Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fire sprinklers in homes?

In a landslide vote this summer, the International Code Council mandated that fire sprinklers be required in all one and two family homes and townhouses built to the International Residential Code ("IRC") as of January 1, 2011. However, because IRC codes aren't enforceable until they are adopted by local jurisdictions, the long running debate over residential fire sprinklers is far from over. Home builders are totally against the above requirements preferring hard-wired, interconnected smoke detectors which are already in the building code, over sprinklers. It'll be interesting to see how this works out.

3 comments:

Clark.Wilson.IP.Atty said...

Who enforces International Building Codes? Is there a court in the Hague that punishes people? Do these rules apply across the board or just for G7 countries?

Salvador A. Jurado Jr, Esq. said...

The International Building Code is a "model code". Meaning, it is irrelevant unless a jurisdiction (i.e. state, city, county) adopts it.

Anonymous said...

Smoke alarms and fire sprinkler systems serve two different purposes. Smoke alarms provide early notification of fire. Sprinkler systems contain the fire at its infancy allowing for a escape to be possible and prevention of flashover (when a room suddenly erupts in fire and flame). Although smoke alarms in the code (which the builders also vehemently opposed when it came up in the code) have been instrumental in saving lives, it is still unacceptable that over 3,000 die in unsprinklered homes every year. The people who are dying in these homes are the elderly, the disabled, the infirm, and young children. This high risk group is unable to escape even after the smoke alarms activate. In a little over 2 mins a room may be fully involved and the toxic smoke will have made it impossible to survive. Sprinkler systems in homes will save these lives. How many more deaths and injuries will it take? The home builders and others who are opposed to residential sprinklers need to get behind this initiative or stay on the wrong side of history forever.