Feb 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
StateRequires Certification of:Requires Licensing for:Requires for Sprinkler Drawings:
Plan ReviewersInspectorsContractorsFittersDesignersPE / Architect SealNICET Level IINICET Level IV
ConnecticutYYYYYYYN
MassachusettsNYYYNYNN
New JerseyYYNNNYNN
New YorkNYNNNYNN
North CarolinaYYYYYYYN
PennsylvaniaNNNNNNNN

StateState Code AdoptionAdditional NFPA StandardsNFPA 13 Edition AdoptedIntend to AdoptAdopted NFPA 25
IBCIFCStatewideLocally
ConnecticutBOCA 1996 amended; NFPA 101 1997 amendedNFPA 13, 13D, 13R – 1996; all NFPA codes pertaining to supression systems1999Yes
MassachusettsBOCA 1993 amendedYes, MGL 148 Sections 26G, H, I1996YesUnk.Yes
New JerseyBOCA 1996 amendedNo1994YesYesYesYes
New YorkVariation from IBC/IFC req. currently under consideration for adoption in 2002State Code – 1991 in 2002 IBC/IFC C-1996YesYesYesNo
North Carolina1994 SBCCI amended1999YesYesYes
PennsylvaniaBOCA 1999 amendedN/AN/ANoNoNo

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.