Penal Code 386. Failure to Maintain Fire Protection System


(a) Any person who willfully or maliciously constructs or maintains a fire-protection system in any structure with the intent to install a fire protection system which is known to be inoperable or to impair the effective operation of a system, so as to threaten the safety of any occupant or user of the structure in the event of a fire, shall be subject to imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years.

(b) A violation of subdivision (a) which proximately results in great bodily injury or death is a felony punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for five, six, or seven years.

(c) As used in this section, “fire-protection system” includes, but is not limited to, an automatic fire sprinkler system, standpipe system, automatic fixed fire extinguishing system, and fire alarm system.

(d) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall control:

(1) “Automatic fire sprinkler system” means an integrated system of underground and overhead piping designed in accordance with fire protection engineering standards. The portion of the sprinkler system above ground is a network of specially sized or hydraulically designed piping installed in a building, structure, or area, generally overhead, and to which sprinklers are attached in a systematic pattern. The valve controlling each system riser is located in the system riser or its supply piping. Each sprinkler system riser includes a device for activating an alarm when the system is in operation. The system is normally activated by heat from a fire, and it discharges water over the fire area.

(2) “Standpipe system” means an arrangement of piping, valves, and hose connectors and allied equipment installed in a building or structure with the hose connectors located in a manner that water can be discharged in streams or spray patterns through attached hose and nozzles. The purpose of the system is to extinguish a fire, thereby protecting a building or structure and its contents and occupants. This system relies upon connections to water supply systems or pumps, tanks, and other equipment necessary to provide an adequate supply of water to the hose connectors.

(3) “Automatic fixed fire extinguishing system” means either of the following:

(A) An engineered fixed extinguishing system which is custom designed for a particular hazard, using components which are approved or listed only for their broad performance characteristics. Components may be arranged into a variety of configurations. These systems shall include, but not be limited to, dry chemical systems, carbon dioxide systems, halogenated agent systems, steam systems, high expansion foam systems, foam extinguishing systems, and liquid agent systems.

(B) A pre-engineered fixed extinguishing system is a system where the number of components and their configurations are included in the description of the system's approval and listing. These systems include, but are not limited to, dry chemical systems, carbon dioxide systems, halogenated agent systems, and liquid agent systems.

(4) “Fire alarm system” means a control unit and a combination of electrical interconnected devices designed and intended to cause an alarm or warning of fire in a building or structure by either manual or automatic activation, or by both, and includes the systems installed throughout any building or portion thereof.

(5) “Structure” means any building, whether private, commercial, or public, or any bridge, tunnel, or powerplant.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 342. (AB 109) Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)