Statewide code planned for Ill.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

CHICAGO--In a move that many believe would benefit the fire industry, a legislative task force unanimously recommended that Illinois adopt a statewide building code.
The Task Force on Model Building Codes--made up of representatives from the fire industry as well as plumbers, architects, engineers and homebuilders--included Ed Bonifas, vice president of Alarm Detection Systems (see "Illinois looks to catch up," in the February issue of Security Systems News).
A unanimous recommendation "was my goal going into this ... No one in the group argued with the fact that the code was needed," Bonifas said.
Although the collar communities around this city have strict building codes, that is not the case downstate. The lack of codes makes the state difficult for builders, fire alarm installers and others to do business, he said.
The 50-page recommendation--which is now in the hands of the Illinois Legislature--talks about the merits of adopting the National Fire Protection Association code and the International Code Council code, but does not recommend which one the state should adopt.
"That's something the Legislature will have to decide," Bonifas said, when it addresses this issue.
"What we've heard is that a few legislators are interested in at least introducing the concept into legislative debate, probably next spring," said Dave Urbanek, manager of Division of Building for Capital Development Board, the state agency construction management arm for the state of Illinois.
"I think everyone recognized that this has a long way to go, but they want to start talking about it," Urbanek said.