The Code Council was supposed to meet earlier this month to vote on moving to the 2015 International Residential Code and wether or not that would include a fire sprinkler mandate on all one and two family homes in New York State. The meeting was postponed due to the Council being unable to get a quorom. We are unsure when the next meeting will be held.
Currently the State Legislature is on “Winter Break” and we are asking members to take a few minutes to write your Senator and Assembly member and encourage them to contact the Code Council and tell them to oppose the fire sprinkler mandate.
State Senator Betty Little (R-Glens Falls) already has done this and we found her letter very effective. It would really help our case if we can get other Legislators to do this as well.
A link to our Voter Voice is located here.
As we continue to emphasize, home builders will always support stringent fire safety code changes when they make sense, such as hard-wired, battery operated, smoke alarms. However, as a society, we cannot afford to deny needed housing for the sake of new requirements without proven benefits. While they should remain an option for home owners who choose them, fire sprinklers in single-family homes are expensive to install, can be difficult to maintain and do not represent a cost-effective safety improvement over smoke alarm systems.
In the mean time, we have sent the Code Council three letters informing them of 69 incidences (and counting) of fire sprinklers bursting over the last five days.
These incidents make clear that there are unintended risks and costs associated with mandating fire sprinklers, and these costs are magnified for owners of one- and two-family homes.
If this mandate is approved by the Code Council, sprinklers will be required in spaces that do not currently
have domestic water. Most designs will require pipes to be in the ceilings, behind the sheet rock, and under the fiberglass insulation that will probably be disturbed at some point in the life of a home. This will almost guarantee a risk of freezing in Zone 5 and 6.