Sprinkler Mandate in 1- and 2-Family Homes

PA House Votes to Remove the Sprinkler Mandate

The House of Representatives of the Pennsylvania General Assembley voted YES on HB 377 to remove the fire sprinkler mandate in one- and two-family homes by a overwhelming margin of 154-39. Both Republican and Democrats joined together to remove the requirement that all new residential construction be equipped with a fire supression system. The action by the house, however, only removes the mandate in single family detached homes and duplexes and is NOT law as yet. The requirement to install sprinklers in new residential construction of three units or more will remain in effect if or when HB377 becomes law.

THE ACTION BY THE HOUSE DOES NOT MEAN THE LAW HAS BEEN REPEALED AS YET, BUT IS A CRITICAL FIRST STEP TOWARD OUR OVERALL GOAL OF REMOVING THE SPRINKLER MANDATE. Therefore, permits and new home construction projects applied for after January 1, 2011 must still plan to install the sprinklers until the the repeal becomes law. HB377 now goes to the state senate for their consideration. A similar bill passed the senate last session and prospects are good for action by the senate in the next month or two. We will be in touch shortly concerning the need and timing to reach out to your members of the Senate.

All but a few Western Pennsylvania legislators voted in favor of the repeal (Representative Frank Dermody and Jake Wheatly opposed). We especially want to thank House Majority Leader, Mike Turzai of Allegheny County-north hills, for his leadership in this effort. Special thanks also goes out to Democratic Caucus Chairman, Representative Dan Frankel, and others in making sure this issue did not become a partisan fight of political parties. If, during these past months, you had reached out to your representatives and encouraged them to support our cause, it is very important that you give them a call now and thank them for their support. Letting them know we are watching and appreciate their vote is an important part of the legislative and grass-roots process, especially since we may need them to vote one more time in the likelyhood that the senate amends the bill that requires the house to agree to the changes. Attached is the contact list of our local members of the state house please give them a call and say you appreciate their support for House Bill 377.

by Jim Eichenlaub
Executive Director
BuildersĀ Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh
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