The purpose of this memorandum is to remind all heads of fire departments about the obligation to enforce the new sprinkler law for certain nightclubs, dance halls discotheques and bars. This law was a central component of the Fire Safety Act of 2004, a comprehensive set of building and fire safety laws enacted as a result of the horrific R.I. nightclub fire which took the lives of 100 persons.
According to this law, such establishments were required to submit plans for such sprinkler 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). Installations are required to be completed within 3 years of the effective date of the law (November 15, 2007).
It appears that many fire departments in the Commonwealth have taken proactive enforcement action by determining which buildings are subject to the law and issuing the appropriate Order of Notice to owners of the building. With respect to those departments that have not taken any action, I urge you to initiate appropriate action forthwith in order to properly notify owners of their obligations. Sprinkler system installation can involve substantial technical development and financial obligation. Appropriate action must be taken immediately to give owners sufficient notice in order for them to meet the November 2007 installation deadline.
You may 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.