AN ACT relative to fire sprinkler systems.

SPONSORS: Rep. McGuire, Merr 8; Rep. Groen, Straf 1; Rep. Nord, Rock 1; Rep. Hikel, Hills 7; Rep. Hogan, Hills 25

COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs


This bill prohibits the fire code from requiring the installation of fire sprinkler systems in single or multi-family dwellings.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten

AN ACT relative to fire sprinkler systems.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 State Board of Fire Control; Rules; Sprinkler Systems. Amend RSA 153:5 to read as follows:

153:5 Rules. The state fire marshal shall adopt rules, with the approval of the commissioner of safety, to be known as the state fire code, pursuant to RSA 541-A, to further the purposes of this chapter and such applicable fire safety and building laws as he shall deem necessary for the protection from fire and fire hazards for people in the state and for the general welfare of property and people within the state. The rules may include, but not be limited to, the keeping, storage, use, manufacture, sale, handling, transportation or disposal of highly flammable materials and rubbish, and of flammable fluids and compounds and flammable tablets and may include standards for the materials and construction of receptacles and buildings to be used for any of these purposes. The fire marshal may adopt the most recent edition of the provisions of the national fire protection association code or other recognized codes as rules, in whole or in part; however, such rules shall not require automatic suppressant or sprinkler systems in single or multi-family dwelling units, areas of buildings or additions, in which the discharge of water would be undesirable as determined by the state fire marshal, or in rooms or areas containing either generators, transformers, telecommunications equipment or facilities or electronic data processing equipment, or in telecommunications or electric utility company equipment buildings or areas occupied exclusively for telecommunications equipment, electrical transformation and switching equipment, associated electrical distribution equipment, batteries and standby engines or generators, provided that those spaces or areas are equipped throughout with an automatic fire detection system. The rules shall apply to the construction and remodeling of buildings and structures for the containment of flammable liquids and to the new installation and replacement of equipment used in connection with flammable liquids. The rules shall apply to existing buildings, structures or equipment. The fire marshal may exempt a building, structure or equipment from such rules if he finds that such exemption does not constitute a hazard to the public welfare and safety. A reasonable time, as determined by the state fire marshal, shall be allowed to make necessary alterations. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent municipalities from adopting bylaws or ordinances relative to a subject area of rules adopted by the fire marshal in accordance with this section if such bylaws or ordinances are no less restrictive than those adopted by the fire marshal.

2 Fire Protection and Warning Devices in Multi-Family Dwellings. Amend RSA 153:10-a, III to read as follows:

III. The state fire marshal may adopt such rules pursuant to RSA 541-A as necessary to enforce paragraphs I, II, and II-a; provided that under no circumstances shall the rules require the installation of a fire sprinkler system in a single or multi-family dwelling unit that otherwise meets the requirements of this section. The state fire marshal shall either enforce the provisions of this section or appoint the appropriate municipal authority to enforce the provisions of this section.

3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2011.