MA fire officials and NFPA speak out against Board of Building Regulations and Standards

Blog Post created by lorrainecarli Employee on Dec 13, 2011


Chief Paul J. Zbikowski, president, Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, speaks at the Massachusetts press conference.

Against the backdrop of the firefighters memorial at the Massachusetts State House,  NFPA President James M. Shannon and representatives of every major fire  service organization in the state came together to protest against the  new building code in Massachusetts. 

All national model building codes include the requirement for fire  sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. The Board of Building  Regulations and Standards (BBRS) promulgated a building code for the  Commonwealth of Massachusetts in August and omitted the provision to require home fire  sprinklers in new construction.

“Your risk of dying in a home fire decreases by more than 80 percent  with sprinklers and property damage is reduced by 74 percent” said  Shannon. “By allowing substandard housing to be built in Massachusetts,  the BBRS puts firefighters and citizens at unnecessary risk. Their  action should be reversed.” 


According to Shannon, in the last decade, there have been more than  54,000 fires in one- and two-family homes in Massachusetts. These fires  injured more than 2,300 firefighters and 1,500 civilians, and caused  more than 753 million dollars in property loss. Forty percent of all  firefighter injuries happen in one- and two-family homes.

Preceding a BBRS hearing, representatives from Fire Chiefs  Association of Massachusetts, Fire Prevention Association of  Massachusetts, Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Firefighters Association and  Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts participated in the press  conference and voiced their strong unanimous support for fire  sprinklers. Speaking for the various organizatons were:

Chief Paul J. Zbikowski, president, Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts

Chief Kevin Gallagher, member, Board of Building Regulations and Standards

Edward A. Kelly, president, Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts

Thomas Burnett, president, Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Firefighters Association

Captain Rick Tustin, president, Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts, fire prevention officer, Winchester Fire Department


Over 400 communities in the U.S. now require home sprinklers.  California, Maryland and South Carolina have adopted the provision  statewide.

Additional information can be found at www.firesprinklersma.org.

Lorraine Carli