With Harford County Council Bill 11-51 enacted into law, any new one- and two-family dwellings will now have to be built with automatic residential fire sprinkler systems.
The bill was an update to its building and mechanical codes to the applicable 2012 International Codes, which took effect Sunday.
The 2012 I-Codes is applicable to building and mechanical permits that are applied for on or after July 1, including the new requirement locally for installation of an automatic residential fire sprinkler system in new one- and two-family dwellings.
The county's code had already required fire suppression sprinkler systems be installed in new townhouses and multi-family units. Extending the requirement to single family homes had been controversial, with opponents saying the cost would be prohibitive for many prospective buyers, especially for homes built in rural areas using wells instead of public water.
According to the Harford County Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits, the adoption of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, or IECC, means numerous changes in achieving compliance with the code. The department has been formulating new policies regarding how to demonstrate compliance. The provisions of the 2012 IECC are intended to increase energy efficiency by a minimum of 15 percent over the 2009 edition.
The Maryland Accessibility Code also has been updated to comply with 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The new standards took effect Jan. 1, and all permit applications since are required to comply, according to the county.
The department of inspections, licenses and permits website, http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/dilp has been updated to reflect new codes and regulations. Also, the Building Services Division web page has been updated with links to the local amendments to the adopted codes, the 2009 and 2012 I-Codes, and to the Maryland Accessibility Code.
Questions regarding the adoption of the applicable 2012 International Codes for Harford County can be directed to 410-638-3366 or email@example.com.