Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 611

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 611, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to repeal the June 30, 2017, sunset date of Act 83, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012, which prohibits counties from requiring installation or retrofitting of automatic fire sprinklers in:


(1) New or existing detached one- or two-family dwelling units used only for residential purposes; and


(2) Non-residential agricultural and aquacultural structures located outside an urban area.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Building Industry Association of Hawaii, Hawaii Association of REALTORS, Complete Construction Services Corp., Servco Home and Appliance Distribution, Graham Builders, and Homeworks Construction, Inc. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the State Fire Council; Maui Fire Department; and Hawaii Fire Fighters Association, Local 1463, IAAF, AFL-CIO. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of the Mayor, Hawaii County.

Your Committee finds that placing undue burdens on property owners in the State does not promote the public welfare. Retrofitting or installing automatic fire sprinklers in certain structures can be difficult and costly. Moreover, requiring owners or builders to install automatic fire sprinklers would likely cause rents and the costs of homes to rise. Given the untenable affordable housing shortage across the State, county action requiring the installation of automatic fire sprinklers could have devastating effects.


While your Committee acknowledges the concerns raised by those involved in the firefighting industry regarding enhanced prevention of fire-related injury and property loss, your Committee finds that it has not been adequately demonstrated that automatic fire sprinklers should be required in the types of dwellings this measure would permanently exempt from any automatic fire sprinkler requirement. Therefore, your Committee finds that repealing the sunset date of Act 83, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012, is appropriate at this time and notes that the proponents of the mandatory installation or retrofitting of automatic fire sprinklers in residential dwelling units may present a stronger justification for their position to the Legislature in the future.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 611, S.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,