquor Control. Each cigarette certified under this subsection shall be recertified every three years. For the certification or recertification of each brand style, the fee shall be $1,000.00. The fees shall be paid into the Fire Prevention and Building Inspection Special Fund established in 20 V.S.A. § 2738.

    (d) Cigarettes that have been certified pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall be marked pursuant to the following requirements:

    (1) The marking shall be in a font of at least eight-point type and shall include one of the following:

    (A) Modification of the product UPC Code to include a visible mark printed at or around the area of the UPC Code. The mark may consist of one or more alphanumeric or symbolic characters permanently stamped, engraved, embossed, or printed in conjunction with the UPC Code.

    (B) Any visible combination of alphanumeric or symbolic characters permanently printed, stamped, engraved, or embossed on the cigarette package or the cellophane wrap.

    (C) Printed, stamped, engraved, or embossed text that indicates that the cigarettes meet the standards of this section.

    (2) A manufacturer shall request approval of a proposed marking from the Commissioner. Any marking approved and in use for the sale of cigarettes in the State of New York shall be approved unless the Commissioner determines that the New York Fire Safety Standards for Cigarettes have changed significantly since those standards were effective on June 28, 2004. A marking shall be deemed approved if the Commissioner fails to act within 10 business days of receiving a request for approval. A manufacturer shall not use a modified marking unless the modification has been approved in accordance with this subdivision. A manufacturer shall use only one marking on all brands that the manufacturer markets. A marking or modified marking approved by the Commissioner shall be applied uniformly on all brands marketed and on all packages, including packs, cartons, and cases marketed by that manufacturer.

    (e) A manufacturer shall provide a copy of certifications to all wholesale dealers and stamping agents to which the manufacturer sells cigarettes and shall provide sufficient copies of an illustration of the packaging marking approved and used by the manufacturer pursuant to subsection (d) of this section for each of the retail dealers that purchases cigarettes from any of those wholesale dealers and stamping agents. Wholesale dealers and stamping agents shall provide a copy of the illustration to all retail dealers to which they sell cigarettes. Wholesale dealers, stamping agents, and retail dealers shall permit the Commissioner of Public Safety or the Commissioner of Liquor Control or their designees to inspect markings on cigarette packaging at any time.

    (f) The Commissioner:

    (1) may adopt rules necessary to implement and administer this section;

    (2) in consultation with the Commissioner of Liquor Control, may adopt rules regarding the conduct of random inspections of wholesale dealers, importers, retail dealers, and stamping agents to ensure compliance with this section; and

    (3) shall assure that the implementation and substance of this section is in accordance with the implementation and substance of the New York Fire Safety Standards for Cigarettes.

    (g) The following civil penalties may be assessed:

    (1) Against a manufacturer, wholesale dealer, unlicensed retailer, or any other person that knowingly sells cigarettes, except by licensed retail sales, in violation of subsection (b) of this section a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.00 for each sale.

    (2) Against a manufacturer that knowingly makes a false certification pursuant to subsection (c) of this section a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.00 for each false certification.

    (3) Against a licensed retail dealer that knowingly sells or offers for sale cigarettes in violation of subsection (b) of this section a civil penalty not to exceed $500.00 for each sale or offer of sale of 1,000 cigarettes or fewer.

    (4) Against a licensed retail dealer that knowingly sells or offers for sale cigarettes in violation of subsection (b) of this section a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each sale or offer of sale of more than 1,000 cigarettes.

    (5) Against any other person that violates any provision of this section a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each violation. Any cigarettes sold or offered for sale that do not comply with the safety standard required by subsection (b) of this section shall be deemed to be contraband and subject to the provisions of 7 V.S.A. § 1009.

    (h) In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the Attorney General may file an action in Superior Court for a violation of this section, including petitioning for injunctive relief, recovery of costs or damages suffered by the State as the result of a violation of this section, including enforcement costs relating to the specific violation and attorney's fees. In any such action, the Attorney General shall have the same authority to investigate and obtain remedies, except civil penalties under subsection (g) of this section, as if the action were brought pursuant to the Consumer Protection Act, 9 V.S.A. chapter 63. Each violation of this section or of any rule adopted under this section shall constitute a separate civil violation for which the Attorney General may obtain relief. (Added 2005, No. 68, § 1, eff. May 1, 2006; amended 2009, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2011, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 8, 2012; 2011, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 1b, eff. May 18, 2012.)


  • Subchapter 003: FIRE HAZARDS AND DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES
  • §§ 2791-2798. Repealed. 1971, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.


  • Subchapter 003A: FIRE HAZARDS AND DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES
  • § 2799. Definitions

    As used in this subchapter:

    (1) "Explosive material" includes "explosives," "explosive material," "blasting agents," and "detonators," as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 841, as amended at any time, and regulations promulgated thereunder.

    (2) "Flammable material" means, in addition to its ordinary meaning, motion picture film.

    (3) "Hazardous material" means any substance having such properties that it may spontaneously or acting under the influence of any thing contiguous or of any chemical or physical agency ignite or generate flammable or explosive vapors or gases to a dangerous extent.

    (4) "Petroleum product" includes without limitation liquid petroleum gas, explosive flammable gases, and flammable fluids, compounds, or tablets, derived in whole or in part from petroleum. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 1, 2005.)

  • § 2800. Rules and standards

    The commissioner may adopt rules and standards for explosion prevention, fire prevention, and public safety with respect to the safekeeping, storage, use, manufacturing, sale, handling, transportation, and other disposition of explosive materials, flammable materials, hazardous materials, petroleum, and petroleum products. The commissioner may prescribe the location, materials, and construction of buildings and other facilities to be used for these purposes. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 1, 2005.)

  • § 2801. Seizure of materials

    Without warrant, the commissioner, a member of the state police, a sheriff, a deputy sheriff, a police officer, or a constable may seize materials held by a person in violation of rules adopted under this subchapter and hold the same subject to the order of the court taking jurisdiction of the offense. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 1, 2005.)

  • § 2802. Orders

    After an inspection, the commissioner may issue an appropriate order to remove or abate a condition dangerous to persons or property involving explosive materials, flammable materials, or hazardous materials. This order shall be served on the owner or occupant of the premises on which the condition exists. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 1, 2005.)


  • Subchapter 004: INVESTIGATION OF FIRES
  • § 2831. Investigations

    (a) The fire marshal and his or her assistants are authorized to investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of every fire within the state which causes injury to any person or which causes damage or loss of property in excess of $200.00. The fire marshal and his or her assistants shall make a special investigation of any fire of suspicious origin. In any investigation carried out by the fire marshal, he or she shall cooperate with the local fire department.

    (b) The chief of a volunteer or paid fire department or his or her designee and, in towns lacking a fire department, the first selectman, shall investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of every fire occurring in his jurisdiction which causes injury to any person or which causes damage or loss of property in excess of  $200.00. He or she may make a special investigation as to whether a fire was the result of carelessness or accident and shall make a special investigation of any fire of suspicious origin. (Amended 1973, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 2832. Time of investigation; supervision and direction

    Such investigation shall be begun within five days after the occurrence of such fire or as soon thereafter as it appears that there is cause therefor. The fire marshal or the deputy fire marshal shall have the right to supervise and direct such investigation whenever he or she deems it necessary or expedient.

  • § 2833. Reports to fire marshal

    (a) The chief of a volunteer or paid fire department or, if there is no fire department, the first selectman of a town, shall within five days of the occurrence of a fire within his jurisdiction which causes serious injury to any person or loss or damage to property which exceeds $200.00, forward a report of the fire to the state fire marshal on forms to be furnished by him. If the reporting officer has reason to believe that a fire is of suspicious origin, he shall report that fact to the state fire marshal immediately. No fee shall be paid or allowed any officer for rendering the report required by this subsection.

    (b) An officer referred to in subsection (a) of this section who wilfully neglects to comply with any of the requirements of this subchapter shall be fined not more than $100.00. (Amended 1973, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)

  • § 2834. Repealed. 1973, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.

  • § 2835. District judge

    If a selectman of a town or a mayor of a city is informed that a building, pile of wood, lumber or bark or any other property in the town, has been wilfully and maliciously set on fire or burned, a majority of the selectmen, or the mayor, may apply to a district judge, who shall inquire into the cause of the fire and the manner in which it was set and the property burned. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, eff. Feb. 1, 1967; 1973, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 73, eff. April 9, 1974.)

  • § 2836. Inquiry and return

    Such magistrate shall make such inquiry and return as is provided in the case of inquest on the dead and the expenses thereof and the fees shall be paid in the same manner.

  • § 2861. Generally

    When it may seem to be for the public good, the fire marshal shall personally visit and investigate any fire in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and he shall be repaid all expenses incident thereto out of the funds provided for in section 2687 of this title.

  • § 2862. Assistance of state's attorney in investigation

    Upon request of the fire marshal or the deputy fire marshal, a state's attorney shall assist such officers in an investigation of a fire which in their opinion is of suspicious origin.

  • § 2863. Entry on premises

    The fire marshal and his assistants, upon complaint duly made, shall have authority to enter, at all reasonable hours, into and upon all buildings and premises within their jurisdiction for the purposes of examination in the performance of their duties.

  • § 2864. Attendance of witnesses; production of documents

    The fire marshal and the deputy fire marshal, or either of them, may summon and compel the attendance of witnesses before them, or either of them, to testify relative to any matter which is by the provisions of this chapter a subject of inquiry or investigation and may require the production of any book, paper or document deemed pertinent thereto by them. Such witnesses shall be subpoenaed in the same manner as witnesses in the criminal division of the superior court and a person shall not be excused from attending before the fire marshal or deputy fire marshal when summoned so to attend. They shall receive the same compensation as is paid in criminal division of the superior court, which shall be paid out of the fire marshal fund upon vouchers signed by the fire marshal or deputy fire marshal before whom any witnesses have attended. At the close of the investigation wherein such witnesses were subpoenaed such officer shall certify to their attendance and mileage, which certificate shall be filed in the office of the fire marshal. (Amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.)

  • § 2865. Privacy of hearings

    All investigations held by or under the direction of the fire marshal or deputy fire marshal may, in his discretion, be private. Persons other than those required to be present by the provisions of this chapter may be excluded from the place where such investigation is held. Witnesses may be kept separate and apart from each other and not allowed to communicate with each other until they have been examined.

  • § 2866. Testimony under oath

    When in his or her opinion further investigation is necessary, the fire marshal shall take or cause to be taken the testimony under oath of all persons supposed to have knowledge of any facts or to have means of knowledge relating to any fire or matter regarding which an examination is herein required to be made, and he or she shall cause the same to be reduced to writing.

  • § 2867. Administration of oaths; perjury

    The fire marshal and deputy fire marshal may each administer oaths and affirmations to any person appearing as a witness before them. A person who falsely swears in any matter or proceeding shall be deemed guilty of perjury and shall be punished accordingly.

  • § 2868. Contempt

    A witness may be punished as for contempt of court who:

    (1) Refuses to obey a summons of the fire marshal or deputy fire marshal; or

    (2) Refuses to be sworn or to testify; or

    (3) Disobeys a lawful order of the fire marshal or deputy fire marshal in relation to an investigation instituted by him; or

    (4) Fails or refuses to produce any book, paper or document relating to any matter under investigation or examination; or

    (5) Is guilty of any contemptuous act after being summoned to appear before the fire marshal or deputy fire marshal, or either of them, to give testimony relating to any matter under examination or investigation as aforesaid.

  • § 2869. Prosecution

    After making such investigation, if the fire marshal or deputy fire marshal is of the opinion that there is probable cause to believe a person guilty of the crime of arson, or of an attempt to commit the crime of arson, or of a conspiracy to defraud, or any criminal conduct in connection with such fires, he or she shall furnish to the state's attorney a copy of all such testimony together with the names and residences of witnesses and all necessary information obtained by him or her. Such state's attorney shall take such action as the facts justify and diligently inquire into all circumstances attending the fire. The fire marshal may assist in the prosecution either in person or by the deputy fire marshal.


  • Subchapter 005: BOILERS AND PRESSURE VESSELS
  • § 2881. General provisions

    (a) A person shall not install or maintain a boiler or pressure vessel which is unsafe or likely to be unsafe to other persons or property.

    (b) A person shall not operate, cause to be operated, or permit to be operated any boiler or pressure vessel under his or her control or ownership, in a manner which causes or is likely to cause harm to other persons or property. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 4a, eff. April 1, 2005.)

  • § 2882. Rules; installation standards

    (a) The commissioner may adopt rules pertaining to boilers and pressure vessels, and standards to be observed, necessary for the safety and protection of the public, employees, and property. The commissioner may provide for operating certificates to be issued before a boiler or pressure vessel may be used.

    (b) A boiler or pressure vessel regulated by the rules adopted under this section shall be designed, manufactured, and assembled in accordance with the relevant standards published by the:

    (1) American Society of Mechanical Engineers;

    (2) Canadian Standards Association;

    (3) European Committee for Standardization, for boilers with a maximum water jacket size of 60 gallons, a maximum input of 250,000 Btu, and a maximum relief valve setting of 30 pounds per square inch gauge; or

    (4) European Committee for Standardization, for boilers or pressure vessels with an input of greater than 250,000 Btu or a water jacket size of greater than 60 gallons as approved by the commissioner.

    (c) A boiler or pressure vessel regulated by the rules adopted under this section shall be installed in accordance with the National Board Inspection Code, as amended, including control, safety, and pressure relief devices in accordance with the relevant standards published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

    (d) A boiler or pressure vessel regulated by the rules adopted under this section shall provide the manufacturer's design information, instructions, data plates, and warning labels in English.

    (e) In reviewing an application for a variance, the commissioner may rely upon decisions or information from other states or governmental entities that have reviewed and approved a boiler or pressure vessel that does not meet one of the standards set forth under subsection (b) of this section. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 4a, eff. April 1, 2005; amended 2009, No. 86 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2883. Boiler inspections

    The commissioner has authority to obtain specific information from boiler inspectors on forms which shall first be approved by the commissioner. The commissioner may authorize qualified inspectors to conduct inspections under such rules as the commissioner may prescribe. If a boiler or pressure vessel is insured, the inspection may be conducted by a qualified inspector who is employed, or contractually authorized, by the insurer. If a boiler or pressure vessel is not insured, the inspection may be conducted by any qualified inspector authorized by the commissioner. In case the inspection is made by such an inspector, no fee shall be charged by the division, except a process fee of $30.00 for issuance of an operating certificate. The fee for a person requesting a three-year authorization to conduct inspections shall be $150.00. A licensed boiler inspector shall carry liability insurance in an amount determined by the department. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 4a, eff. April 1, 2005; amended 2009, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)

  • § 2884. Qualifications of inspectors

    All boiler inspectors shall have passed the examination required by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, and hold annual certification from such board. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 4a, eff. April 1, 2005; amended 2009, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)

  • § 2885. Penalties

    The commissioner may assess penalties pursuant to section 2734 of this title against a person who violates this subchapter or any rule adopted under this subchapter. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 4a, eff. April 1, 2005.)