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International Code Council (ICC) Passes Residential Sprinkler Mandate
Spray Foam Insulation and Unvented Attic Assemblies to the Rescue

On Sunday, September 21st, the International Code Council (ICC) voted to approve a fire sprinkler mandate as part of the 2009 International Residential Code, requiring that sprinklers be included in all one- and two-family homes and townhouses built to the code as of Jan. 1, 2011.

Nine hundred fire officials – all eligible voters – reportedly arrived at the ICC’s meeting and hearings in Minneapolis, MN on Saturday in support of the mandate. When the voting took place on Sunday morning, the measure was approved 1,283 to 470.

One concern raised by NAHB was the question as to whether home owners are prepared to perform the maintenance required to ensure that the sprinklers remain operational. Builders also cited the potential for pipes installed in attics to freeze in colder climates, saying that the sprinklers can be discharged accidentally, resulting in property damage. And in areas served by wells or where water is scarce, there is potential concern regarding the availability of an adequate water supply. One such benefit for the spray foam insulation industry is the acceptance of unvented attics and the ability of foam insulation to protect against these freezing pipes.

Fire protection organizations report that as many as 890 lives could be saved each year if residences were equipped with working smoke alarms. Furthermore, NAHB identified several existing code requirements that have contributed to a significant decline in fire-related deaths and injuries over the past 30 years. Among these, the most effective improvement noted was the introduction of hard-wired interconnected smoke alarms, which the code requires to be installed in every bedroom and on every floor. hears that our state’s Department of Community Affairs (DCA) will most likely adopt the code as written. We are headquartered in New Jersey, USA.

We have posted a copy of this article in our Q&A forum ob building codes for public comment on the issue:

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