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ICC Votes to Keep Residential Sprinklers

RB129-16 Defeated in Online Vote

The American Fire Sprinkler Association applauds the recent vote by the International Code Council (ICC) to retain the code provision in the next edition of the International Residential Code (IRC) that all new one- and two-family homes be equipped with home fire sprinklers.

An ICC committee disapproved Proposal RB129-16, which sought to repeal the IRC requirement for all new homes to be equipped with fire sprinklers, but it went to the full membership for an online vote to override the committee. ICC online voting closed May 26, 2016, and this effort to remove the residential sprinkler requirement for one- and two-family homes has failed by a very wide margin.

AFSA President Steve Muncy applauded the results. “This effort by homebuilders to turn back the clock on residential fire protection has failed. While other attempts may be made, it is time for homebuilders to recognize that residential sprinklers are the future. Most fire deaths occur in our homes where we feel the safest. If we are ever going to have an impact on residential fire deaths, we must have fire sprinklers in homes.”

AFSA worked with its local chapters to provide information on the upcoming ICC vote to local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs), urging them to take the opportunity to support residential sprinklers by voting to sustain the committee’s rejection of efforts to remove residential sprinklers from the requirements.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly 3,000 people a year die in fires and more than 80 percent of people that die in fires are killed in home fires. The risk of dying in a home fire is cut by about 80 percent with sprinklers. AFSA encourages jurisdictions to put in place home fire sprinkler requirements by adopting local ordinances or codes. For more information, visit firesprinkler.org.

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