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Friday, December 16, 2011

Fire officials push for sprinkler systems in new homes

By Chris Burrell
Posted Dec 08, 2011 @ 02:04 PM
Last update Dec 08, 2011 @ 02:40 PM

They’re lifesavers in a fire, but sprinkler systems still aren’t required in most newly built one- and two-family houses in Massachusetts.

That could change next week if firefighting officials can convince the state board that writes building regulations to give communities the right to mandate residential sprinklers.

“Two major firefighters’ associations in the state are saying, ‘Let us start passing this community by community,’” Acushnet Fire Chief Kevin Gallagher said.

Gallagher, who favors mandatory sprinklers, also sits on the 11-member Board of Building Regulations and Standards, which will hold a public hearing on the issue Tuesday morning at the State House.

The debate could pit fire-protection advocates against homebuilders, who argue that sprinklers are too costly at a time when housing construction has lagged in the weak economy.

Fire officials push for sprinkler systems in new homes

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