New Hampshire has adopted National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Codes 2015 edition. (NFPA is another NGO).
NH State Law RSA 47:22 says:
RSA 47:22 Grant of Power – The board of mayor and aldermen, or the corresponding governmental body of any city, is hereby empowered and authorized in the passing and adopting of ordinances, establishing codes, rules and regulations for the construction of buildings, relating to the installation of plumbing, the use of concrete, masonry, metal, iron and wood, and other building material, the installation of electric wiring, and fire protection incident thereto or for the prevention of fires to adopt any additional regulations provided that the regulations are not less stringent than the requirements of the state building code under RSA 155-A or the state fire code under RSA 153; provided, that upon adoption of such ordinance wherein such code, rules and regulations or portions thereof have been incorporated by reference, there shall be filed 3 copies of such codes, rules and regulations in the main office of the municipal department or agency administering the same and 3 copies in the office of the city clerk. All copies of any code, rules and regulations filed as provided herein, shall be for use and examination by the public.
Using this law there are 64 NFPA codes referenced in the NFPA Life Safety Code 2015. The NFPA website offers these code books for sale. In researching the cost for the 64 code books, notwithstanding any group discount, is approximately $3,822.00 for the 64 Codes. The price per book varies in cost from $42.00 to as much as $102.50 per book.
According to Wikipedia there are 221 towns and 13 cities in New Hampshire. RSA 47:22 only applies to cities. When you apply RSA 47:22 which requires the six copies of each code referenced be available in our cities, that number goes to $20,772.00 per city. Now multiply that number by 13 and you get $270,036.00.
RSA 675:8 Filing of Zoning Ordinances, Historic District Ordinances, Building Codes, Subdivision Regulations, Site Plan Review Regulations, and Amendments – RSA 675:8 requires one copy shall be placed on file with the city, town, or village district clerk. When you take the number of towns 221 and multiply it by $3,822.00 you get $844,662. Added together you get $1,114,698.00 This is the statewide cost for adopting the NFPA Life Safety Code 2015 edition not counting the many other referenced publications. Who pays for this?
The New Hampshire Constitution Article 28a states: The state shall not mandate or assign any new, expanded or modified programs or responsibilities to any political subdivision in such a way as to necessitate additional local expenditures by the political subdivision unless such programs or responsibilities are fully funded by the state or unless such programs or responsibilities are approved by a vote of the local legislative body of the political subdivision.
NFPA Life Safety Code 2015 version is also being mandated by the Office of the State Fire Marshall.
Is the adoption of NFPA Life Safety Code unconstitutional? If not, who should pay for what I believe is an unfunded mandate? If your town has already voted to adopt either NFPA Life Safety Code 2015 or NFPA-1 Fire Safety Code 2015 ask them to view the code books in cities as required by RSA 47:22 and in towns as required by RSA 675:8.