Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis issued a statement last Friday regarding the proposal of the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to update Illinois’ fire safety code for the first time in more than a decade. The proposed rule will no longer be considered in front of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) at this time. The public hearing that was scheduled for August 6, 2013 is canceled.

“After months of study into how we can better protect the lives and property of Illinois residents, I directed my office to draft Illinois’ first fire code update in 11 years.

“As the brave first responders alongside whom I have served during four decades in fire protection know, Illinois needs 21st century fire safety standards.

“Since we began this process, we conducted numerous meetings with local officials, legislators, fire safety professionals, community leaders and residents who have all expressed a desire to strengthen Illinois’ fire safety.

“We have received an unprecedented amount of public input and suggestions through emails, letters and public meetings.

“In the course of this process, it’s become clear that any proposed state rule needs additional refinement.

“Therefore today I am officially withdrawing the proposed rule before the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to take into account substantial public comment and carefully re-examine this issue.”