Fire Prevention & Protection, Health & Safety

Report: ICC sees growing support for residential fire sprinklers

The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), the longest-tenured fire sprinkler advocacy organization in the U.S., has reported that the International Code Council (ICC) offered growing support despite its rejection of single-family fire sprinkler requirements for the International Residential Code (IRC) supplement, at a hearing held May 22 in Rochester, NY. Despite getting a majority 56 percent of the vote to overturn the committee’s initial decision to not include sprinkler requirements in the IRC supplement, it was not the two-thirds majority needed to pass the motion from the floor.

If passed, the residential sprinkler requirement would have become a part of the 2009 edition of IRC, mandating fire sprinkler installation in one-and two-family dwellings.

“Anyone who has been in the fire sprinkler industry long enough to see the gains we as an industry have made over the years knows that every significant fire sprinkler requirement in the building codes has been hard earned in an evolutionary process,” commented NFSA President John Viniello. “NFSA has been submitting code change requests to the model code groups for more than 20 years and is well versed in the process. The fact that 56 percent of the ICC now agrees that fire sprinklers should be included as front-line fire protection in one- and two-family homes should be viewed as a tremendous victory – a litmus test for what is to come.”

NFSA will continue coalition building for residential fire sprinklers in one and two-family homes over the next 18 months, culminating in the next round of hearings.

Present at the hearing were NFSA contractor and supplier members including NFSA Chairman of the Board Wayne Gey and members of the NFSA staff, who answered questions and provided important sprinkler information to voting ICC members along with an impressive coalition of fire service and building officials who spoke in favor of the proposed sprinkler requirements.

About the National Fire Sprinkler Association

Established in 1905, the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) is the voice of the fire sprinkler industry. NFSA leads the drive to get life-saving fire sprinklers into all buildings; provides support and resources for its members – fire sprinkler contractors, manufacturers and suppliers; and educates authorities having jurisdiction of fire control matters. Headquartered in Patterson, NY., NFSA has regional operations offices throughout the country. More: www.nfsa.org.