By law, the State Fire Marshal (SFM) is tasked with the responsibility of writing administrative rules regarding, among other things, hotel licensure and inspection, flammability standards, fireworks regulations, and all matters of fire safety. These administrative rules are collectively called the "Ohio Fire Code" (OFC) and are contained within the Ohio Administrative Code at sections 1301:7-7-01 through 1301:7-7-80.
Ohio law also requires the SFM to periodically review all of the administrative rules that the SFM has adopted. This review must occur at least every 5 years. During this 'five-year rule review' the SFM must review all rules to determine whether or not they are in line with the most current industry standards and best practices. The SFM will either edit and update existing rules, adopt new or additional rules, or delete or modify outdated rules. This process usually takes one and a half to two years to complete.
In addition to the mandatory five-year rule review, the SFM may do 'interim' rule updates. Interim updates are limited in scope and generally only encompass one topic and/or one or two rules. They usually occur as the result of a legislative directive, a large industry change that needs to be addressed before the next scheduled 5-year rule review, or pursuant to an emergency. Interim rule updates generally take a much shorter period of time to complete than 5-year rule review.
The process to update the OFC - for 5-year rule review and for interim updates - is generally the same. The process begins with a notification that the SFM sends out stating that specified rules will be "open" for review. During a five-year rule review, this is followed by a "Petition Period" and a "Comment Period" (these may be shortened or omitted during an interim update). The Petition Period is a set time-frame when anyone can ask for changes regarding those OFC rules and/or sections that are 'open' and being reviewed. The "Comment Period" follows the Petition Period and is a set time-frame where anyone can submit a comment about any Petition that was submitted during the Petition Period. The Comment Period is followed by by the beginning of the formal rule adoption process (i.e., the process required by Ohio law) with a rule submission to the the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) Office for review. After the CSI review is complete, proposed rules are filed with the Joint Committee for Agency Rule Review (JCARR). After the JCARR process is completed, the final form of the SFM's rules are officially filed and adopted and can become effective. After that, the SFM offers training and training materials on the significant changes that occurred in the update.
Click the following links for a full description of the process that the SFM follows to enact administrative rules or to submit an online Petition or Comment.
When the SFM begins the process to update the OFC, the SFM will issue a notice informing stakeholders and interested parties that an update is being made. Relevant information and documents will be posted on this page.
Current Rule Update Information:
The next scheduled update of the full OFC is anticipated to begin in late 2022. Check back here for updates.
The SFM's Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR) currently has rules pending as set forth below.
Please view the proposed rules for the Division at this time in the table below. If you would like to view the Proposed Rules for all the Divisions within the Department of Commerce please visit About Commerce / Proposed Rules