Push for sprinkler requirement in homes heating up - Metro US

Push for sprinkler requirement in homes heating up

Citing a potential to save lives, property and firefighters from injury, fire officials and safety advocates urged the state to enact a building regulation that would require sprinkler systems in new one-and two-family homes.

The state Board of Building Regulations and Standards voted earlier this year not to require sprinklers and the NFPA launched a blitz to push the board to reconsider the requirement.

“This is a very dangerous precedent and will put Massachusetts citizens and its firefighters at risk,” said James Shannon, president of the National Fire Protection Association in Quincy.

The NFPA push included a live demonstration of burning rooms with and without sprinklers, as well as radio advertisements about the issue.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan has also advocated for the requirement and said that sprinklers can contain fires to smaller areas and allow for valuable time to escape.

“When a fire occurs in a sprinkler-fitted home, the results are usually much different,” said Coan.

Other states have enacted the requirement, including California, which instituted the regulation this year.

Why not?

Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the state agency that oversees the building regulation board, said the issue will be revisited after a review. He said concerns are cost and impact to the homeowners.

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