One Requires; Two Consider

A couple of links I thought I’d pass along.

WJZ-TV reports [story here] the Talbot County Council approved a bill requiring sprinklers in new, and significantly renovated homes. The sprinkler requirement in renovations will be phased.

Under the bill, sprinklers will be required as of March 1 in new one-and two-family homes. They’ll be required in existing homes undergoing construction or renovation of more than 65 percent of the home until July 2009. After that date it will be required for renovations of more than half of a home.”

The other two links are to articles where jurisdictions are considering a residential fire sprinkler requirement.

The first is from CBS-47 in Fresno, CA [story here].

County Supervisor Henry Perea is proposing a new code to require sprinklers in all new construction in Fresno County including homes. Local firefighter officials claim the sprinklers save lives and would make a huge difference in rural areas where a fire response can take up to 20 minutes.

It’s hard to forget the tears of a grieving mother. In February Ana and Ruvi Escalante died in a house fire in the Fresno County area of Calwa. The tragedy affected the whole community.”

And finally, Hickory Hills in Southern Chicago is considering a sprinkler requirement in new and renovated homes. The story comes from Daily Southtown. Hickory Hills is doing their homework for sure;

Aldermen are discussing when it would be fair to make existing home owners, doing renovation or remodeling work, to install the devices.

‘If someone is gutting their house, tearing out all the dry wall, then I would have no problem having them install a sprinkling system,’ building commissioner Gordon Betcher said. ‘But not if a guy is just putting an extension on his house.’

‘We need to find a clear line of demarcation between a complete gutting and just an addition,’ Mayor Mike Howley said.

Ald. John Moirano (1st) said the city must establish a consistent policy and not leave the matter to the discretion of the building commissioner or future building commissioners.

‘We need a fair playing field,” Betcher said. ‘If new homes have to install sprinklers, then people totally rebuilding old houses have to do it, too.’

Some aldermen favor enforcing sprinkler installation if 50 percent or more square footage of a residence is being rebuilt. Others are considering measuring in dollars, making sprinklers mandatory if 25 percent or more in the reproduction cost of the house is spent in rebuilding. Both measures are being considered.”


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