HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett – signing into law the first bill to reach his desk – affixed his signature to House Bill 377, a measure repealing a mandate to require automatic sprinkler systems in most new homes.
Corbett called it a “common sense” measure that will help to keep new home prices within the reach of Pennsylvania’s working families.
“Whether or not new homes are equipped with sprinklers should be a decision left to individual consumers and not the government,” Corbett said. “While there are arguments on both sides of this issue, I believe the sprinkler mandate is wrong-headed and I’m glad the General Assembly sent this bill to my desk.”
According to industry groups, the mandate would have boosted home construction costs by thousands of dollars. They also note that the construction code already requires hard-wired smoke detectors.
The bill relieves builders of one-family and two-family dwellings of the automatic fire sprinkler system requirement of the International Residential Code of 2009. However, builders must still:
- Offer buyers the option to install an automatic fire sprinkler system;
- Provide buyers with information that explains the initial and ongoing costs of such a system; and
- Furnish buyers with information on the possible benefits of installing an automatic sprinkler system.
The measure also makes technical changes to Pennsylvania’s Uniform Construction Code.
House Bill 377 received more than 160 affirmative votes from members of the General Assembly. Rep. Garth Everett of Lycoming County was the measure’s prime sponsor.
For more information about House Bill 377, visit the General Assembly’s website at www.legis.state.pa.us.