Residential Fire Sprinklers Measure Falls Short

An "unprecedented level of support" for fire sprinklers in single-family homes did not succeed in reversing a committee's refusal to include them in the International Residential Code when votes were tallied last week at the International Code Council's hearings in Rochester, N.Y. The vote was 476 in favor of reversing the committee's decision and 375 against, which means residential sprinklers were supported by a majority of 56 percent to 44 percent. But a two-thirds supermajority was needed, Steve Muncy, president of the Dallas-based American Fire Sprinkler Association, said today.

"It was a solid majority; nobody could contest that," Muncy said. He said the issue will be revived 18 months from now when the International Residential Code is back up for revisions.

"I think that this is basically a process of education," said Muncy, who heads the non-profit association representing open shop fire sprinkler contractors (214-349-5965, www.firesprinkler.org). He said opponents indicated during the hearings that they don't oppose residential fire sprinklers but also do not want to see them added to building codes.

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