Fire Sprinkler Retrofitting

Ellis_Jonathon

Jon Ellis

As you may be aware, the deadline for condominium associations to vote to forego retrofitting with a fire sprinkler system is rapidly approaching.

Section 718.112(2)(l), Florida Statutes, requires certain condominium associations to retrofit their common elements, association property, and units with a fire sprinkler system in accordance with Chapter 633 (“Florida’s Fire Prevention Code”) and any other code, statute, ordinance, administrative rule, or regulation relating to a fire sprinkler system. Compliance may require substantial costs.  To the extent an association falls within the statutory requirement to retrofit its fire sprinkler system and does not desire to undertake such project, the association can opt out of the requirement to retrofit.  To opt out, an association must obtain the affirmative vote of a majority of all voting interests in the association by December 31, 2016.  § 718.112(2)(l), Fla. Stat. If an association is not in compliance with all applicable fire sprinkler system requirements and has not conducted the membership vote to forego retrofitting with such a system by the end of 2016, the association must initiate an application for a building permit for the required installation.  § 718.112(2)(l), Fla. Stat.  Given the significant cost associated with an association having to retrofit its common elements, association property or units with a fire sprinkler system, we recommend your association either consult with a qualified professional to determine whether the association’s facilities are in compliance or consider conducting the proper membership vote to forego any such retrofitting requirement before the end of the year.

Pursuant to section 718.112(2)(l), Florida Statutes, “a certificate of compliance from a licensed electrical contractor or electrician may be accepted by the association’s board as evidence of compliance of the condominium units with the applicable fire and life safety code[.]”

If you would like assistance in contacting a qualified professional to determine whether your condominium is required to retrofit the common elements, association property, or units with a fire sprinkler system, or if you would like assistance in preparing the necessary documents to conduct a membership vote to forego any requirement to retrofit with a fire sprinkler system, please do not hesitate to contact our office.