50-3-102. Powers and duties of department regarding state fire prevention and investigation -- rules. (1) For the purpose of reducing the state's fire loss, the department shall:
(a) inspect each unit of the Montana university system and other state buildings, including state institutions, as often as duties allow, but no more frequently than once each year unless requested by the commissioner of higher education for buildings in the university system, by the department of corrections or the department of public health and human services for state institutions, or by the department of administration for all other state buildings. A copy of the inspection report for units of the university system must be given to the commissioner of higher education, a copy of the inspection report for state institutions must be given to the department of corrections and the department of public health and human services, and a copy of the inspection report for all other state buildings must be given to the department of administration. The department of justice shall advise the commissioner of higher education and the directors of the departments of corrections, public health and human services, and administration concerning fire prevention, fire protection, and public safety when it distributes the reports.
(b) inspect public, business, or industrial buildings, as provided in chapter 61, and require conformance to law and rules promulgated under the provisions of this chapter;
(c) assist local governmental fire agencies organized under Title 7, chapter 33, in fire investigations and may initiate or supervise these investigations when, in its judgment, the initiation or supervision is necessary;
(d) provide fire prevention and fire protection information to public officials and the general public;
(e) serve as the state entity primarily responsible for promoting fire safety at the state level;
(f) encourage coordination of all services and agencies in fire prevention matters to reduce duplication and fill voids in services; and
(g) establish rules concerning responsibilities and procedures to be followed when there is a threat of explosive material in a building housing state offices.
(2) The department may adopt rules necessary for safeguarding life and property from the hazards of fire and carrying into effect the fire prevention laws of this state if the rules do not conflict with building regulations adopted by the department of labor and industry.
(3) The department shall adopt rules based on nationally recognized standards necessary for safeguarding life and property from the hazards associated with the manufacture, transportation, storage, sale, and use of explosive materials.
(4) If necessary to safeguard life and property under rules promulgated pursuant to this section, the department may maintain an action to enjoin the use of all or a portion of an existing building or restrain a specific activity until there is compliance with the rules.
(5) Except for statements of witnesses given during an investigation, information that may be held in confidence under 50-63-403, and criminal justice information subject to restrictions on dissemination in accordance with Title 44, chapter 5, all records maintained by the department must be open at all times to public inspection.