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  1. #1
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    Default Texas fire sprinkler law

    Sounds like the builders have been successful in their lobbying efforts.
    I had not heard of this until now. This was provided by Texas Professional Real Estate Inspectors Association (TPREIA)

    SB 1410 - Fire Sprinkler Choice Signed by the Governor
    Monday, July 20, 2009 at 2:10pm



    On Friday, June 19 Governor Perry signed into law SB 1410, the bill giving homeowners the choice to install fire sprinklers. TAB has worked very hard on this issue this session and is very pleased with Governor Perry's decision. This bill will take effect on September 1, 2009.

    The language of SB 1410 effectively prohibits a city from enacting fire sprinkler mandates in single family homes, duplexes and remodeling projects. The fire sprinkler amendment was added in the House by Rep. John Otto (R- Dayton) and states:

    Notwithstanding any other provision of state law, after January 1, 2009, a municipality may not enact an ordinance, bylaw, order, building code, or rule requiring the installation of a multipurpose residential fire protection sprinkler system or any other fire sprinkler protection system in a new or existing one or two-family dwelling. A municipality may adopt an ordinance, bylaw, order, or rule allowing a multipurpose residential fire protection sprinkler specialist or other contractor to offer, for a fee, the installation of a fire sprinkler protection system in a new one or two-family dwelling.

    SB 1410 also includes an amendment added by Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa) that creates a "multipurpose residential fire protection sprinkler specialist" designation under the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

    Rep. Otto's amendment not only eliminates sprinkler mandates it further states that builders can use these plumbers to install single-pipe systems that supply the domestic water and fire sprinkler heads. The added language states:

    A multipurpose residential fire protection sprinkler specialist may install a multipurpose residential fire protection sprinkler system in a new or existing one or two-family dwelling in municipality described by subsections (a) and (b).

    To see the final version of this bill click on http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/81R/billtext/pdf/SB01410F.pdf.


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    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 08-06-2009 at 07:04 PM.
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    Jim Luttrall
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    Plano, Texas

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    To give you a little more information on this...just in case you didn't know, there was/is a big controversial issue over the way this law came about. Well not necessarily this law but the law that spurred this Senate Bill to be enacted.

    During the code process, it was voted on by the members present at the code hearings that fire suppression systems would be required in ALL SFR upon the adoption of the 2009 IRC.

    The controversy came with how the voting members present got there to vote. The NFPA somehow found several organizations willing to pay for those in the fire protection field to get a free trip to the meeting to support their submittal to the code council to mandate fire sprinklers in all SFR.

    When the vote came there were around 1300 members that voted in favor of the code change. It passed with a VERY LARGE MARGINE! After the vote around 1200 members left. This is how the law came into affect.

    The NAHB said WHOAHHHH wait a minute!!! So they, the NAHB, who also donates very generously to the Senators campaign asked politely to see what he could do to help them out!

    And that's how this all came about!!


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    Follow the money! On both sides!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    So Wayne, I see your a building official, what is your take on the effectiveness of SF sprinkler systems vs. cost?
    I have a fireman friend (training officer) that told me years ago that he wished all homes had these systems. What are your thoughts?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    Well here goes!
    I don't think that the codes should require AHJ's to install sprinklers in every SFR. I think they should leave it up to the jurisdiction to either require it or not. It is already in the appendices of the code, so why make it mandatory!

    Now for the State of Texas to come in and say that an AHJ cannot require FS is just not right!

    The whole idea behind FS is to save on property damage caused by a fire. Whom are we actually helping? Is it protecting the property owner, the insurance company, the firefighter, or the mortgage company? I know it will protect property to a certain extent but then again it could cause more damage if it was a minor fire and the system went off. But then again, it may not have been minor if it wasn’t for the FS putting out the fire!

    We used to require FS in our jurisdiction when the structure was over 6000 sq, ft and other conditions were planned for the structure. Like living area over garages. Now we can't!

    Is it worth it? In most circumstances, yes! Do they work? Yes!

    I think it should be up to the person that is purchasing the home if they want a FS or not.

    This is a whole new concept for protecting SFR. The more homes that are constructed with FS the more the price comes down, making it an affordable add-on.

    There are trade-offs now in the code if a FS is installed. Certain walls that used to be required to be 1 hour or 2 hour are no longer required along with other "lessening" areas of the code!


  6. #6
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    "I don't think that the codes should require AHJ's to install sprinklers in every SFR. I think they should leave it up to the jurisdiction to either require it or not. It is already in the appendices of the code, so why make it mandatory!

    Now for the State of Texas to come in and say that an AHJ cannot require FS is just not right!"


    OR


    "I think it should be up to the person that is purchasing the home if they want a FS or not."


    Which is it??


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    It should not be mandatory for all houses to have a FS system. I think there should be a size to trigger the requirement! The smaller houses would be a choice where the larger houses it would be required.


  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    It should not be mandatory for all houses to have a FS system. I think there should be a size to trigger the requirement! The smaller houses would be a choice where the larger houses it would be required.

    They do that...........over 5000 sq ft


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    It's in the appendices of the 2006 IRC. If the AHJ hasn't adopted the appendices then it is not required.

    The 2009 IRC is where all SFR are required to install FS....except in Texas


  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    It's in the appendices of the 2006 IRC. If the AHJ hasn't adopted the appendices then it is not required.

    The 2009 IRC is where all SFR are required to install FS....except in Texas
    I cannot think of where I have inspected 5000 feet or more and there were not sprinklers. Maybe I just have not inspected a 5000 sq ft home in your area.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    Some AHJ's adopted ordinances requiring FS but it is not required by the 2006 (or previous) code.

    In fact there is an exeption to SFR being exempt from requiring a FS.




    This is out of the 2006 IRC Apendicies P
    AP101 Fire sprinklers.
    An approved automatic fire sprinkler
    system shall be installed in new one- and two-family dwellings
    and townhouses in accordance with Section 903.3.1 of the

    International Building Code
    .


    Then you go to the 2006 IBC and it states;
    [F] 903.2.10 Windowless stories in all occupancies. An
    automatic sprinkler system shall be installed in the locations
    set forth in Sections 903.2.10.1 through 903.2.10.1.3.
    Exception:
    Group R-3 and Group U.


    Which SFR are an R-3 group.




  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    TM: All Metroplex AHJs I know of enforce that.

    Like I said I must not inspect larger homes in, I believe he is in, Southwest Tarrant County. All I have run into are usually either further west of him or Northeast Tarrant or North of Dallas area.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Texas fire sprinkler law

    Ted, you are correct. I know University Park, Highland Park and others in that area require FS.


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