Florida Residential Fire Sprinkler Requirement May Be Dropped

Posted on Mar 22, 2010

Florida lawmakers are looking to do away with an attempt to adopt a national code provision that would require residential fire sprinklers to be installed in newly constructed homes, including town homes. However, many feel this is a mistake. 

The Florida Building Commission is looking to adopt a national code provision contained in the 2009 International Residential Code that will require automatic fire sprinklers to be installed in many newly constructed residential properties. However, the Florida House is looking to eliminate the proposed requirements. 

"Fire sprinklers are a proven, cost-effective way to protect life and property," Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO, said. "Eliminating the building code requirement to install fire sprinklers in new homes is a serious and potentially very harmful decision that could place the lives of many Florida families and firefighters in grave danger." 

Though the safety benefits to having residential fire sprinklers installed are not generally in dispute, there are other concerns that may have prompted the Florida House's decision to try and abolish the requirement. There are concerns over the costs associated with fire sprinkler installation, as well as potential maintenance issues and possible losses caused by improper activation of sprinkler systems. 

It is unclear when the Florida House will make its final decision as to whether it will prohibit the requirement of the installation of residential fire sprinklers. Until then, the debate continues.

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