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Mass BBRS Public Hearing on Sprinklers in Residential Construction

Posted by Mark Paskell on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 @ 01:07 PM

On December 13th, 2011 a public hearing will be held by the Mass BBRS on several Building Code Proposals including the Stretch Sprinkler Code. Officials expect this meeting to be well attended due to the controversy generated by the Stretch Sprinkler Code. This building code proposal if adopted, would require sprinklers in new one and two family homes.

Fire Marshall Advertising Campaign Tells Mass Residents The BBRS's Opposition To Sprinklers Means They Support Unsafe Substandard Housing to Be Built Threatening The Safety Of Fireman.

Over the past month the Mass Fire Marshal, Fire Fighter Union, MFSC, NFSA and supporters have launched an agressive campaign in support of Sprinklers in Mass new home construction. (For now the union supports sprinklers in one and two family homes. If this is approved you may see it required in all residential homes, more work for fireman who don't have as many fires to put out)

The Fire Marshall, NFSA and supporting groups biased campaign can be heard on the radio and read in major newspapers. One message in the add states that the BBRS and Mass Building Officials have removed the sprinkler requirement from the code. Next the adds say Building Officials are responsible for allowing the construction of sub-standard housing. The adds infer that the BBRS and Building Officials do not care about the safety of fireman or consumers. The add blatantly infers that substandard housing in Massachusetts is supported by the BBRS and Building Officials.

This type of rhetoric is uncalled for and below the belt. If you follow the money trail you will see the backers are only those who have much to gain from the passage; Sprinkler manufacturers' and contractors, unions and their supporters.

There is ample evidence that sprinklers are not needed since the adoption of hard wired smoke detection systems. The main loser here is the taxpayer consumer who will have to pay for the increase costs of construction. Builders will be impacted and long term if the sprinklers are mandated for pre-exisitng homes remodelers will feel the pinch.

The message in this add campaign is insulting and derogatory to the BBRS and Building Officials through out the state of Massachusetts. To insinuate that the BBRS or building officials are not concerned for the lives of Massachusetts fire fighter is below the waste crap. To state that the BBRS and Building Officials are for substandard housing is a slap in the face to the professional in charge of the building code.

Do you believe that your building inspector and BBRS officials want homes to be constructed in a substandard manner?

Do you believe that the BBRS wants homes to be constructed in a way that the lives of fireman will be at risk?

Well I will state it again the Fire Marshall, MFSC and NFSA adds want you to think that BBRS and Building Officials want to allow the construction of substandard housing that will lead to fireman deaths. Sounds very dramatic, one sided and fishy.

So why is the Fire Marshall and cohorts trying to put such awful blame on the BBRS and Building Officials?

Could it be that the fire union is after the jobs of the building inspectors?

Could it be a union tactic to force union rules into the building code and therefore the residential home constrcution and remodeling industry? (Remember the Sheet Metal Law) 

Why are there so many Fire Marshall generated building code proposals aimed at changing the building code?

Are the Fire Marshall and Fire Union looking to usurp the authority of the building officials by getting the code changed to their favor?

Could it be that the fire fighters union is concerned that there is not enough work because there are not that many fires anymore?  

Many towns ambulatory services are drowning in debt because fireman EMT services are so expensive. Are fireman seeing the writing on the wall that towns may be financially incentivized to outsource their ambulatory services? 

So the Fire Marshall says let's go after the building code, take it over and then offer the services of fireman to town boards to keep fireman working by replacing building inspectors.

You may think the above is a stretch however if you do your homework you will discover that this is the reality the state of Massachusetts is facing. If we do not stand up now and refute this movement you will be going to the fire department for your permits. Then you will have to deal with fireman for inspections. How do your inspections go now when the fire department is involved? 

Contractors and Remodelers in Mass need to unite; On 12/13/2011 there is a public hearing on the Fire Marshall, Fire Fighter Union, NFPA, Sprinkler Companies supported Stretch Sprinkler Code at the Gardner Auditorium at 12:00 PM. If you care about your industry, the tax payer common sense legislation you need to be there. The fire union will have many fireman there all dressed in uniform with their brass trying to shove this regulation down the throat of the consumers and the industry. If you do not participate you will wake up one day and the fire department will tell you how high you have to jump. If you doubt this can happen just think about the new sheet metal law that says experienced CSL's are not qualified to put in a dryer vent, bath fan vent or stove hood vent. Instead you have to have a master sheet metal license for this task. Why can't fireman stay on their own side of the fence?

Check out this site (Mass Federation of Building Officials) for information on the sprinkler stretch code and more.

BBRS link to articles and the hearing click here

We hope you can join us on 12/13/2011. 

 mark the coach

"one voice for the residential construction industry"


Tags: bbrs, sprinkler code