Required Sprinkler Systems in Minnesota Homes

Mandatory Sprinkler Systems in Your Home

I have to admit, I have insider information, so I’ve seen this coming for years. I even wrote a blog post about it back in 2007, listing some benefits to having a home sprinkler system installed, especially in a million dollar home. I don’t have a problem with them, after all, my husband project manages for Summit Fire Protection in St. Paul and oversees daily the installation of fire suppression systems in Minnesota buildings.

What I do have a problem with is the government making it mandatory for all newly constructed homes to have a sprinkler system installed. You most likely haven’t heard that the International Code Council added in 2009 to its International Residential Code that fire sprinkler systems be a required standard feature in new home construction. The National Association of Home Builders tried to have the measure repealed, but was unsuccessful, so the new requirement will be included in the 2012 IRC edition.

What does this mean to you?

So far, there are only a few states, California being the first, to adopt the 2009 IRC requirements. But I am sure there are many other state and city governments that will jump on the bandwagon, all in the name of public safety. Currently there is an effort in Minnesota, championed by the Builders Association of Minnesota, to prohibit the State Building Code, State Fire Code, etc to require the installation of sprinkler systems in residential homes (H.F. 460 and S. F. 297). Now this doesn’t mean you can’t have one installed, but it does keep you from having to pay for one when you don’t want it.

I’ll keep a close eye on this one. While the cost of sprinkler installation is fairly low, about $3000 for a $300,00o home, in today’s market, people are watching the dollars they spend very carefully, and one might just rather have granite counter tops over a fire suppression system.

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