Misinformed Chicago Aldermen Sharing False Fire Sprinkler Information

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Yesterday, at least two Chicago aldermen, James Cappleman (46th Ward) and Tom Tunney (44th Ward), sent an e-blast to their constituents with misinformation that stated that the Illinois State Fire Marshal is trying to pass new requirements for fire sprinklers in high-rises.

However, the State Fire Marshal has not filed any new rules. If he had done so, the public would have been made aware because he would have had to file them with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), a 12-person committee of Illinois legislators, and then it would have opened for public comment. The JCAR process is how the State Fire Marshal has updated fire codes for more than 100 years.

The alarming trouble is that these alderman are being grossly misinformed by someone or some group and then passing that misinformation on to their constituents without checking the facts.

The only Illinois legislation being proposed that even mentions the Illinois State Fire Marshal was actually filed on March 24th by opponents to the State Fire Marshal.

An amendment to HB4609 was filed by Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-12 th District) through active lobbying by the Home Builders Association of Illinois. The amendment aims to strip the State Fire Marshal of his ability to fully adopt any national model codes that include fire sprinklers.

This would be unprecedented legislation that has occurred nowhere else in the U.S. In fact, the model codes are written with over 100 trade-offs that are made available only with fire sprinklers present. If the fire sprinklers are removed, the tradeoffs must be removed as well, which would greatly weaken the codes.

The bill is essentially a grudge in response to the State Fire Marshal unsuccessfully filing to update the state fire code last summer from the 2003 edition to the 2012 edition of NFPA 101: Life Safety Code.

Even though the State Fire Marshal unsuccessfully updated the Life Safety Code, the 2000 edition does require fire sprinklers in all high-rises. Therefore, the City of Chicago is not in accordance with the state code as it currently stands.

Read more at http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwgeeks/article/Fire-Sprinkler-Advisory-Board-Misinformed-Chicago-Aldermen-Sharing-False-Information-with-Public-about-High-Rise-Fire-Sprinkler-Requirements-20140326#FtmhBMGwU1FhGMB2.99