Author(s): Jesse Roman. Published on March 2, 2015.

NEW EFFORTS ARE UNDERWAY to require sprinklers in most one- and two-family homes in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, including:

New York: The New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council is considering adoption of the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC), which includes a provision to sprinkler new one- and two-family homes.

The code council was slated to hold a vote February 11 on whether to keep the sprinkler provisions in the proposed code adoption package, but that meeting was postponed and has not been rescheduled as of late February, said Jerry DeLuca, the executive director of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs. If adopted, New York would become the third state to mandate sprinklers in new homes.

“We’re pushing our ... support of the provision, but it’s tough because the Realtors and homebuilders are fighting this with a lot of money and effort,” DeLuca said. A final vote on adopting the entire 2015 IRC package will take place in August, DeLuca said.

New Jersey: New Jersey legislators have fast-tracked a bill that would require all non-prefabricated new one- and two-family homes connected to public water to be equipped with sprinklers. The “New Home Fire Safety Act” gained momentum after a massive fire tore through an apartment complex in Edgewater, New Jersey, in January. The complex was equipped with sprinklers, which fire officials said allowed residents to escape unharmed.

The state Assembly had already passed a sprinkler bill in June, but it had stalled in the Senate. Following Edgewater, the Senate budget committee approved the bill in February. Its next stop is a full vote by the Senate.

It’s unclear if Gov. Chris Christie would sign the bill; the state Assembly passed a similar bill during the last legislative session, but the governor did not sign it, according to NJ.com.

To see the latest on this and other sprinkler initiatives in New Jersey, visit the New Jersey State Coalition section on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative website.

Connecticut: A bill has been filed in the Connecticut Legislature that would require sprinklers in all new one- and two-family residential buildings.

The bill is now before the Connecticut General Assembly’s Public Safety and Security Committee. That committee hosted a public hearing on the issue in West Hartford on February 19.

Connecticut lawmakers have tried and failed to pass laws requiring residential sprinklers, but the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition, formed in October 2014, has pushed hard on the issue and is gaining momentum.

News on the effort is posted on Connecticut State Coalition section on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative website.

JESSE ROMAN is staff writer for NFPA Journal.