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This issue of Sprinkler Age features our thirteenth annual legislative review. This summary of legislation and codes offers a quick overview of regulations affecting the fire sprinkler industry in individual states.
The information in these charts was gathered from a survey mailed to the fire marshals of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the provinces of Canada, in August 2000. Responses to the questionnaire were received from all but seven states. In those cases, the information that appeared in the 1999 Legislative Review (See November 1999 Sprinkler Age) has been reprinted, and the fact that the information is a repeat is denoted by an asterisk (*) after the state name in the left column of the chart. According to the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association (CASA), provincal codes are reviewed for changes every five years. Therefore, the information provided by the provinces in 1999 is reprinted in this year's table.
Survey Questions and Responses
The following questions were asked on the 2000 AFSA Legislative Survey. The tables on pages 26 through 28 provide the answers to most of the survey questions. The first table on page 26 lists the telephone numbers requested in questions 12 and 16, and the second table provides licensing and certification information.
1. What, if any, National Codes have been adopted by your state?
2. Do you intend to adopt the International Building Code? The International Fire Code?
3. Any NFPA Standards and/or additional modifications to the state-adopted code in regard to fire sprinklers (i.e., NFPA 13, 101, etc. or state supplemental rules)?
4a. Which edition of NFPA 13 have you adopted?
4b. If you haven't adopted the latest edition of NFPA 13, do you allow local jurisdictions to use the latest edition?
5. Do the codes adopted by your state have a minimum base or a minimum/maximum for enforcement purposes?
6. Is the scope of state code enforcement limited to the type of occupancy and/or other requirements (i.e., public assembly over 100, business over 50 ft., etc.) or is it all encompassing?
7. If buildings are not included in the state jurisdiction, is there a recognized code adoption recommended for local authorities or is it on individual preference?
8. Are you in a code revision/adoption cycle now? If yes, what codes and years do you anticipate adopting?
9. Has your state adopted NFPA 25: Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems?
10. Does your state have any pending legislation more restrictive or less restrictive? Hotels & Apartments, Dwellings & Lodging Housing, Health Care, Nursing Homes, Education, Public Assembly, Business Occupancies, Mercantile, Institutional, Other.
11. Does your state have fire sprinkler retrofitting requirements for the following occupancies? Hotels & Apartments, Dwellings & Lodging Housing, Health Care, Nursing Homes, Education, Public Assembly, Business Occupancies, Mercantile, Institutional, Other.
12. Are there any towns or cities that you are aware of that have retrofitting requirements in excess of the state requirement? Please provide a contact person and phone number for more information regarding retrofitting.
13. Does your state require a PE to do sprinkler design concepts (i.e., identify occupancies and water supply)?
14. Does the Office of the State Fire Marshal have authority over all projects in the state or only over state-owned or state-financed projects?
15. Are there any local jurisdictions that you know of in your state that have residential ordinances for the following occupancies? Single-family, Multi-family, High-rise condo/apartment. Please list.
16. Please provide a telephone number that a person can call if he/she has questions about jurisdiction in your state (i.e. State vs. Local Authorities) regarding fire sprinkler plan review/inspection.
17. Does your state require certification of Plan Reviewers? Inspectors?
18. Does your state require licensing for Fire Sprinkler Contractors? Fire Sprinkler Fitters? Fire Sprinkler Designers?
19. Does your state require the following for sprinkler drawings: PE/Architect Seal? NICET Level III? NICET Level IV?
Regarding pending sprinkler legislation, the state of Florida has legislation pending for requirements in hotels and apartments, more restrictive than the state code. In Hawaii, more restrictive legislation is pending for business occupancies. There is a mandate to sprinkler all high-rise buildings in Louisiana. Missouri has legislation pending for educational facilities and high-rise retrofits. In New Jersey, legislation is pending for college dorms, fraternities and sororities according to BOCA National Building Code provisions.
When asked about sprinkler retrofit requirements for occupancies, 13 states indicated they have requirements or requirements are pending. Arkansas has fire sprinkler requirements for all the occupancies listed in Question 11. Health care facilities, nursing homes, institutions, and high-rises in California must be retrofitted. Hotels, apartments, and elderly housing in Connecticut have retrofit requirements. Florida has requirements pending for hotels and apartments. When renovation costs exceed 100% of its tax-assessed value, structures in Georgia must be retrofitted. In Hawaii, hotels and apartments have requirements and requirements for business occupancies are pending. In Kentucky, college and university dorms and high-rises must be retofitted. In Louisiana, high-rises and structures with 25% space reconstructed have requirements. Retrofit requirements for seven stories is pending in Missouri. In New Jersey college dorms, most health care facilities, nursing homes, night clubs, high-rise mercantiles, and prisons have retrofit requirements. In South Carolina, health care, institutions, and structures with a change in occupancy or 50% renovation must be retrofitted. Health care facilities, nursing homes, public assemblies, institutions, correctional facilities, and high-rises must be retrofitted in Vermont. In Virginia, hotels, apartments, health care facilities, nursing homes, and institutions have retrofit requirements.
The AFSA staff has made every effort to provide the most accurate and current information available. However, because of the time lapse between gathering the information and publication of these charts, changes may have occurred. Anyone interested in obtaining more detailed information for particular states should contact the respective AHJ. This is a very popular feature in Sprinkler Age, and we thank the many individual state fire marshals and state fire protection engineers who assisted our readers by taking time to participate in this year's survey. Some respondents did not provide a specific telephone number for questions regarding jurisdiction over fire sprinkler plan review/inspections. In those cases, we list the telephone number for the State Fire Marshal's Office, with the hope that a state representative can direct contractors to the appropriate authority.
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