MA fire officials and NFPA speak out against Board of Building Regulations and Standards

Published on December 13, 2011
Push for fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes

Boston (December 13, 2011) — Against the backdrop of the firefighters memorial at the State House, NFPA President James M. Shannon and representatives of every major fire service organization in the state came together to protest against the new building code in Massachusetts. 

All national model building codes include the requirement for fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. The Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) promulgated a building code for the Commonwealth in August and omitted the provision to require home fire sprinklers in new construction.

“Your risk of dying in a home fire decreases by more than 80 percent with sprinklers and property damage is reduced by 74 percent” said Shannon. “By allowing substandard housing to be built in Massachusetts, the BBRS puts firefighters and citizens at unnecessary risk. Their action should be reversed.” 

According to Shannon, in the last decade, there have been more than 54,000 fires in one- and two-family homes in Massachusetts. These fires injured more than 2,300 firefighters and 1,500 civilians, and caused more than 753 million dollars in property loss. Forty percent of all firefighter injuries happen in one- and two-family homes.

Preceding a BBRS hearing, representatives from Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Firefighters Association and Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts participated in the press conference and voiced their strong unanimous support for fire sprinklers.

Over 400 communities in the U.S. now require home sprinklers. California, Maryland and South Carolina have adopted the provision statewide.

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275