CHAPTER 476

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 648

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 & 2

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 67, TITLE 16, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE AUTHORITY OF FIRE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all the members elected to each Branch thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Chapter 67, Title 16, Delaware Code, by striking the title thereto and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

AUTHORITY OF FIRE DEPARTMENTS AND FIRE POLICE

WITHIN THE STATE OF DELAWARE.

Section 2. Amend Chapter 67, Title 16, Delaware Code, by adding a new paragraph 6701A to read as follows:

6701A. Authority of Fire Officers in Charge

While any duly constituted fire department recognized by the Delaware State Fire Prevention Commission is responding to, operating at, or returning from a fire, service call, or other emergency, the fire chief, any other elected or appointed fire line officer, or any member serving in the capacity of fire officer-in-charge shall have the authority:

(a) Of controlling and directing the activities at such scene;

(b) To order any person or persons to leave any building or place in the vicinity of such scene for the purpose of protecting such persons from injury;

(c) To blockade any public highway, street, or private right-of-way temporarily while at such scene;

(d) To trespass at any time of the day or night without liability while at such scene;

(e) To enter any building, including private dwellings, or upon any premises where a fire is in progress, or where there is reasonable cause to believe a fire is in progress, for the purpose of extinguishing the fire;

() To enter any building, including private dwellings, or premises near the scene of the fire for the purpose of protecting the building or premises or for the purpose of extinguishing the fire which is in progress in another building or premises;

(a) To inspect for preplanning all buildings, structures, or other places in their fire district excepting, however, the interior of a private dwelling, where any combustible material, including waste paper, rags, shavings, waste, leather, rubber, crates, boxes, barrels, rubbish or other combustible material that is or may become dangerous as a fire menace to such building or buildings, structure or other places has been allowed to accumulate or where such chief or his designated representative has reason to believe that such material of a combustible nature has accumulated or is liable to be accumulated;

(b) To direct without liability the removal or destroying of any fence, house, motor vehicle, or other thing which he may judge necessary to be pulled down or destroyed, to prevent the further spread of the fire;

(c) To request and be supplied with additional materials such as sand, treatments, chemicals, etc. and special equipment when it is deemed a necessity, to prevent the further spread of the fire or hazardous condition, the cost of which to be borne by such- property owner;

() To order disengagement or discouplement of any convoy, caravan, or train of vehicles, craft or railway cars if deemed a necessity in the interest of safety of persons or property;

() To take command of all industrial management, fire brigades or fire chiefs whenever his company or department is called to respond to such; if in his opinion such action is in the interest of public safety;

Section 3. Amend Chapter 67, Title 16, Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new §6708 to read as follows:

§6708. Penalty for disobeying fire officer in charge

Any owner or occupant of any building or premises or any other person who refuses to obey the orders of a fire officer-in-charge in the exercise of his duties shall be fined not more than $300 or imprisoned not more than ten (10) days.

Approved July 19, 1974.