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February 2002: Legislative Review - State Codes and Standards

In November 2001, Sprinkler Age magazine featured it's fourteenth annual legislative review for the United States and Canada. This summary of legislation and codes offers an overview of regulations affecting the fire sprinkler industry in individual states. The information was obtained from a survey mailed to the fire marshals of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the provinces of Canada. We have listed below the responses and findings for Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

State Licensing & Certification Requirements
State Requires Certification of: Requires Licensing for: Requires for Sprinkler Drawings:
Plan Reviewers Inspectors Contractors Fitters Designers PE / Architect Seal NICET Level II NICET Level IV
Connecticut Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Massachusetts N Y Y Y N Y N N
New Jersey Y Y N N N Y N N
New York N Y N N N Y N N
North Carolina Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Pennsylvania N N N N N N N N

State State Code Adoption Additional NFPA Standards NFPA 13 Edition Adopted Intend to Adopt Adopted NFPA 25
IBC IFC Statewide Locally
Connecticut BOCA 1996 amended; NFPA 101 1997 amended NFPA 13, 13D, 13R - 1996; all NFPA codes pertaining to supression systems 1999 - - Yes -
Massachusetts BOCA 1993 amended Yes, MGL 148 Sections 26G, H, I 1996 Yes Unk. Yes -
New Jersey BOCA 1996 amended No 1994 Yes Yes Yes Yes
New York - Variation from IBC/IFC req. currently under consideration for adoption in 2002 State Code - 1991 in 2002 IBC/IFC C-1996 Yes Yes Yes No
North Carolina 1994 SBCCI amended - 1999 Yes Yes Yes -
Pennsylvania BOCA 1999 amended N/A N/A No No No -

Other survey findings included the following for the above states:

Local jurisdictions in each of the above states can not use the latest edition of NFPA 13.

Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina are currently in a code revision cycle.

Regarding pending sprinkler legislation:

Legislation is pending in Massachusetts for fraternities, sororities and dormitories.

Legislation is pending in Pennsylvania for dormitories.

Legislation is pending in New York for dwellings and lodging housing and business occupancies that is more restrictive.

Regarding sprinkler retrofit requirements:

Connecticut has retrofit requirements for high-rise elderly housing.

New Jersey has retrofit requirements for high-rise hotels, boarding homes, nightclubs, high-rise mercantile facilities, dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses, institutional and health care facilities and nursing homes.