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Pickett Votes to Repeal Costly Mandate on New Homes

To relieve the burden of a costly new mandate on new residential buildings, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) voted this week to repeal the requirement of automatic sprinkler systems in new home construction. 

“As of Jan. 1, all new homes have been required to install expensive sprinkler systems under the state’s building code,” said Pickett. “While I understand the concerns of firefighters that safety must be at the forefront, I believe that this requirement poses an undue hardship upon rural communities without a public water system. New home builders not only will have to install sprinkler systems, but they will need to set up water tanks and municipal water systems must ensure that water pressure is adequate to operate the systems. 

“The sprinkler systems are estimated to add $5,000 to $20,000 to the purchase price of a new home,” Pickett continued. “That type of expense is discouraging many families from building and stalling the homebuilding industry at a time when our state’s housing market is trying to recover from the recent economic downturn.” 

House Bill 377, which passed the House 154-39 on Monday, removes the residential sprinkler requirement from new one- and two-family residential homes.  

“In this day and age of excessive government regulations, new homeowners should be afforded the option of including sprinkler systems in their homes, not to have it forced upon them,” Pickett said. 

The legislation now heads to the state Senate for consideration. 

State Representative Tina Pickett
110th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Jennifer Keaton

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