Sprinkler Mandate Debated An article in the San Francisco Chronicle ("Sprinkler mandate debated," by Matthew Hamilton, 8/4/14) outlines a code debate in New York state that could set a precedent for other states: On one side are firefighters advocating for sprinkler systems for today's homes that use lighter-weight construction materials and are typically stocked with items that burn quickly. "In three to four minutes, houses are flashing over because of the heavy fuel load," said James Burns, president of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York. "They are collapsing on the ground before the fire service arrives." On the other side are contractors, who while advocating for safety say the cost of installing sprinkler systems would drive up the cost of homes and wreak havoc on the housing market. "People buy what they can afford," said State Builders Association Executive Vice President Lewis Dubuque. "People that can't afford to buy homes with sprinklers, they're going to be moving into homes that (sprinkler advocates) admit are unsafe." Homebuyers will pay at least a few thousand extra dollars extra to pay for sprinkler systems if the state accepts the new code. Meanwhile, the APA-The Engineered Wood Association is urging other alternatives for fire-safe homes. No doubt feeling the pressure from firefighters fingering "light-weight building materials," it recently published a report that provides several practical methods for the design and construction of fire-resistant floor assemblies built with wood I-joists: APA System Report SR-405: Fire Protection of Floors Constructed with Prefabricated Wood I-Joists for Compliance with the 2012 International Residential Code.
Jeffrey - yes I got to agree with you on the cost. Of course part of this is because both sides of an argument generally just love to exaggerate their claims by finding the worst or best case possible.
For your third paragraph - seriously? The fire sprinkler will save my life if one is stupid enough to not only walk into the room, but also to stay there & ignore the smoke detector? Wow... As an FYI fire hardly kills it is the smoke & since we are so big on saving lives - why in gods name do we install sprinklers in kitchens when most of those fires are caused by grease & the last thing you want to combat a grease fire with is water... Shall we also discuss electrical fires & water?
As for the final paragraph - I doubt it due to leaks, fire departments not turning down their pressure, etc... Natural resources - really? How many miles of pipe are needed in all these houses where only 1 in 10,000 or more may see a fire that might kick it off. Carbon usage - sorry I can't stop laughing on the absurdity of that claim