IRC Requirements Upheld

IRC Requirements Upheld

Residential Fire Sprinklers Remain for Now

The International Code Council (ICC) has posted the results of online voting on Proposal RB129-16, which sought to repeal the International Residential Code’s (IRC) requirement for all new homes to be equipped with fire sprinklers. The IRC committee disapproved this proposal, and now, the online vote challenging that decision has failed by a vote of 131 (16 percent) “For” to 697 (84 percent) “Against.”

“The online vote sends a powerful message to those who have continued to attack the IRC sprinkler requirement,” comments Roland J. Huggins, P.E., AFSA vice president of engineering and technical services. “We can remain hopeful that there will be no public comments seeking further action on this proposal. However, if a public comment is submitted, another online vote will be conducted in November to determine the final outcome. We’ll update our members after public comments are published on September 9.”

The future of home fire safety in America hinges on winning upcoming votes that may occur during ICC’s final action voting in November 2016. Home fire sprinklers represent the best chance of striking at the heart of America’s fire problem. Sprinkler requirements have made it into the 2009, 2012, and 2015 editions of the IRC. ICC Codes Process The IRC is one of 15 I-Codes. Each code is comprehensive, all codes are coordinated and compatible with each other, all codes are developed according to the same process in the same forum, and all codes reference consensus standards developed by Standard Developing Organizations (SDOs).

There is a code cycle every three years. Typically, code changes are proposed by a given deadline, and then a committee action hearing is held, following by public comment hearings. The edition is published and then the cycle repeats itself. The final vote on whether or not to change the code rests with the ICC governmental member representatives – those who administer, formulate or enforce the regulations and are charged with the public’s health, safety and welfare – or Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs).

For more information on the IRC and the code development process, visit

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