See: State Forester, Department of Housing, Department of Real Estate
Authority – Repealed. Responsibilities transferred.
Until 2016, statutory authority for the Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety was found at A.R.S. §§41-2141 through 41-2198.05. Laws 2016, Chapter 128 abolished the Department and divided its duties among the Department of Housing, the State Forester and the Department of Real Estate.
Until 2016, the Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety enforced safety standards for public buildings, manufactured homes, mobile homes and factory-built buildings. The Department also enforced the State Fire Code and developed administrative procedures to facilitate consumer protection. The Department consisted of the Board of Manufactured Housing, the Installation Standards Committee, the State Fire Safety Committee and the Director of the Department. The Director’s office included the Office of Manufactured Housing and the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The Director was appointed by the Governor.
The Office of Manufactured Housing licensed and regulated production and ownership of manufactured housing; administered certain funds and acted on behalf of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development regarding implementation and enforcement of related regulations.
The State Fire Marshal established fire safety inspection programs for state and county buildings, public and private schools and reviewed plans for construction and remodeling.
In addition, the Department was responsible for interpreting and enforcing the terms of mobile home park rental agreements and applicable statutes through its hearing officer function. This responsibility also applied to statutes regulating condominiums and homeowners’ associations (planned communities) and included establishment of consumer protection procedures.
The Department traces its origins to two predecessor agencies: one related to fire safety and the second related to regulation of mobile homes and manufactured housing. The two agencies were eventually combined in 1986.
Laws 1962, Chapter 133 created the office of Commissioner of Public Building Safety, authorizing the Director of Insurance to enforce fire prevention and fire safety laws of the state and ordinances of cities and counties. This responsibility remained with the Director of Insurance until 1972.
In 1972 the Office of the Fire Marshal was established within the Industrial Commission and the Office of Commissioner of Public Building Safety was abolished (Laws 1972, Chapter 61).
Laws 1981, Chapter 149 transferred the Office of the Fire Marshal from the Industrial Commission to the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, Division of Emergency Services and required the Director of DEMA to appoint the Fire Marshal. Personnel, equipment and funds were transferred from the Industrial Commission to DEMA. The legislation provided an effective date of January 1, 1982.
In 1972, the legislature established the Division of Building Codes within the Registrar of Contractors in order to regulate construction and installation of factory built buildings, mobile housing and recreational vehicles (both self-propelled or drawn by another vehicle). The Registrar of Contractors appointed the Director and a seven-member Building Codes Hearing Board, with the approval of the Governor. The Director was required to establish a schedule of fees that would generate sufficient funds to equal or exceed the anticipated annual budget of the Division. See Laws 1972, Chapter 143.
Laws 1977, Chapter 126 established the Division of Mobile and Manufactured Housing Standards (replacing the Division of Building Codes) within the Office of the Registrar of Contractors in order to regulate and license the construction, sale, installation and alteration of factory built buildings, mobile homes and recreational vehicles. The Director of the Division was appointed by the Governor. The measure also created the five-member State Board of Mobile and Manufactured Housing Standards, which replaced the Building Codes Hearing Board.
Laws 1981, Chapter 298 established the Office of Manufactured Housing, replacing the Division of Mobile and Manufactured Housing Standards formerly within the Office of Registrar and Contractors. The measure also created the Board of Manufactured Housing, replacing the Board of Mobile and Manufactured Housing Standards. In addition, the measure created the Installations Standards Committee in order to adopt rules relating to installation of manufactured homes and accessory structures.
Legislation adopted in 1986 established the Department of Building and Fire Safety, which combined the functions of the Office of Manufactured Housing and the Office of the Fire Marshal into one department and removed fire prevention and control authority from the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (Laws 1986, Chapter 330).
Laws 2005, Chapter 245 changed the name of the Department of Building and Fire Safety to the Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety.
Laws 2006, Chapter 324 established an administrative hearing process to resolve disputes between a condominium or planned community HOA and its members. In 2010, the Arizona Court of Appeals decision in Gelb v. Department of Fire, Building and Life Safetyruled the statutory process for resolving disputes between a condominium or planned community HOA and its members was unconstitutional, because the Department lacked the appropriate jurisdiction. Subsequent legislation was adopted in 2011 to address the issues raised in the 2010 Court of Appeals decision. See Laws 2011, Chapter 185.
Laws 2014, Chapter 259 established regulations for trampoline courts to be administered by the Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety and outlined requirements for insurance, inspections and safety standards.
Laws 2016, Chapter 128 abolished the Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety and divided its duties and responsibilities among three existing state agencies:
* The measure placed the State Fire Marshal under the authority and direction of the State Forester. The responsibilities (to promote public health and safety, reduce fire hazards, conduct fire and arson investigations, provide public education, adopt fire protection codes and training standards, conduct ignition testing for cigarettes, and to regulate and register trampoline courts) remained essentially the same. The State Fire Safety Committee was changed to advisory status. Statutes related to the State Forester and the State Fire Marshal were transferred and renumbered as A.R.S. §§37-1301 through 37-1426. The heading for Title 37, Chapter 9 was revised to: Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.
* The measure transferred the duties, responsibilities and programs related to the Office of Manufactured Housing to the Arizona Department of Housing.
* The measure transferred the responsibility to review complaints related to planned community and condominium associations to the Arizona Department of Real Estate.
Arizona Revised Statutes §§37-1301 through 37-1426 (Forestry and Fire Management)
Arizona Revised Statutes §§32-2199 through 32-2199.05 (Real Estate)
Arizona Revised Statutes §§41-4001 through 41-4065 (Housing)
Arizona Revised Statutes §§41-2141 et seq. (until July 1, 2016)
- Laws 1962, Chapter 133
- Laws 1972, Chapter 61
- Laws 1972, Chapter 143
- Laws 1977, Chapter 126
- Laws 1981, Chapter 149
- Laws 1981, Chapter 298
- Laws 1986, Chapter 330
- Laws 2005, Chapter 245
- Laws 2006, Chapter 324
- Laws 2011, Chapter 185
- Laws 2014, Chapter 259
- Laws 2016, Chapter 128
Arizona Auditor General Performance Audit: Building and Fire Safety. Report Number 1999-16.
Master List of State Government Programs www.ospb.state.az.us
Gelb v. Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety, 1 CA CV 09-0744, filed October 28, 2010
(Ct. App. 2010)
Related collections at Arizona State Archives:
RG 182 – Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety