Residential Fire Sprinkler Battle Still Ablaze
Getting home fire sprinklers added to the 2009 International Residential Code wasn't easy. Opponents are still fighting to remove that requirement from the code, and NFPA and its allies have readied their arguments for hearings next month.
Code development hearings of the International Code Council set for Oct. 24-31 and Nov. 4-11 at a Hilton hotel in Baltimore will include the latest bout between advocates of residential fire sprinklers and their foes, notably the National Association of Home Builders. Four proposals to remove the requirement for home fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes from the 2009 International Residential Code will be considered at those hearings.
NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Coalition has prepared seven pages of responses to the proposals, which are featured on pages 96-100 of this document. NFPA's coalition says the arguments by sprinkler opponents are based on false statements and premises or misleading statements of the benefits sprinklers offer and their potential drawbacks. "The fact is that home fire sprinklers save lives and protect property from destruction by responding quickly and effectively to the presence of a nearby fire. In fact, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present. Sprinklers also reduce the average property loss by about 71 percent per fire," according to the coalition.
NFPA urges ICC members to attend the hearings and vote no on the anti-sprinkler proposals.