The head of a trade organization focused on fire hazard prevention has criticized the Connecticut legislature’s updated safety codes that do not require fire sprinkler installations in new townhome construction.
According to a report from the trade journal Occupational Health & Safety, National Fire Protection Association President and CEO Jim Pauley faulted Connecticut’s legislative Regulation Review Committee for approving updated safety codes – including a State Building Code, Fire Safety Code and Fire Prevention Code – that he said “will fall short of nationally recognized standards and fire safety requirements.” Pauley complained that lobbying from homebuilders and other construction-related stakeholders resulted in the omission of fire sprinklers in new townhome construction, which had been part of a previous version of the state’s codes. The updated codes go into effect in October.
“The breakdown of the code process in Connecticut is indicative of a larger problem that jeopardizes safety for residents across the country,” said Pauley. “The fact that months of work and input from experts was discarded at the 11th hour behind closed doors shows how special interests like the homebuilders have hijacked this process. They continue to put their bottom line ahead of saving lives. Connecticut residents should not be forced to live in substandard homes when the code process is taken over by the special interests. Connecticut legislators have a responsibility to keep people safe, and they have shirked that responsibility.”