Lawmakers in 12 states are weighing measures effectively easing or eliminating 2009 International Residential Code requirements for automatic fire sprinklers in new home construction
Sources: CP staff; National Fire Sprinkler Association, Patterson, N.Y.
Lawmakers in 12 states are weighing measures effectively easing or eliminating 2009 International Residential Code requirements for automatic fire sprinklers in new home construction. Subject to state or local adoption, the latest IRC stipulates fire sprinklers for single- and two-family dwellings beginning in 2011. The provision adds potentially $10,000 or more to the cost of a typical project, according to homebuilder and affordable-housing groups sensitive to code mandates backed with little or no cost-benefit justification.
Fire sprinkler proponents secured a prospective market windfall by gaming International Code Council’s 2009 IRC balloting (http://concreteproducts.com/concretecurrents/Brazen_stunt_hooks/index.html). National Fire Sprinkler Association staff and allies cite a series of legislative proposals countering the IRC mandate, including: Texas HB 1511, limiting local governmentsÌ ability to mandate fire sprinklers to 7,500-sq.-ft. or larger homes; Arizona HB 2267 and North Dakota SB 2354, removing local jurisdictionsÌ ability to adopt fire sprinkler requirements; Illinois HB 0592, moving for state adoption of the fire sprinkler mandate-free 2006 IRC; and, Arkansas HB 1839, changing state law to exclude fire sprinklers in one and two-family dwellings. A map posted at http://nfsa.org tracks measures by state.