Three States Adopt Sprinkler Requirements
National Fire Protection Association President Jim Shannon praised the work of fire officials and fire safety advocates after three states adopted the 2009 edition of the International Residential Code, which will require home fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes.
"The nation's fire service and other fire safety advocates deserve tremendous recognition for their efforts to bring safety home by working to get sprinklers in every community," Shannon said.
On Dec. 10, the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission adopted the IRC, requiring the installation of sprinkler systems in all new townhouses effective Jan. 1, 2010, and in all new one- and two-family homes effective Jan. 1, 2011. On Dec. 11, the New Hampshire State Code Review Board voted, by a 12-2 margin, to adopt the 2009 edition of the IRC. The bill will become effective on April 1,2012. And on Jan. 12, the California State Building Standards Commission voted unanimously to adopt the 2010 California Residential Code. This measure includes the 2009 IRC and its requirements to install sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes and townhouses, effective Jan. 1, 2011.
"These are significant steps forward in our efforts to eradicate the home fire death problem by requiring home fire sprinklers in new homes; these states are adding an important safeguard for the people in their state," said Shannon. "We are hopeful their actions will lead to more states doing the same in order to save lives from fire."
According to NFPA, about 3,000 people a year die in home fires. When fire sprinklers are present, the chances of dying in a home fire decrease by about 80 percent. Home fire sprinklers control heat, smoke, and flames allowing occupants time to escape and giving firefighters a safer environment.
In 2009, NFPA launched the Fire Sprinkler Initiative and accompanying Web site (www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/), a nationwide effort to mandate the use of home fire sprinklers. The site provides research, facts, an interactive blog, and other resources for individuals interested in passing similar sprinkler requirements in their communities.