Burn injuries and wounds; reports; registry; immunity; penalties
A. The purpose of this Section is to combat arson through the rapid identification and apprehension of suspected arsonists who may suffer burn injuries during the commission of their crimes. It is the further intent of this Section to provide for a central registry for burn injuries and wounds data from which effective fire and arson prevention and fire safety education programs may be developed.
B. In every case of a burn injury or wound in which the victim sustains second or third degree burns to five percent or more of the body or any burns to the upper respiratory tract or 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, code enforcement and building safety, hereinafter sometimes referred to as the “office”. That office shall then immediately notify the appropriate local or state investigatory agency or law enforcement agency of the receipt of such report and its contents.
C.(1) An oral report shall be made within twenty-four hours of the examination or treatment of the victim. The report shall be made by the physician attending or treating the case, or by the manager, superintendent, director, or other person in charge whenever such case is treated in a hospital, burn center, sanitarium, or other medical facility. The report may be recorded electronically or in any other suitable manner, by the office of state fire marshal, code enforcement and building safety.
(2) The oral report shall contain the following information if known:
(a) Victim’s name, address, and date of birth.
(b) Address where the burn injury occurred.
(c) Date and time of the burn injury.
(d) Degree of burns and percent of body burned.
(e) Area of body injured.
(f) Injury severity.
(g) Apparent cause of burn injury.
(h) Name and address of reporting facility.
(i) Name of the attending physician.
D.(1) The office shall maintain a central registry of all reported cases of the treatment or examination of persons with burn injuries or wounds. The registry may be used to provide information to those agencies whose duties include the investigation into possible arson activities.
(2) The office of state fire marshal, code enforcement and building safety, may adopt rules and regulations as may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this Section. Specifically such rules shall provide for cooperation with local investigatory and law enforcement agencies and may also authorize law enforcement personnel and the state fire marshal to review those medical records of reported victims which relate to the burn without the consent of the victim.
E. No cause of action shall exist against any person who in good faith makes a report pursuant to this Section, cooperates in an investigation by any agency, or participates in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report.
F. Any person who knowingly files a false report shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
Acts 1988, No. 641,§ 1; Acts 1991, No. 657,§ 1; Acts 1997, No. 1187,§ 2.