Honolulu Mayor Signs Residential High-Rise Sprinkler Bill

The bill as originally written would have required retrofitting older residential high-rises with sprinkler systems, but it was amended so that it instead gives incentives to condo associations if they install sprinklers.

Kirk Caldwell, the mayor of Honolulu, signed a bill into law May 3 that will require fire sprinkler retrofits or compliance with other fire safety requirements for older high-rise apartment buildings. He signed it at the Marco Polo condominiums with the city's fire chief, Manuel Neves, in attendance.

A fire in July 2017 at the condominium building killed four people and injured 13 others, causing more than $100 million of damage to the 36-story building.

While the bill as originally written would have required retrofitting older residential high-rises with sprinkler systems, it was amended so that it instead gives incentives, such as tax credits and waived fees, to condo associations if they install sprinklers. The law will require buildings 10 stories or more to undergo a fire safety evaluation within three years, after which owners must decide whether to install sprinklers or install alternative fire prevention measures, Leila Fujimori of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The building is being repaired, according to her May 4 report.

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