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Fire Sprinkler Mandate

We are facing a big challenge, and we need your help!

On Friday, June 28th, the Illinois State Fire Marshal filed a proposed rule that would have the effect of requiring all new single family homes to have fire sprinkler systems.  The proposed rule would also impose new retroftting requirements for high-rise buildings. 

We want to inform all legislators of our strong opposition to this proposed rule, even though rules are subject to review by only the 12 legislative members of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). However, we think that ALL legislators should be aware of a rule imposing a mandate this significant. 


Here is a listing of the members of JCAR.  If your legislator is on JCAR, your communication with them is obviously critical, and you should get as many of your colleagues as possible to join the fight.  But even if your legislator is not on JCAR, please click the "Take Action" button ( to the the right side of this screen) to automatically send the email below to your legislators asking for their help in keeping this huge policy decision from being made through the very limited agency rulemaking process.
For additional information on this issue, please click the links below:

Please help defeat proposed JCAR rules!

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing you today regarding the proposed rules from the Office of the State Fire Marshal that were filed and published in the Illinois Register on June 28, 2013.

As a REALTOR®, I work with families looking to purchase a home to call their own. Requiring mandatory fire sprinklers in every newly constructed home would directly affect families in your district and price many of them out of the market. The real estate market is picking up and doing better; however, mandatory fire sprinklers would devastate the new home market. New federal lending mandates require homebuyers to come up with a substantially higher downpayment and layering the costs of a fire sprinkler system would be a serious and unnecessary additional regulatory burden.

IAR research shows that a sprinkler system installed in construction of a 3,100 square foot home would be more than $10,300. Further, surveys of Illinois residents show that this mandate is hugely unpopular with homeowners who prefer the option to make their OWN DECISION about the inclusion of a residential fire sprinkler system when constructing a new home. Weighing the ongoing maintenance costs, risks and benefits should be done by the consumer. This decision should not be imposed by governmental mandate.

The Illinois Association of REALTORS has successfully fought the mandate in municipalities that have proposed this by ordinance throughout Illinois. Today's new homes have improved standard safety features, including: fire retardant materials; safer heating and electrical design; framing and blocking techniques; better planned egress; and the installation of interconnected hardwired smoke/fire detectors. The proposal by the State Fire Marshal would impose this significant public policy change by RULE not legislation and would apply it STATEWIDE.

There are ALSO onerous retrofit mandates imposed by these rules for high rise residential buildings, even those buildings that already meet locally approved stringent safety requirements. This mandate will result in significant new assessments on owners and residents.

These changes are NOT BEFORE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY but pending before the 12-member legislative panel of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). PLEASE TELL THE MEMBERS OF JCAR TO EITHER VOTE TO PROHIBIT THE RULES OR URGE THE FIRE MARSHAL TO WITHDRAW THE PROPOSED RULES.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]


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