Local Planning Board Uses Home Fire Sprinklers As Incentive
Many states have adopted fire and building codes with a “mini-max” provision, including Massachusetts. Despite this, fire departments and local planning boards often work together to achieve greater fire safety for planned homes, including the requirement of installed fire sprinklers.
In West Bridgewater, the local Planning Board used its authority to add fire sprinklers in the issued development permit for all homes of two subdivisions – Pearl Road (27 homes) and The Farm (25 homes). The sprinkler requirements addressed both fire department distance/response time and, at the time, what was a limited available water supply in the area.
“The existence of mini-max code provisions in a state simply means the local jurisdictions can’t pass a sprinkler mandate for all new construction. It doesn’t prevent the fire department from working with local planning authorities to review the unique aspects for all new developments to determine if, on a case-by-case basis, sprinklers can be included as a component for improving the life safety features of each home while providing for cost effective alternatives for both the developer and the community’s infrastructure.”
Chief Kenneth May,
West Bridgewater Fire Department.
Another Mini-Max Example:
In N. Andover, Massachusetts more than 2,000 homes have been built under local planning board fire sprinkler installation requirements. The fire department has documented life saves as a result of fire sprinklers in these homes.