Fire Sprinkler Update – St. Louis County and St. Charles County remove residential sprinkler requirement
Around the state, a number of permitting jurisdictions are adopting the 2009 IRC but removing the residential fire sprinkler requirement for the long-term. Most recently, St. Louis County and St. Charles County made that decision.
At the state level, Rep. John Diehl announced publicly on June 15, 2010 that he is planning to pre-file legislation that would permanently establish a moratorium on requiring residential fire sprinkler systems. “Upon the purchase of a newly built home, buyers should have the freedom to choose whether or not they want a fire sprinkler system installed,” said Representative Diehl. “Clearly, this is a common sense issue: the choice should be left to the buyer, not the government.”
As you may recall, thanks to the work of the HBA affiliates in Missouri, the state legislature passed a law last year requiring builders to OFFER installation of a fire sprinkler system at the purchaser’s expense and it stated that no permitting jurisdiction can currently adopt a code requiring residential fire sprinklers. But that law sunsets December 31, 2011. To document compliance with this state law, builders who build custom homes or sell spec homes should have the purchaser fill out the the Residential Fire Sprinkler Option Form, developed by the state’s HBA affiliates in partnership with the Missouri Fire Service Alliance. Home buyers should sign this form as part of the official purchase documentation to record the offer and compliance with state law. For data collection, it is essential that member builders then share a copy with the HBA for response tracking. To download the form, click here. As well, there is an educational brochure about Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems which can be shared with the home purchaser. Download a copy of the brochure by clicking here.
Collecting the data from your Option Forms and tracking the number of purchasers who choose to have a residential fire sprinkler system installed will help the HBA document the number of buyers who actually decide to opt for installation when the offer is made. This data will be critical for us to provide to local jurisdictions that adopt codes as they consider whether or not to adopt the Fire Sprinkler Mandate contained in the code or continue with some local form of a mandatory offer, once the state’s mandatory offer law sunsets . REMEMBER TO SEND A COPY OF YOUR FIRE SPRINKLER OPTION FORMS TO THE HBA!