Illinois State Fire Marshal Withdraws Proposed Rules Containing Fire Sprinkler Requirements

On August 2nd, Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis issued a statement regarding the June 28th proposal of the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to update Illinois’ fire safety code for the first time in more than a decade. The proposed rule to update the current 2000 edition of NFPA 101: Life Safety Code to the 2012 edition will no longer be considered in front of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) at this time.

“After months of study into how we can better protect the lives and property of Illinois residents, I directed my office to draft Illinois’ first fire code update in 11 years.

As the brave first responders alongside whom I have served during four decades in fire protection know, Illinois needs 21st century fire safety standards.

Since we began this process, we conducted numerous meetings with local officials, legislators, fire safety professionals, community leaders and residents who have all expressed a desire to strengthen Illinois’ fire safety.

We have received an unprecedented amount of public input and suggestions through emails, letters and public meetings.

In the course of this process, it’s become clear that any proposed state rule needs additional refinement.

Therefore today I am officially withdrawing the proposed rule before the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to take into account substantial public comment and carefully re-examine this issue.”

“Regardless of this action from the State Fire Marshal, the State’s current 2000 edition of the NFPA 101: Life Safety Code still has provisions requiring all existing high-rises to be retrofit with fire sprinklers. Also, those provisions were further supported by the James Lee Witt report findings from the fatal Cook County Administration Building high-rise fire in Chicago in 2003,” states Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board.

 

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