An Act relative to enhanced fire protection in new one- and two-family dwellings
SECTION 1. Chapter 148 of the General laws, as appearing in the 2012 “Official Edition”, is hereby amended by adding the following new section: -
Section 26J. In any city or town which accepts the provisions of this section, every newly constructed building, designed or used for residential occupancy and containing not more than two dwelling units, shall be protected throughout with an adequate system of automatic sprinklers installed in accordance with the provisions of the state building code. The provisions of this section shall apply to any such newly constructed building for which a building permit is issued on or after one year from the acceptance of this act by a city or town. Nothing in this section shall require a municipality to adopt the provisions contained herein; and provided further, that nothing in this section shall require any existing building designed or used for residential occupancy, including those in municipalities that adopt the provisions of this section, to be required to retrofit said property with an automatic sprinkler system.
The head of the fire department shall enforce the provisions of this section.
Whoever is aggrieved by the head of the fire department’s interpretation, order, requirement, direction or failure to act under the provisions of this section, may, within forty-five days after the service of notice thereof, appeal from such interpretation, order, requirement, direction, or failure to act, to the board of appeals as provided in section 201 of chapter six.
SECTION 2. Section 27A of chapter 148, as so appearing, is amended by inserting, after the word “service”, in lines 17 and 18, the following new sentence: - This section shall not apply to the seasonal shut-off of automatic sprinklers installed in accordance with the provisions of section 26J of chapter 148, when such shut off has been conducted in accordance with the procedures established by the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations. For purposes of this section, the Board shall determine what constitutes a seasonal shutoff of automatic sprinklers.
SECTION 3. The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security in conjunction with the Department of Fire Services shall develop and publish an approved online fact sheet and other information on the frequently asked questions about residential fire sprinkler systems. The information shall detail the (i) public safety and property benefits of residential sprinklers, (ii) estimated cost of approved sprinkler systems, (iii) incident of system failures and resulting property damage; (iv) estimated homeowners insurance savings associated with residential sprinklers; (v) potential savings impacts to municipal infrastructure and building code requirements; (vi) impacts to residential building projects, including affordable housing; (vii) benefits to firefighter and first responder safety and (viii) any other information that the Department determines appropriate.