NFPA Faults 'Breakdown' of Code Adoption Process in Connecticut

"Connecticut residents should not be forced to live in substandard homes when the code process is taken over by the special interests," said NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley. "Connecticut legislators have a responsibility to keep people safe, and they have shirked that responsibility."

The National Fire Protection Association's top official criticized action taken by the legislative Regulation Review Committee in Connecticut in approving new safety codes, including a State Building Code, Fire Safety Code, and Fire Prevention Code, because they "will fall short of nationally recognized standards and fire safety requirements." The codes will go into effect by October 2018 but do not include requirements for fire sprinklers that are part of nationally recognized safety codes, including the International Residential Code and the Life Safety Code, NFPA noted Aug. 15.

The committee rejected the previous version of the Connecticut codes, which had undergone an extensive public approval process over 18 months; the original proposed State Building Code included a provision to require fire sprinklers in new townhome construction. State legislators on the committee removed that provision following strong opposition from homebuilders and others, NFPA reported.

"The breakdown of the code process in Connecticut is indicative of a larger problem that jeopardizes safety for residents across the country," said NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley. "The fact that months of work and input from experts was discarded at the eleventh hour behind closed doors shows how special interests like the homebuilders have hijacked this process. They continue to put their bottom line ahead of saving lives."

"Connecticut residents should not be forced to live in substandard homes when the code process is taken over by the special interests," he added. "Connecticut legislators have a responsibility to keep people safe, and they have shirked that responsibility."

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    July/August 2019

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