On March 24, a report came from the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield that an anti-sprinkler amendment to a legislative bill had been filed. Its premise: ban fire sprinklers and form a task force comprised of special interests to recommend future fire and building codes.
While the Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition had been expecting legislation opposing residential sprinklers, it was still a shock in many ways when the actual text of the bill was read and the implications understood. The amendment would essentially make fire sprinklers “illegal” in any occupancy, not just residences, and give Illinois a distinction of being the most regressive fire safety state in the country. The proposed legislation was also designed to strip the state fire marshal of his authority through the formation of a “code task force,” which would review and recommend new codes that include fire sprinklers. The makeup of the task force’s membership, as I understood it, would have heavily favored opponents of fire sprinklers.
Learn more about this proposed legislation by reading the post from guest blogger Tom Lia on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.