By unanimous vote the California State Building Standards Commission adopted the 2009 IRC code that includes fire sprinkler requirements in all new one- and two-family homes and townhomes. With this action, California becomes the third state to formally adopt the code. As the most populous state in the U.S., this is a huge victory for proponents of life safety. The new code requirement becomes effective January 1, 2011.
"This is another step forward in our efforts to eradicate the home fire death problem. By requiring home fire sprinklers in new homes, California adds an important safeguard for the people in the state," said Jim Shannon, NFPA President. "We are hopeful their action will lead to more states doing the same in order to save lives from fire."
It took a lot of hard work and dedication for this to become a reality. The CAL Fire-Office of the State Fire Marshal took an early lead position, by bringing stakeholders to the table to study the feasibility of adopting this code. The Residential Fire Sprinkler Task Force issued Phase I and Phase II of their final report in June and July of 2009, respectively.
Our very own Regional Manager Ray Bizal actively participated in the task force. "The California homebuilders did not oppose the adoption of the requirement," said Bizal. The California Building Industry Association also participated. Everyone on the ground worked cooperatively towards the goal. Their model is to be emulated.