Minnesota DOL Town Hall Meetings to Discuss Home Fire Sprinklers

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Steve Sviggum will host three town hall meetings this month to discuss fire sprinkler provisions that soon may be adopted as part of the state's residential building code for new home construction. The 2006 International Residential Code is the basis for the residential code, and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry will soon begin the rule adoption process for the updated residential code, which will be based on the 2009 IRC. Because the International Code Council voted in September 2008 to add a fire sprinkler provision to its 2009 IRC, requiring fire sprinkling in all one- and two-family homes and townhouses that build to the code as of Jan. 1, 2011, Minnesota may include the sprinkler provision when it adopts the 2009 IRC.

"The new fire sprinkler requirements will have an impact on Minnesotans," Sviggum said. "I appreciate the additional safety features that residential sprinklers can provide for Minnesota families and firefighters, but I also recognize the potential of a steep price tag attached. We need to discuss the potential changes to the building code that could affect homeowner safety and housing affordability."

He said the meetings are an opportunity for an objective, balanced discussion about the issue. DLI will forward all information and comments to the advisory committee that will recommend changes to the Minnesota residential code.

The town hall meetings are set for Dec. 12 at the Rochester Public Library; Dec. 16 at Bemidji State University; and Dec. 18 at Metro State University in St. Paul.

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