Photo courtesy of and copyright (Jack Moreh), Free Range Stock, www.freerangestock.com
America's 50th state has the same pushback for sprinkler requirements experienced by its mainland counterparts.
Using its clout in the Hawaii State Legislature, the Building Industry Association of Hawaii championed for a bill (Act 83) that would prohibit counties from enacting sprinkler requirements for new and existing one- and two-family homes. The bill became law in 2012, and is scheduled to sunset like the Hawaiian sun next year.
The Hawaii State Fire Council (SFC), which is the state's equivalent to a state fire marshal's office, has attempted to repeal this act over the years and promote fire sprinklers on a voluntary basis. "The SFC has supported legislation to provide a tax credit to homeowners who voluntarily install sprinklers and require contractors to provide a cost estimate ... to new homebuyers," Lloyd Rogers, administrative specialist with the Hawaii State Fire Council/Honolulu Fire Department, wrote in an article that recently appeared in Sprinkler Age. "Those proposals have not been passed."
Sprinkler opponents there continue rallying against sprinklers. A website and flyer with the title "Fire Sprinklers: Making Homes Less Affordable for Everyone," use the same myths that NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative has countered time and time again. Rogers notes that the SFC and other safety advocates stand ready to continually combat these myths.
"Rarely, if ever, are safety regulations done voluntarily, and sprinklers are no different," states Rogers. "Builders, designers, and regulators must provide homes that are safe, sustainable, and use best practices. Residential fire sprinklers provide a new value and security that other homes do not. Our homes must be a place not only where we feel safe, but are safe."
Read the full article in Sprinkler Age, the magazine of the American Fire Sprinkler Association.