CHAPTER 424

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 487

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16, DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE REPORTING OF CERTAIN INJURIES AND WOUNDS SUSTAINED IN A FIRE AND INVESTIGATIONS THEREOF.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Title 16, Delaware Code by adding thereto a new Chapter 66A to read as follows:

"CHAPTER 66A. REPORTING OF BURN INJURIES AND WOUNDS

§6601A. Burn Injury and Wounds to be Reported

Every case of a burn injury or wound, where the victim sustained second or third degree burns to five percent or more of the body and/or any burns to the upper respiratory tract with laryngeal edema due to the inhalation of super-heated air, and every case of a burn injury or wound which is likely to or may result in death, shall be reported to the Office of State Fire Marshal. The State Fire Marshal shall accept the report and notify the proper investigatory agency. The report shall be provided to the Office of the State Fire Marshal within seventy-two hours of the initial treatment. The report shall be made by (a) the physician attending or treating the case; or (b) the manager, superintendent or other person in charge, whenever such case is treated in a hospital or other health care facility. The intentional failure to make such report is a Class A misdemeanor.

56602A. Responsibility of State Fire Marshal

The Office of the State Fire Marshal shall have the authority to:

(a) Advise and assist fire companies, municipal corporations and districts, including agencies and department thereof in developing measures for more effective fire and arson prevention and control; to assist and encourage cooperative efforts to solve common problems relating to fire and arson prevention and control and to serve as a clearinghouse of information about fire and arson prevention and control, about reported cases of burn injuries or wounds sustained, and about state and federal services available to assist in solving such problems.

(b) Employ or contract with individuals, agencies or corporations to assist fire companies, municipal corporations and districts in the development of an arson investigation program or in the investigation of cases of suspected arson or cases or burn injuries or wounds sustained upon the request of such an entity. However, nothing in this provision shall be construed to remove the primary responsibility for arson investigations from appropriate local jurisdictions or agencies.

(c) Establish a burn registry data bank and disseminate information relating to fire and arson prevention and control, reported cases of burn Injuries or wounds sustained, and to operate a state fire reporting system. The state fire reporting system shall include a procedure for the identification of patterns of suspicious, accidental, or criminal fires and for alerting appropriate state and local authorities. The fire reporting system shall also include fire incident data supplied by local fire agencies in a manner and on forms prescribed by the State Fire Marshal. To the extent practicable, the data shall be collected and maintained in a form compatible with information collected by other Delaware agencies, other states and the federal government. The State Fire Marshal shall cooperate with the division of State Police, Insurance Department, local police, fire and health agencies, the insurance industry and other appropriate organizations in maintaining such system."

Approved July 24, 1990.