A New York association representing thousands of volunteer firefighters initiated a series of informational sessions for firefighters that discuss the importance of updating the state's building code and the necessity of not excluding a home fire sprinkler provision.
At a recent legislative outreach meeting, about 50 firefighters heard how the Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY) will be encouraging the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council to update the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. FASNY is urging the code council to adopt the 2015 edition of the International Residential Code, including the requirement to sprinkler new, one- and two-family dwellings.
Per a recent news story in the Watertown Daily Times, FASNY's goal is twofold: bolster fire service support for the code update and inform legislators of the association's stance. "It will be critical that the governor's office knows we're in favor of [adopting] the 2015 code," Joseph Finnegan, former FASNY president told the paper. "It's probably the most critical issue that fire services and their constituents face."
Opposition abounds, however. The New York State Builders Association has voiced its objections to the code update, particularly the sprinkler provision, stated the story. "Builders have used a lot of non-statistical evidence and rhetoric to argue against [sprinklers], saying sprinklers cause leaks and mold," Finnegan told the paper.
He estimated the installation cost to be about $1 to $2.50 per square foot, adding that the requirement would be a "game-changer" for emergency responder safety. (Check out NFPA's research on sprinkler costs across the U.S.)