For almost 20 years, all new high-rise residential condominium construction requires that such buildings be protected from fires by sprinkler systems. Beginning almost 18 years ago, the legislature set out to require that existing buildings be retrofitted. Over the years, deadlines have been legislatively set, and then moved back multiple times. Governors Bush, Crist, and Scott have all vetoed bills to eliminate or weaken the requirement to retrofit these buildings. Current law says that these high-rise residential structures must be retrofitted by December 31, 2019. The 2017 London Grenfell Tower Fire which killed 72 people occurred in a 24-story building originally constructed in the 1970’s is instructive, as most observers agree had the building been retrofitted with sprinklers this tragedy could have been avoided.
This legislation attempts to come up with a reasonable solution to this problem by granting yet more time, while providing more affordable options, but requiring that deadlines be met.
OPPOSE HB 647 BY GRIECO and SB 1152 by PIZZO that would allow condominiums to vote to permanently opt out of both the sprinkler and life safety engineering retrofit requirement.
The bill does the following: