Fire sprinklers set to become a standard feature in all new homes.
Members of the International Code
Building Code Committee (RBCC) made it
clear fire sprinklers will become a standard feature in all new homes; the fire
sprinkler requirement was added to the International Residential Code (IRC)
last year, and is scheduled to become effective Jan. 1, 2011, in states that
adopt the latest version of this code. Currently, 48 states use the IRC as a
basis of regulating residential construction, although some states lag behind
in adopting updates.
At a hearing held in
early-November, the National Association of Home Builders had petitioned the
ICC (publisher of the IRC) to repeal the fire sprinkler requirement, but the
RBCC rejected that request by a vote of seven to four.
“This vote is
significant in two ways,” announced Chief Ronny J. Coleman,
president of the IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition and former fire marshal for the
state of California.
“Not only did the RBCC reject the homebuilders’ request to repeal the sprinkler
requirement, but if you look at the vote, every member of the committee, other
than the four who are appointed by NAHB, voted to uphold the fire sprinkler requirement.”
committee vote, NAHB made an attempt to use a new procedure in the ICC process
that allows members assembled at the hearing to overrule the committee
decision. However, the 1,000 ICC members in attendance voted to affirm the
“ICC’s message on this
matter is pretty clear,” said Jeffrey Shapiro, P.E.,
executive director of the IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition, in the affirmation
announcement. “Their membership has now supported the home fire sprinkler
requirement at both the 2008 and 2009 annual hearings, and each of those votes
passed by more than a two-thirds margin.”
Founded in 2007, the
IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition has grown to include more than 100 international,
national and regional public safety organizations, including associations
representing 45 states who support the mission of promoting residential fire
sprinkler systems in new home construction. The Coalition was formed to educate
public policymakers on the value of residential sprinkler systems and to
support related legislation.
More information can
be found at www.IRCFireSprinkler.org.
Source: IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition
ICC Committee Upholds Sprinkler Requirement
November 4, 2009