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The International Code Council's Appeals Board Upholds Mandating Fire Sprinklers in New Single-Family Homes

ICC's Sprinkler Vote Found to be Fair

The International Code Council's Appeals Board unanimously found no wrong doing in the Sept. 21 vote on IRC Proposal RB64-07/08 mandating fire sprinklers in new single-family homes, according to recent news postings from both and

The board's decision will be forwarded to the ICC and voted on by its board of directors at a meeting scheduled for next Friday in Las Vegas.

If the denial of the appeal is upheld by ICC's Board of Directors, the International Residential Code will required the installation of fire sprinklers in single family homes beginning Jan. 1, 2011. The IRC is the model code governing residential construction in 46 states plus the District of Columbia.

Following the resolution's passing in September, the National Association of Homebuilders filed an appeal on Oct. 30, contending that the ICC failed to provide a balance of interest in voting. The letter of appeal stated the ICC did not "prevent a single interest group, specifically the fire service, from unfairly dominating the voting at the final action hearings."

One argument made by the NAHB during the appeal hearing at the appeal hearing was that they didn't believe volunteer members of the fire service should have been allowed to vote, according to O'Brian. He said many career members of the fire service in attendance at the appeal hearing spoke out in support of the right of volunteer firefighters to vote during the final action hearing.

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I wonder how many NAHB members' homes are located in areas protected by volunteer fire departments. I also wonder how many of these NAHB members assume that their local fire station is staffed 24/7, because that's the way it was when they lived in the city, before they moved out into the suburbs.


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