House Committee Appears Set to Pass Sprinkler Bill

The House Environmental Matters Committee may vote out a bill today that would require the use of sprinkler systems in townhouses and one and two family dwellings.  As introduced, the bill prohibited a local government from adopting local amendments to the Maryland Building Performance Standards if the local amendments “weaken fire and life safety provisions” contained in the Standards.  MACo opposed the bill, arguing in its testimony that it was overly broad and could potentially remove any ability of a local government to amend the Standards.  Since the initial bill hearing, the bill has been amended to only apply to sprinkler systems.  The bill has the support of the State Fire Marshal, as well as the Maryland State Firemen’s Association.

The Senate version of the bill will be heard on March 6.

UPDATE 2012-02-24:  The House Environmental Matters Committee has held the bill until its voting session next week.

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