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House Passes Bill Requiring Public Input Before Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems Can be Added to Local Building Codes

Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State House of Representatives today passed legislation supporting local homeowners, buyers and builders by requiring local municipalities and boroughs to hold public meetings before enacting residential fire sprinkler systems guidelines to their building codes. The House Labor & Commerce Committee sponsored the bill, HB 130, which carries two key requirements before municipalities can adopt codes mandating the multi-thousand dollar systems:

- At least 30 days prior to the first public hearing, publish a summary of the ordinance and notice the time and place of each scheduled public hearing;

- Hold three public hearings within not less than a 60-day period and not more than 180-day period.

Committee Chair Kurt Olson, R-Kenai, says the bill is in response to a national movement requiring fire sprinkler systems in one and two-family dwellings. “Alaskan homeowners and builders deserve to have a say in governments hoisting burdensome regulations upon them,” Olson said. “HB 130 requires a public process to let residents’ input be heard in the decision-making process. We all support the broad public safety goal residential fire sprinkler systems represent. The bill does not prohibit their use or inclusion in the codes; it just assures public awareness and participation in the process.”

HB 130, which passed by a vote of 33 to four, now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

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