New codes to spur sprinkler installation

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Saturday, March 1, 2003

RALEIGH, N.C. - The adoption of the International Building Code by state regulators here that calls for more stringent usage of fire sprinklers will likely mean more business for sprinkler installers in the state, as the state moves to phase out the use of the Southern Building Code.

The International Building Code, which became effective Jan. 1, mandates the use of sprinklers in certain buildings, such as multi-family apartment buildings that are more than two stories and more than 16 units, said Steve Hensley, president and general manager of Associated Sprinkler in Greensboro.

“It should increase business for us,” Hensley said. “One of the driving forces behind this is that sprinklers have a proven record of protecting property and lives and writers of codes and building officials have recognized that.”

Under the IBC, church buildings that seat more than 300 people need to have sprinklers, although the General Assemblywill vote on an amendment later this year.

The state has used the Southern Building Code since 1978.