Congress Clears U.S. Fire Administration Authorization
Act for Presidential Signature
(Washington, DC) - During the final days for the first session of the 105th Congress, the US Fire administration’s 1998 and 1999 fiscal year authorization bill passed without delay.
On September 26, the Senate introduced an authorization bill (S. 1231) calling for an increase in funding for the U.S. Fire Administration. In less than 60 days both the Senate and House passed the bill that now awaits presidential signature.
S. 1231 authorizes $29,644,000 for fiscal year 1998 and $30,544,000 for fiscal year 1999 for USFA. This is up from $27,558,000 in the FY 1997 budget. "We are grateful that Congress increased funding for USFA," said Bill Webb, CFSI Executive Director. It sends a positive signal that the USFA programs are earning high marks on Capitol Hill.
USFA’s authorization permits successor fire safety standards to be used as guidelines in addition to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 74, NFPA Standard 13 or 13-R, or NFPA Standard 101 (Life Safety Code) for installation of hard-wired, single-station smoke detectors or automatic sprinkler systems in: (1) places of public accommodation affecting commerce; and (2) federally assisted buildings.
The bill also directs the Administrator to report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House Committee on Science on: (1) risks to firefighters in suppressing fires caused by burning tires; and (2) special training required to suppress such fires and how the training may be provided by the Fire Administration.
President Clinton is expected to sign the authorization bill without delay.