January 13th, 2010 by Residential Fire Sprinklers .com
The State of California has adopted building code changes that will require all new one- and two-family homes and townhouses built in the state starting January 1, 2011, to be equipped with life-saving fire sprinkler systems.
The California State Building Standards Commission voted yesterday unanimously by a margin of 10-0 in favor of adopting the 2010 California Residential Code, which includes the 2009 International Residential Code as established by the International Code Council in September 2008. With this action, California becomes the third state to formally adopt the code. As the most populous state in the U.S., this is a huge victory for proponents of life safety. The new code requirement becomes effective January 1, 2011.
“This is another step forward in our efforts to eradicate the home fire death problem. By requiring home fire sprinklers in new homes, California adds an important safeguard for the people in the state,” said Jim Shannon, NFPA President. “We are hopeful their action will lead to more states doing the same in order to save lives from fire.”
The residential sprinkler requirement was voted into the 2009 IRC Code by building code officials from all over the U.S., gaining more than two-thirds of the vote. This demonstrated that officials very clearly see the need to require sprinkler technology as a life-saving measure.
It took a lot of hard work and dedication for this to become a reality. The CAL Fire-Office of the State Fire Marshal took an early lead position, by bringing stakeholders to the table to study the feasibility of adopting this code. The Residential Fire Sprinkler Task Force issued Phase I and Phase II of their final report in June and July of 2009, respectively.
NFPA Regional Manager Ray Bizal actively participated in the task force. “The California homebuilders did not oppose the adoption of the requirement,” said Bizal. The California Building Industry Association also participated. Everyone on the ground worked cooperatively towards the goal. Their model is to be emulated.