Codes council votes to keep current fire sprinkler mandates
from timesunion Posted on August 19, 2015 at 4:48 pm by Matthew Hamilton\
In an unusually emotional debate, the state Fire Prevention and Building Code Council discussed on Wednesday a building codes change to require new residential dwellings to be outfitted with fire sprinkler systems.
It ultimately voted 10-3 to move forward with current codes that require only new residential dwellings with three or more stories to have the systems installed.
The debate over whether to require sprinklers in new one- or two-family dwellings has been part of what’s gummed up the council’s move to adopt a new set of overall codes by the end of 2015. With its vote Wednesday, the council has finally set its recommendations for the 2015 codes proposal it will consider this fall.
In layman’s terms, homebuilders argued that the mandate to have sprinklers in all new homes would drive up construction costs, thus, driving up home prices as well. On the other side firefighters argued the change would save countless lives.
In voting to keep the current codes for the 2015 update, some members were siding with the construction trades argument that buyers would encounter higher prices and New York’s real estate market would be made less competitive among neighboring states.