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The Big Vote, RB 64

Today the International Code Council continued to vote on proposals at the Final Action Hearings which will affect the 2009 series of Building Codes.  The hearings started on Wednesday and continue through Monday.  The series of votes which revolve around the installation of residential sprinklers drew the largest forum of governmental members the ICC has ever seen in its history.  Here is the voting as it happens.  You can view the web-cast here as well

  • RB66 07/08, the committee recommended disapproval while the floor overturned the committee action and with a 2/3rds majority (1220 in favor of as amended and 469 against)  This proposal will allow a reduction of a common two hour wall to a one hour wall and require residential sprinklers in town houses constructed in accordance with the International Residential Code.  You will notice that this puts the IRC in-line with the International Building Code requirements for townhouses.
  • RB64 07/08, the residential committee disapproved this code change.  This code change wouldVote for RB64 require a residential sprinkler system in all buildings built under the 2009 IRC after January 1, 2011.  The floor voted and overturned the committee and a 2/3rds vote was cast (1282 in favor of the motion and  470 against), which means the code change passed and will be found in the 2009 IRC During the vote, leaders from across the code enforcement community testified including representatives from the NFPA (a first for NFPA to testify at the ICC hearings).

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Jeff Hugo September 21, 2008, 1:51 pm

    Thank you to all Fire and Building Officials and their communities for sending them, that took a stand to finally start closing the last chapter on the thousands of fire deaths and injuries.

  • Tyler Damond September 21, 2008, 8:35 pm

    I don’t agree with this. I think it should be the home owner who makes the decision to live with the risk or not. I mean, we live with risk every day when we step out of the house, into the car, go to work. I believe this is goin to far. Fire insurance might go down, but flood will go up. Go ahead and make me put one in my new house I build, I’ll turn the thing off after inspection by local code officials!!!

  • Mike Heimbecker September 22, 2008, 9:44 am

    Brilliant Tyler, you’re quite a difference maker!-

    You turn off that life safety system in your house- that will teach those local code officials…

    Flood… are you serious?

  • Joe Jaramillo September 22, 2008, 10:02 am

    I can’t tell you how many time I have heard what Tyler is saying. This is a life safety issue for our firefighters not just for the home owners.

    Tyler go ahead and turn off your sprinkler system. If you have home owners insurance and you have a fire you might not get the insurenac company to pay for the loss.

  • Mike Bernardin September 23, 2008, 7:40 am

    The vote was just the beginning. We still have lots of work ahead of us at the local level. We should use this momentum and excitement to our advantage.

    As for the flood insurance….I would take my chances with a sprinkler head vs. a hose stream. It is apparent he has no clue as to how many GPM a fire hose produces. I will take the 7 GPM from the sprinkler head any dayof the week.

    Congrats and thank you to all of you who attended the ICC hearings.

  • John September 23, 2008, 2:50 pm

    I like the fact that sprinklers will be mandatory verses opitional. There are home builders out there that will not offer them because they are more concerned about staying on schudule and turn over then life safety. When I built my house, I tried to get the builder to let me contract the installation of a sprinkler system because they did not offer it as an option. I was told “no, you can have it installed when the house is yours”… now it is going to cost me double the price. To me it is well worth the cost to protect my family! I would rather take the chance of flooding then losing my family in a fire.

    I would further hope that when systems are installed and are found disabled, that person is held responsible for the loss due to fire and if any injury occurs due to their actions…they are charged accordingly!

  • Arsnman4 September 24, 2008, 2:00 pm

    I agree with those who mention the additional work needed on a local and state level. We will have to deal with the Mini-Maxi issues and lesser regulations permitted during the other votes in Minneapolis. This was a long awaited victory for the reduction of annual fire loss that we will realize in the future.

    Excellent work to all that participated and continue to serve the public that we all…….. builders, architects, engineers, building officials, fire officials and yes even organizations are supposed to serve.

  • Rick September 24, 2008, 3:27 pm

    As a fire protection inspector it was a great day to be in Minneapolis and be a part of history when I cast my vote to overturn the resolution, and put sprinklers in new homes. To often we read about firefighters being trapped by a collapse in a residential home because the fire had enough time to attack the light weight structural members. We all deserve to go home at the end of our shift, after saving a taxpayer and there home. We all need to be vigilant and to make sure all of our jurisdictions adopt this code

  • Bill September 24, 2008, 10:07 pm

    Today was prime example of the need for sprinklers. Newer home in our county. Fully involved upon arrival of fire department. Two deaths. Firefighter hurt when he fell through second floor into first floor.

    Two dead.
    Firefighter hurt.
    House total and I mean total loss.
    Huge contingent of fire equipment and personel on scene for several hours.

    Heres a thought:
    Sprinklers put fire out. Allow occupants to escape. Fire out so no collapse through floor by firefighter and no injury.

  • Mark September 27, 2008, 11:35 pm

    Other than Mr. Diamond drinking the kool-aid of the home builders there are a few comments that I have. AND YES I WAS IN AND DID VOTE IN MINNESOTA. I think the fire service did a great thing however we missed the boat on mutiple issues that came up that we never heard about or did not sit for. There needs to be an effort to make the hearing more affordable or access to the hearings and voting via the internet. Votes were missed on egress, lightweight construction, and even radio repeaters in existing buildings. We as inspectors need to pay attention at all times of what codes need to be changed and what codes are being changed to benefit and increase safety NOT how financially a code change will pad a developers pocketbook. My hope is that the sprinkler industry will NOT price gouge the home owner or developer of single family residents when installing sprinklers.
    In closing I will say this I pitty Mr. Diamonds narrow thinking. I hope his family never experience a fire in a home that had sprinklers that were turned off. I do also believe that this is a criminal act.
    That is my opinion but I could be wrong.

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