PA Senate Votes To Delay Sprinklers

November 2010Newsletters In the Zone

On October 14, 2010, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed House Bill 1196 , which would impose a moratorium on the requirement to install mandatory sprinklers in new single-family and two-family homes until December 15, 2011.

The 2009 International Residential Code required the sprinklers be installed in townhomes beginning January 1, 2010. New single-family and two-family homes would also fall under the mandate beginning on January 1, 2011. The 2009 IRC has generally been adopted as Pennsylvania’s statewide building code — including the sprinkler requirements.

However, if passed by the State House and signed into law by the Governor, HB 1196 would exclude the requirement for residential sprinklers in single-family and two-family dwellings until December 2011.

During the moratorium, the builder would be required to offer sprinklers as an option to the homebuyer, at the homebuyer’s expense, at or before signing the purchase contract. The legislation will not affect townhome construction and existing sprinkler requirements.

The State House returns from its election recess on November 8 and is scheduled to be in session for five days. If the lower chamber fails to act on the legislation, it will need to be re-introduced in 2011, after the 2009 IRC sprinkler requirements for single-family and two-family homes have gone into effect.

For more information, please contact Kimberly A. Freimuth at 215.918.3627 or [email protected].