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Audit: Fire marshal's office needs to improve inspections

Louisiana Fire Marshal Louisiana Fire Marshal

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A new audit says the state fire marshal's office is falling short in its building inspections and five prevention monitoring.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's Office issued a report Monday that said the fire marshal hasn't consistently inspected Louisiana's schools, universities, state buildings and health facilities to ensure compliance with fire and safety codes.

The audit says the fire marshal doesn't make sure violations are corrected or penalize repeat offenders to ensure they clean up their mistakes.

In a written response, State Fire Marshal Butch Browning defended his office's work, saying the agency has been reorganized and improved since 2008.

He said his office is installing a modernized computer system. The upgrade is expected to be online in May, and Browning said it will "completely revolutionize" the inspection and enforcement process.

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