Dog Kennel

In August 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Public Act 101-0210, amending the Animal Welfare Act to add Section 18.2: “A kennel operator that maintains dogs or cats for boarding and that is not staffed at all times dogs or cats are on the premises shall be equipped with at least one fire alarm system or fire sprinkler system in operating condition in every building of the kennel operator that is used for the housing of animals.” The legislation was in response to a tragic fire that killed nearly 30 dogs in a kennel operation in DuPage County near West Chicago in January 2019.

While the law became effective January 1, 2020, the Department of Agriculture, which oversees requirements in the Animal Welfare Act, had not immediately determined what type of fire sprinkler system could be used.

Now, according to Administrative Code effective May 28, 2020, the type of fire sprinkler system was recently clarified. The definitions in Section 25.10 state:

“”Fire Sprinkler System” means one of the following systems that automatically trigger a notification to local emergency responders when activated:

Any water-based automatic fire extinguishing system employing fire sprinklers. The sprinkler system shall be designed in accordance with NFPA 13 (Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems (2013)) and NFPA 101 (Life Safety Code (2015))… “Fire sprinkler system” includes accessory fire pumps and assorted piping, fire standpipes, or underground fire main systems starting at the connection to the water service after the approved backflow device is installed under the requirements of the Illinois Plumbing Code (77 Ill. Adm. Code 890) (Code) and ending at the most remote fire sprinkler; or sprinkler heads that are in a loop of the potable water system, as described in Sections 890.1130 and 890.1200 of the Code.”

Additionally, if a fire sprinkler system(s) is installed, according to Section 25.145,“the kennel operator shall provide a picture and description of the make and model of the system and if the system has been inspected by a qualified fire inspector, a copy of the inspection report.”

“If, during a routine inspection, a qualified fire inspector determines that the kennel operator does not have a fire alarm system or fire sprinkler system, the inspector may inform the Department [of Agriculture].”