ADVISORY

To: All Heads of Fire Departments
From: Stephen D. Coan, State Fire Marshal
Date: May 1, 2006
Re: Sprinkler Plan Deadline/M.G.L. C.148 s. 26G-1/2

The purpose of this memorandum is to remind you about an important deadline relating to the implementation of the provisions of the law requiring an adequate system of automatic sprinklers in certain buildings designed or used as a nightclub, dancehall, discotheque, bar, or for similar entertainment purposes (M.G.L. c. 148, s.26G1/2; st. 2004, c.304).

Buildings subject to this law are required to install automatic sprinklers within 3 years of the effective date of the law (by November 15, 2007). Additionally, such buildings are required to submit plans for such installation to the head of the fire department and the building inspector within 18 months of the effective date (by May 15, 2006, [see section 11, st.2004, c.304]).

It appears that most fire departments in the Commonwealth have taken proactive enforcement action by issuing the required Order of Notice to owners of any building subject to this law. However, you are reminded that in such cases, plans should be filed by the May 15, 2006, deadline. If you desire to remind owners of the obligation to file plans, you should simply remind them of your previous Order of Notice and their obligation to file the plans by May 15, 2006. However, you should not re-issue a new Order of Notice, since such action may re-trigger a new right of appeal.

With respect to those persons who have filed an appeal of your Order to the Automatic Sprinkler Appeals Board, it should be noted that the filing of a valid and timely appeal generally stays or prevents you from continuing enforcement action, (including the requirement to submit the plans) pending the outcome of the appeal (see M.G.L. c.6, s.201)

You will find additional information about this important law by visiting the DFS or Automatic Sprinkler Appeals Board web site at www.mass.gov/dfs/index.shtm or by calling DFS at 978-567-3181.

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