The Tennessee Fire Sprinkler Coalition, coordinated by the Tennessee Fire Service Coalition, with support from NFPA, placed ads in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Memphis major newspapers today, targeting anti-sprinkler bills HB2639 and SB2492. Both bills prohibit local jurisdictions from adopting home fire sprinkler requirements, taking away the right of communities to make their own decisions to reduce risk from fire. The House Commerce Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow.
As pointed out in the ad (pictured above), anti-sprinkler legislation was filed in 2009. The legislature, with support from the fire service as an equitable compromise, decided that communities should retain the right to adopt sprinkler requirements in one- and two-family home construction.
Back in October, 2011 the TN Home Builders Association (TN HBA) elected a new president, Keith Grant, who stated that his main legislative priority was to pursue statewide prohibition against home fire sprinklers; saying that “sprinklers have not been proven to save lives.” In response to that statement, made during an interview for a feature appearing in the Memphis Daily News, NFPA President Jim Shannon wrote a letter to Mr. Grant, the TN HBA and the newspaper; setting the record straight.
Let this be a lesson to all who expect that "compromises" worked out with opponents of home fire sprinkler requirements are not honored; the opposition will not stop until it achieves prohibition across the board using the legislature, outside of the recognized code adoption process. NFPA will continue to support efforts by the fire service to push back against such actions.
A “call to action” has been issued to the fire service in TN. Stay alert and informed by visiting the TN Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website. Take action now!