Issue 6 and Volume 144.

BUILDERS’ OPPOSITION TO SPRINKLERS Builders in Massachusetts successfully lobbied to stop the state’s Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) from approving a bylaw passed by the residents of the rural community of Egremont (population 1,400). Some of the arguments used to defeat the measure are discussed below. They are presented to acquaint you with the misconceptions that can block selling automatic residential sprinklers to home owners, builders, building inspectors, code enforcers, and others whose support is needed for codes and legislation that mandate residential sprinklers. The bylaw passed by Egremont required that sprinklers be mandated for all newly constructed residential structures and for existing residential buildings that are “substantially rehabilitated” (in excess of 50 percent). Residents were exercising an option newly available to them under a state law passed during the latter part of 1989. It permits rural communities without a municipal water supply (64 in all) to add…

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