Contact Us

Fire Officials Push To Have All Pittsburgh Buildings Retrofitted With Sprinkler Systems


In the wake of the Midtown Towers apartment fire that killed a Pittsburgh woman in the spring of 2017, BOMA Pittsburgh Executive Director Mike Embrescia has been in talks with Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones about pushing for all Pittsburgh buildings of certain height to be retrofitted with sprinklers.

Fire officials believe the woman would have survived if the building had a sprinkler system, KDKA reports. Sprinkler systems have long been known for containing and suppressing fires, limiting their danger. 

Under existing state and local fire codes, new buildings must have sprinklers. Also, buildings undergoing extensive renovation must be equipped with systems. But sprinklers are not required in any building constructed before 1990.

“Let’s find a way to assist the chief, assist the fire department in their efforts to fully sprinkler all the Downtown buildings,” Embrescia said.

The expense of the retrofit is the main obstacle. To help deal with that, it is possible that any new requirements would be for buildings over 70 feet, or that the deadline for installation would be as much as nine years. Tax incentives are also possible.