H.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 require the installation of residential fire sprinklers in one- and two-family dwellings, except to meet fire fighting road access or water supply requirements. Because of the reliability and effectiveness of residential fire sprinklers in suppressing a fire in its initial stages, national residential building codes have required these sprinklers since 2009.

The legislature also finds that a prohibition of any measure that may be considered and adopted at the local level to improve and enhance fire survivability and reduce fire losses of community residents by eighty per cent is not in the best interest of public health and safety. Residential fire sprinklers greatly reduce the spread of fire, thereby significantly lessening property damage and loss. The legislature further finds that the intensity, severity, and spread of fire in residential buildings are directly related to building contents and furnishings and, although improvements have been made in building construction, design, and materials, the volatility and toxicity of today's synthetic materials allow untenable conditions to be reached more rapidly. Moreover, the legislature recognizes that the respective counties face unique challenges and issues relating to fire protection, including population density, proximity of structures, infrastructure, access, and limited fire protection resources.

Accordingly, this Act recognizes and re-establishes individual county authority or "home rule" as to appropriate or applicable requirements. This concept is recognized, acknowledged, and supported by the evidence presented in the National Fire Protection Association's Fire Sprinkler Initiative. The Fire Sprinkler Initiative's report on legislation and adoptions notes that two states, California and Maryland, have statewide requirements for residential fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family dwellings. However, the report also notes that eighteen states have no statewide requirements but allow local jurisdictions to require residential fire sprinklers. Additionally, the state building code council, established in 2007, is responsible for reviewing and adopting the latest editions of national model building codes for the State. The council is also the forum for discussion by building code experts from the various fields of building design, construction, safety, and health.

Finally, the legislature notes that on November 13, 2018, the state building code council adopted the state residential code, which requires all construction of new one- and two-family dwellings in the State to have residential fire sprinklers installed.

Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to repeal section 46‑19.8, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and Act 53, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017, which amended section 46-19.8, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

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. Act 53, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017, is repealed.

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.





By Request



Report Title:

State Fire Council Package; Fire Safety; Sprinklers



Repeals section 46-19.8, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and Act 53, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017, which prohibited the counties from adopting codes and regulations that would require the installation or retrofitting of residential fire sprinklers in one- and two-family dwellings and other types of structures.




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