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Massachusetts Nixes Home Sprinklers

Using the Same Bogus Argument You've Heard Before

ADD THE MASSACHUSETTS BOARD OF BUILDING Regulations and Standards to your list ethically-challenged state agencies.  Using the same sorry excuses that several other states have tried to peddle,  the Massachusetts board has ignored public and firefighter safety by striking from the state building code the requirement that new home construction includes fire sprinklers.


Fire Engineering reported yesterday:

"The BBRS is letting down the people of Massachusetts today and for generations to come by allowing substandard homes to be built in Massachusetts," said Ashburnham Chief Paul Zbikowski, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts (FCAM) "Not only are they ignoring the minimum level of safety established by model codes, they are putting our firefighters unnecessarily in harms way."

All national model building codes include the requirement for fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. The BBRS promulgated a building code for the Commonwealth in August and omitted the provision to require home fire sprinklers in new construction. The state fire marshal filed a proposal to allow local communities to be able to set the requirement if they chose to do so which the BBRS defeated at a February 14 meeting.

WFXT-TV Ch. 25 interviewed Chief Zbikowski this morning:


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Comments - Add Yours

  • Fern the Fire-Rescue newbie

    Damn it.

  • Alan Yates

    Good for Massachusetts. I know your job is dangerous but families do NOT need the expense of sprinklers added to a new home’s costs. If you no longer want to endure the dangers inherent in firefighting do something else.

    • Firegeezer

      Alan, you blew your cover when you said that families do not need the expense of sprinkler coverage.  The whole purpose of the sprinklers is to check the fire and give them more time to escape plus reduce damages by 80% on average.

      Your snarky comment about not wanting to endure the dangers of firefighting shows that you are unfamiliar with the job or the issue.  Nice try, though.

  • Kevin

    I am a firefighter of 30 years and a recent precipient of why people argue for this.  I recently lost my loving son inlaw in a tragic fire in their rented older single story dwelling in our home town @ 1:30 am on November 23 2011.  He leaves my daughter and their 3 three children ages 4-7 to live a long life with out him.  Had their been a home sprinkler system this may have given him the added time he required to finish what only he knows now as the finishing tasks he was trying to do. He had saved his family in his final moments throwing them out windows. He himself never came out. When i arrived the house had flashed over and had no chance to make entry as i had no gear or resources to attempt a rescue until the first engine arrived. Timing is everything in the first moments of these situations.  I pray some day that the up front costs are seen more worthy than than the huge price our family paid that early morning.  $4-6 per sq ft seems to me to be a fair number now.

  • Sbcdfjlse83kdk235

    Massachusetts doesn’t need sprinkler in each home. It is unnecessary burden for home owners. Home many of these sprinkler will malfunction? And when happens, the house is drenched with water, wood damage, drywall damage, mold grow. property loss, health hazard…

    • Firegeezer

      How many of the sprinklers will malfunction?  NONE of them will.  It doesn’t happen.  Who are you?  You are obviously not a firefighter because you would know better if you were.  Are you some mouthpiece for the builders who typically spread  nonsense like this?

      And the whole house doesn’t get drenched with water, either.  But if it burns up, then everything is destroyed.  Lions and tigers and mold growth, oh my!  Poppycock.

  • Jamesbuffet

    Sprinkler in rental unit is best weapon for a disgruntled tenants. With a cigarette lighter, a tenant can easily trigger a sprinkler and cause huge water damage in the house. Then just call the health department and condemn the house/apt as inhabitable, Then the tenant can easily get out of lease and walk away freely with compensation money from landlord. This is so easily copycatted, and legal battles followed and spring up in each city and town. In today’s dire economy, there are much more people cannot afford to buy a house, but who dare to be a landlord?

  • Vjq4p08safiadsfk

    Fire marshall, fire chief of every town and city should request themselves and everyone in fire department to install sprinkler in their own homes at individual’s cost. Finish that, then ask everybody else to do the same!!

    • Sdfpi234j3124

      Good point. Make fire chiefs to think about sprinkler at their personal level.

      Fire chief promote the sprinkler? Fire chief needs to do 2 homeworks first:1. Ask all the fire chiefs and fire marshalls to install sprinklers in their private homes at their own costs.2. Ask everyone working in the fire department to install sprinkler in their own homes at their own cost. They cannot workin fire department without first install sprinkler at their private home first. And count how many people still wantto work in fire department any more.Only after fire chiefs have done the 2 homeworks, does it make sense and to promote sprinkler to the public.