IRC Fire Sprinkler Code Change Update Anthony C. Apfelbeck, CFPS, CBO International Association of Fire Chiefs/ Fire and Life Safety Section
Historic Effort The single most important effort that we will see in our lifetime to improve citizen safety, firefighter safety and property protection. Statistics Support This Statement
The Problem:Civilian Deaths • 78% of all structure fires occur in residential properties • 84% of civilian fire deaths occur in the home • Fire Sprinklers reduce the civilian death rate by at least 63% in SFD
The Problem:Firefighter Deaths • 1997-2006 250 Firefighters killed in structure fires • 246 killed in non-sprinklered buildings • 4 were killed in buildings protected by an operational fire sprinkler system • 1 non-sprinklered attic fire • 3 explosion at a pesticide plant
Background • The International Residential Code (IRC) is promulgated by the International Code Council • IRC is adopted as the base code for one-and two-family dwelling construction in 46 states. • IRC is adopted in Florida as part of the Florida Building Code
Background • Adoptable Annex placed in the 2003 IRC which jurisdictions could adopt to require fire sprinklers • Ultimate goal was to place a requirement in the core text of the IRC for fire sprinklers in one-and two-family dwellings • Every 18 months the IRC is amended in national code hearings • Came close in Rochester 2007 with 55% of the vote (need 66%)
IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition • Formed in 2007 • Mission is to: • Promote the health, safety and welfare of the public and emergency responders by supporting the installation of fire sprinklers in residential occupancies. • President is Ron Coleman, Retired California State Fire Marshal
IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition • Broad Fire Service Membership • IAFC • Resolution of support • IAFF • Resolution of support • FFMIA • Resolution of support • FFCA • Resolution of support • 110+ Other Associations and Organizations Across the Nation
Minneapolis Vote • IRC Sprinkler Coalition • Grass Roots Effort • Mostly Fire Service • Funding • NAHB • Adamantly Opposed • Funding • Some Building Officials • Typical code change has 300-400 people voting
Minneapolis IRC Vote • Sprinkler Proposals had 1,752 people voting • Need 66% to pass= 1,168 • Received 73%=1,282
What happened in Minneapolis with respect to Residential Fire Sprinklers? • Two code changes were approved: • 1. Modifies the next edition of the International Residential Code by requiring fire sprinklers in all new townhouses as soon as the code is adopted and; • 2. Modifies the next edition of the International Residential Code to require fire sprinklers in all new one-and two-family dwellings effective January 1, 2011.
Impact on Florida • Media Inquiries • Will be decided in one of two venues: • Legislature • FHBA • FFCA/FFMIA • Florida Building Commission • Will consider adopting the 2009 IRC in the next 24 months • Adoption date late 2011/early 2012
What is the State Strategy? • Stay Tuned. . . • Must involve a partnership of FFCA, FFMIA and FPFF • Opposition may come from FHBA and some Building Officials • Fire service has been accused of “hijacking the code development process”
What Can You Do? • Meet with your Building Official and educate • Meet with your Water Purveyor and educate • Give your City/County Manager and Commission/Council a heads up • Get your local involved and educated • Encourage participation by your FM staff at the state level • Be prepared to send staff to the ICC Code Hearings next year • Think about implementation issues • SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!
Special Recognition • Tim Ippolitto, Casselberry • Wendy Niles, Lake Mary • Tim Robles, Sanford • Orlando Nunez, Sanford • Jim White, Winter Park • Steve Peavey, Altamonte Springs
Resources • Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition • www.homefiresprinkler.org • IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition • www.IRCFireSprinkler.org • National Fire Protection Association • www.NFPA.org • Handouts • IAFC Press Release • Q & A on Residential Fire Sprinklers