Wisconsin Can't Enforce Fire Sprinkler Rule for Small Apartments

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Before we get into our story today - a very happy New Years to you!  We hope that 2018 brings your joy, success, and satisfaction.

Wisconsin -- The Attorney General, Brad Schimel, said that the state cannot enforce a rule that was established in 2008 that required fire sprinklers be added to all new apartment buildings with three to twenty units.

The rule was established by the Department of Safety and Professional Services, and Schimel said that the rule goes beyond their authority.

"There is little question that the (opinion) will have a substantial impact on other rules and regulations involving the construction of new buildings and the state's building code, in general.  However, the analysis below is unavoidable," wrote Schimel.

apartment fire sprinklers


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Madison, Wisconsin's Fire Chief and legislative liaison for the Wisconsin State Fire Chief's Association has called this ruling "extreme."  Amy Acton, Executive Director of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors says that dropping this rule is going to put lives at risk.

In 2008, the state sprinkler rule went into effect for 3-20 unit buildings built after January 1, 2011.  The Wisconsin Builders Association challenged the rule.  The state Court of Appeals determined the agency had the authority to set the rule because they had a broader authority at the time.

Related:  Fire Sprinkler Stops Fire at Apartment Complex

Brad Boycks, the Wisconsin Builders Association Executive Director said that he opposes the sprinkler rule because it drives up the cost of constructing apartment complexes.

What is your opinion?

What matters more?  The cost of construction increasing or the possible loss of lives?  Comment below.