Q: Has the law changed on the fire sprinkler retrofit requirement for high rise condominiums?
J.M., Fort Pierce
A: Yes. Section 718.112 of the Condominium Act was amended as of July 1, 2019. It was clarified that a high-rise condominium building is a building where the highest occupiable level is greater than 75 feet measured from the lowest level of fire department access. High rise condominiums must comply with fire sprinkler retrofit and Emergency Life Safety System (ELSS) requirements of the Fire Code by January 1, 2024. The compliance date used to be December 31, 2019 but it has now been extended. Additionally, the ability to opt out of the fire sprinkler retro fit requirement which expired on December 31, 2016 has now been reopened. So, a high-rise Condominium may still avoid having to meet the requirements for fire sprinkler retrofitting if a majority of the total voting interests vote to “opt out” before January 1, 2024. NOTE: The new law still does not allow an Association to opt out of complying with ELSS requirements which may themselves still require fire sprinklers depending on the design of the building.
Richard D. DeBoest, II, Esq. is co-founder and shareholder of the Law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC. T o ask questions about your issues for future columns, send your inquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.