Anti-sprinkler legislation: Putting politics above proven safety technology

Blog Post created by ryan.quinn Employee on Jan 30, 2012

The state legislatures are in session and opponents of home fire sprinklers have wasted no time in convincing legislators to introduce bills in several states that would prohibit jurisdictions from including one- and two-family dwelling fire sprinkler requirements in the adopted codes.

In Colorado, HB12-081 prohibits local jurisdictions from requiring installation of fire sprinklers in single family dwellings. It has been assigned to the Local Government Committee. The bill does not, currently, have a companion in the senate. 

In Hawaii, SB2397 and its companion bill HB1795 prohibit local jurisdictions from requiring installation of fire sprinklers in new or existing one- and two-family homes. The bills seems to have been stalled as of this writing, but advocates need to stay alert and be ready to act on a moment's notice. Contact Jeffery Hudson, Sprinkler Specialist for the West and Northwest Regions, for more information.

In Tennessee, SB2492 and its companion HB2639 prohibit sprinkler requirements in local building codes in one- and two-family dwellings. Last year, home fire sprinkler opponents were sucessfull in getting the legislature to introduce a set of similar bills prohibiting the statewide adoption of the requirement. As a compromise, legislators ruled that communities should retain control of life safety decisions, allowing jurisdictions to adopt the requirement by local ordinance. Tennessee is number 2 in the nation in the number of people who die in home fires every year, and the numbers continue to increase.

The fact that the opposition came back this year should not surprise anyone; it will not stop until it succeeds in obtaining total prohibition through legislative action, disregarding the long established code adoption process. The TN Fire Sprinkler Coalition, formed to work with the fire service and other stakeholders, has been coordinating with the TN Fire Service Coalition to mount an attack on the current bills. For more information contact this writer, or visit the TN Fire Sprinkler Coalition website.

Home fire sprinklers advocates need to remain vigilant for any anti-sprinkler legislation popping up in their states; uniting and working together to engage legislators against these bills. Visit the Legislation/Adoption section of this website, as anti-sprinkler legislation informaton is updated weekly.

Stay united and stay strong. Keep up the great work out there!

Maria Figueroa