State officials are considering new guidelines for when fire sprinklers need to be installed in multi-family housing. Under current law, sprinkler systems only need to be in residential buildings with at least 20 units. However, a policy change being considered by the State Commerce Department would lower that minimum to three units. Division of Safety and Buildings administrator says such a change would help to prevent more fires statewide and increase the ability to put them out quickly.
Jones says the sprinkler guidelines are part of an overhaul of state regulations, based on international standards. At least 20 states have adopted the lower threshold.
The guidelines would only apply to new construction.