Pennsylvania Governor Corbett has signed, House Bill 377 (HB 377) into law. The new law repeals the sprinkler mandate that became effective on January 1, 2011 that required builders to install sprinkler systems in all new single- and two-family homes.

Under the new law, builders must provide homebuyers with the option to install a sprinkler system and inform them of the benefits of sprinklers. The state code already requires hard-wired smoke detectors be installed in new homes. If a homebuyer opts not to install sprinklers, the home must be built with extra fireproof material on the floor boards in order to slow the spread of fire.

The new law has a retroactive effect to January 1, 2011. Thus, under the new law, homebuyers who were granted building permits after January 1, 2011 that required the installation of sprinklers are no longer required to install them.

HB 377 also sets a supermajority requirement for future votes by a state board to change the state’s Uniform Construction Code.

If you have any questions please contact Steve Williams at (717) 234-5530 or swilliams@cohenseglias.com, or the Cohen Seglias attorney with whom you normally consult.