Strong, public support for home fire sprinklers by Minnesota fire service officials and the state's governor has paid off. A mandatory provision to sprinkler all of the state's new homes larger than 4,500 square feet takes effect this month.
For years, sprinkler opponents have attempted to thwart such requirements through the Minnesota State Legislature, which passed bills in 2011 and 2012 prohibiting new sprinkler mandates in the state's building code. Governor Mark Dayton, however, vetoed both bills.
The state's Department of Labor and Industry has been looking to incorporate more stringent sprinkler provisions in the code, which already requires sprinklers in two-family dwellings and townhomes of a certain size. When interviewed by NFPA Journal in 2013, Labor and Industry Commissioner Ken Peterson addressed concerns posed by the state's homebuilding industry. Read his response by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.