!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c72fccee970b-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c72fccee970b-320wi|alt=Kevin Gallagher|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Kevin Gallagher|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c72fccee970b img-responsive!There's a push in Massachusetts to preserve and strengthen the state's sprinkler requirements, and advocates there once again have an important player working on their side.
During his final days in office, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick reappointed Fire Chief Kevin Gallagher to the state's Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS), an 11-member group that adopts building regulations and administers provisions of the state building code. Gallagher, who represents the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts on the BBRS and is fire chief with the Acushnet Fire and EMS Department, is a staunch supporter of home fire sprinklers; he and the members of the Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition  have fought against the adoption of a draft white paper produced by the BBRS that considers reducing fire protection measures in new residences.
Moreover, Gallagher voiced his concerns with the BBRS when it was considering changing the definition of a nightclub. Fire officials worried that altering the definition could create a loophole that could allow some clubs to sidestep sprinkler provisions.
"Chief Gallagher always makes decisions based upon the fire safety of building occupants and for the firefighters who may be required to respond to those buildings," says Tim Travers, residential fire sprinkler specialist with NFPA. "He continues, against vocal opposition, to advocate for residential sprinklers at the state and local level. His reappointment to the Board will help maintain that strong fire service presence."
Gallagher isn't the only fire safety voice on the BBRS; Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, who was recently featured in +NFPA Journal+ for his tireless support for sprinklers, is also a member.
Keep tabs on additional sprinkler news from the Bay State by visiting the Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition page.