S.B. NO.














relating to public safety.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that Act 53, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017, extended the prohibition of the adoption of any codes or regulations by the counties that requires the installation of residential fire sprinklers in one- or two-family dwellings, except to meet firefighting road access or water supply requirements.  Because of their reliability and effectiveness in suppressing a fire in its initial stages, both national residential building codes have required residential fire sprinklers since 2009.

     The legislature also finds that it is against the best interest of public health and safety to prohibit any local measure that may reduce fire losses and improve the fire survivability of community residents by eighty per cent.  Further, residential fire sprinklers greatly reduce the spread of fire, thereby significantly lessening property damage and loss.  The legislature also finds that the intensity, severity, and the spread of fire in residential buildings is directly related to the contents and furnishings of buildings, and although improvements have been made in building construction, design, and materials, the volatility and toxicity of today's synthetic materials allows untenable conditions to be reached more rapidly.

     The legislature further finds that the respective county jurisdictions face unique challenges and issues relating to fire protection, including population density, proximity of structures, infrastructure, access, and limited fire protection resources.  Therefore, this Act recognizes and establishes individual county authority, or "home rule," as the appropriate application of requirements.  Home rule is recognized, acknowledged, and supported by the evidence presented by the National Fire Protection Association’s fire sprinkler initiative.  While California and Maryland have statewide requirements for residential fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family dwellings, eighteen states have no statewide requirements, allowing local jurisdictions to require residential fire sprinklers.  Additionally, the state building code council, which was created in 2007, is responsible for reviewing and adopting the latest editions of national model building codes for the State and it is the forum building code experts use to discuss the various fields of building design, construction, safety, and health.  On November 13, 2018, the state building code council adopted the state residential code that requires all State construction of new one- and two-family dwellings to install residential fire sprinklers.

     SECTION 2.  Section 46-19.8, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.

     ["[§46‑19.8]  Fire sprinklers; residences.  No county shall require the installation or retrofitting of automatic fire sprinklers or an automatic fire sprinkler system in:

     (1)  Any new or existing detached one- or two-family dwelling unit in a structure used only for residential purposes; and

     (2)  Nonresidential agricultural and aquacultural buildings and structures located outside an urban area;

provided that this section shall not apply to new homes that require a variance from access road or firefighting water supply requirements."]

     SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.





By Request



Report Title:

State Fire Council Package; Public Safety; Fire Protection; Sprinklers



Authorizes the counties to adopt codes and regulations that would require the installation of residential fire protection sprinkler systems and re-establishes the county "home rule" concept.




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