Debate over residential fire sprinklers in Indiana rages on

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INDIANAPOLIS — One picture the Gordon’s still have burning in their memory is how quickly the fire moved through their house.

“The fire moved so fast,” said Geanne Gordon.  “And we watched the fire move from the screened in porch into the kitchen. Then the front dining room window blew out.”

“So immediately you knew it didn’t take long to just say this is gone,” said Bob Gordon.

But now as the Gordon’s rebuild some people believe residential fire sprinklers should be a required part of their new home.

‪As a former chief deputy with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Mark Riffey believes in residential fire sprinklers.

“These sprinklers have an activation time similar to that of a smoke detector,” said Riffey.  “They operate immediately when the fire happens.”

“These are designed to prevent what we call flash over. These sprinklers are designed to provide you time to get up in the event of a fire and get out.”

Now Riffey is the Vice President of Ryan Fire Protection and installs home sprinkler systems. He’s also lobbying to make sprinklers mandatory in new home construction in Indiana.

“It’s the difference between surviving in a fire and perishing in one,” Riffey said.

‪But, Riffey has a battle on his hands. Builders don’t want to be forced to put in sprinkler systems.

‪Rick Wajda is the CEO of the Indiana Builders Association.

‪He’s lobbying against mandatory residential sprinklers in new home construction.

‪”We are not opposed to fire sprinklers in homes,” said Wajda.  “We are opposed to them being mandated in a minimum statewide building code.”

‪Wajda says new homes with the current building codes and fire walls are safer than ever.

“For example smoke detectors are hard wired and interconnected in new homes built in the State of Indiana,” Wajda said.

‪He says a big reason Indiana home builders are against mandatory fire sprinkler installation is because of the cost.

“‪We have seen from estimates out in the field that adding a fire sparkler system to a single family residence would cost Hoosier families anywhere between from $6000 to $13,000 per house,” Wajda said.  “That is a price that would price out thousands of Hoosiers across the state from affording a new home.”

‪But Riffey says you can’t put a cost on safety and believes the technology is ready now to make homes safer.

Indianapolis resident Tony Knoble put fire sprinklers in his home when remodeled.

“They’re pretty nondescript,” said Knoble.  “They blend in real nice.”

Knoble says it buys him piece of mind.

“The goal of those is to contain the fire and let you get out so you know it’s just one more added layer of safety and security,” Knoble said.

The Gordon’s don’t know if fire sprinklers would have made a difference for them.

“In terms of the sprinklers slowing the fire and saving lives that could be a benefit,” Bob said.  “If anyone is thinking it will diminish loss I’m not certain.”

But, the Gordon’s say their new house will have three times as many smoke alarms.

Right now it looks like this debate will rage on.  Senate Bill 512 that would address making residential fire sprinklers mandatory in new home construction in Indiana probably won’t get a hearing this year.

Riffey says he’ll be lobbying the legislature again next year and year after to one day make it a reality.

Right now only California and Maryland have adopted the new standards.

65 comments

    • Kurt

      Actually, if you look into the Phoenix area, which has required residential sprinklers for many years, there are cost saving that can be realized from reduced numbers of fire stations and firefighters. You know, government empolyees and goverment equipment expenses…. I guess the nanny state should quit meddling in peoples affair and let builders install cardboard tube natural gas lines and exposed electrical connections. While there is a debate to be had in all code enforcement issues, intelligent contributions would be the most helpful, RedStateVet. I would rather local code enforcement focus on safety issues like this versus setback requirements, minimum green space, and other appearance related cost adders.

      • ClanSmokeJaguar

        Kurt, this isn't Phoenix and if people want sprinklers there are companies that will install them as homes are built and after they are built.

  • PPBonnell

    Oh yeah, Land of the "Free". Wasn't Jackson that said, "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
    Get out my life you do not belong.

  • Kent

    Of course Mark Riffey wants this to be mandatory in new home construction. He is the owner of a fire protection company. What this country needs is less of these special interest lobbyists and mor allowing of the people to make their own decisions. Quit looking over my shoulder "big brother".

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      The GA, if it passes this, should exclude his company or entity he is attached to from installing the sprinklers.

      It'll be interesting to see whose pocket he put $$$ in to get this bullsheet even considered.

      • Michael

        Mark Riffey does not own the company he simply works for them and believes in what he preaches. I hope you are never in a fire as I have been and have seen how fast things can go up in smoke.

        I was severly injured in a fire years ago trying to save a neighbor and still have the scars to prove it. I know how much it would have saved my neighbor if they would have this sprinkler system, as well as, my medical bills for intervening.

        It is a cost to put this in; your family's life or the cost. What means the most to you?

      • ClanSmokeJaguar

        >Mark Riffey does not own the company he simply works for them

        Oh! Then that changes my mind regarding conflict of interest with Riffey. <-sarcasm

        >What means the most to you?

        It means the government telling me, yet again, what is best for me with regard to the concerns of big business.

        In other words let me frame this for you: Big business is telling you this is needed not out of concern for you and any other would-be heros, but for the sake of the dollar.

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    >Tony Knoble

    Tony, if the sprinklers malfunction you need to check with your insurer to see if they will cover "flood damage." Chances are they will not unless you purchase a special endorsement on your policy, probably negating any savings for having a sprinkler system.

    • Phil

      Which is more costly in the event of a fire:

      Fire Sprinkler: avg 341 gallons to control a fire, most of the time a fire is extinguished before the fire department even arrives.
      Fire Department: 2,935 gallons to extinguish a fire.

      Sprinkler systems are just like any other plumbing system, while leaks can happen they are not very common.

      • ClanSmokeJaguar

        Which event pads the pockets of a lobbyist, disguising his business interest as community interests?

        And what's even more rare than a sprinkler aka plumbing leak?

        A fire.

        lol

      • Mr Robertson

        "Sprinkler systems are just like any other plumbing system, while leaks can happen they are not very common"

        Leaks are not very common nor is a fire in a newly constructed home. Less than 1/2 of 1% chance according to a study done in SUPPORT of the NFPA Mission. (Page 37)

  • Abathar

    ""Now Riffey is the Vice President of Ryan Fire Protection and installs home sprinkler systems. He’s also lobbying to make sprinklers mandatory in new home construction in Indiana.""

    No conflict of interest here, just move along sheeple and stay inside the lines…

  • John Browning

    I like residential sprinkler systems. Had I done the research back when I built my home that I have now, I would have had them installed then.

    That being said, that was my CHOICE not to put them in. I should still have that choice.

    While we are mandating sprinkler systems, lets require people to have basements, security systems, and safe rooms. Those all keep people safe… why not? That was sarcasm in case your meter is broken.

    • Mr Robertson

      "misconceptions wrong" = right or correct in his thoughts.

      fire sprinkler initiative AND firesprinkler.org are bias sites by those that benefit financially.

      • JReap

        Funny, you cite Fire Protection Research Foundation below. That is just as much a part of NFPA as Fire Sprinkler Initiative which you dismiss in this thread. Convenient

  • JReap

    Here is what has changed since a generation ago:
    1. Engineered lumber products – very strong and less expensive than traditional dimensional lumber BUT fail under fire conditions in a mere fraction of the time.
    2. Home furnishings – and virtually everything else we accumulate – have a very high synthetic content (think fuel) compared to far slower burning natural fibers.
    3. Open floor plans and soaring ceilings have replaced traditional compartmented layouts (think oxygen).
    Independent research by UL & NIST has determined that the net result of these factors is far more dangerous homes than homeowners understand. Consequently ALL the model building codes currently mandate residential fire sprinklers.
    Say nanny-state if you will, but at least understand the issue.

    • Mr Robertson

      JReap – to understand the issue you need to divuldge all the truth and just not part of it.

      your comments 1-3 are correct however, 1. seeing that fires burn UP not Down the fire would have to start in the basement to be a concern over floor joists as you state. 2 and 3: according to the Fire Protection Research Foundation the odds of a fire even starting is less than 1/2 of 1 percent. (page 37)

      Given the current construction codes for energy efficiency, there are documented cases that new homes are wrapped so tight that arson attempts have failed becasue the home owner shut the door when they left. In essence denying the fire enough oxygen to even stay ignited.

      This is a plumbers pipe fitters union / fire sprinkler company initiative. It may be in the code books but it has not stopped 32 states to write it out or keep it an option. Look at Missouri – been around for a while, less than a handful of homeowners have opted to put it in their homes.

      • JReap

        Funny, you cite Fire Protection Research Foundation below. That is just as much a part of NFPA as Fire Sprinkler Initiative which you dismiss in this thread. Convenient.

      • JReap

        So 264,540 residential fires annually are unimportant because the percentage is diluted by the vast number of total homes? Let's quit kidding, requiring sprinklers in homes over the long run will deprive the homebuilders of a hugely lucrative rebuild market.

      • mr. robertson

        NFPA's study not mine. Union wants the money more than builders do. If it is such a great thing then why FORCE it? Let the homeowner choose.

      • FireBuddy

        Yes Mr. Robertson the homebuilders have spent much money in many states lobbying against fire sprinklers and I am sure you contributed much $$$ as well. But sprinklers are in the code because new homes are not safe. The USFA just held a symposium where they described a significant increase in people dying in fires while attempting to escape. All of JREAPs comments are correct. You will be asked in court did you do everything possible to build a safe house followed with the question are you a member of the HBA that opposed fire sprinklers – open your wallet – no different than the lawsuits that came when the HBA opposed smoke detectors. And having been a fire marshal I can say firefighters have had attended all the code hearings and are actively promoting safe new homes.

      • mr. robertson

        No money from me. Not a builder either. Just smart enough to know that when the unions pay for firefighters to be sent to Minnisota in order to jam this code down the throats of unwitting home owners, …… Money is the ONLY motive.

        Smoke detectors work. Homes are safer now than ever before. To imply anything different is shameful.

        Let the state reps and city council members find out how serious this is when the voter sees the sprinkler TAX they have to pay on every new home due to special union interests.

      • FireBuddy

        You have you information wrong – ask the NAHB how many people they paid to travel to hearings to vote against sprinklers, arc-faults, and other items that would cost the builder money. You are totally wrong suggesting new homes are safe – do an Internet Serach of "Lightweight Construction Fire Safety" and then try and convince the world that the 1.3 million sites from this search even remotely suggest new homes are safe. Before you espouse a false attack YOU must get your facts correct.

      • smokedetectorbuddy

        Do these internet searches:

        Big Brother – 322 million hits
        How to stop fire sprinkelrs – 1.1 million hits
        Over priced homes dont sell – 2.1 million hits
        Homes are safer than ever – 12.9 million hits

        To imply that new homes are less safe is maliceous. Stop the fear mongering.
        OUR HOME OUR CHOICE!

      • mr. robertson

        Firebuddy gets another $1 for his paid post spreading fear and mis information. let the public know that according to FEMA, the number one cause of firefighters dieing in 2011 was health related. This includes volunteers.

        I can only atribute your posts to being ignorant to the facts or simply a paid advocate for the sprinkler industry. Your posts show up all over the midwest so my guess is the latter.

        Go away firebuddy…you are all wet.

      • JReap

        Firebuddy represents a point of view that you disagree with. Big deal. Mr Robertson, you are a compulsive final word junkie. So go ahead, put me in my place then give it a rest… please.

      • mr. robertson

        Passionate about the subject would be a better description. keep out oy house. the public is smart enough to CHOOSE what they want in their house.

        never rest, be diligent in your convictions.

      • commonsense

        Firebuddy also represents the fire sprinkler companies that have a financial interest in getting these forced into homes.

        Give him a few and he willl post a response. He will cut and paste from the other sites he is on.

  • Eric

    Interesting convo. Maybe a lobbyist pushing their own interests. But homes aren't built they way they used to be. Some things are awesome like TJI floor joists which hold more weight over a bigger span and allow plumbers and electricians to run their pipes/wires faster. They also burn faster than a 2×10 or piece of solid wood when they do catch fire. The IRC (International Residential Code) required fire sprinklers given a muriad of items in the homes that have changed over the years. (remember when we had real wood shelves in our closets instead of wire? – the wood slows the burn from the floor to the ceiling to allow fire fighters to get there). Check your furniture now and how fast it burns compared to furniture made 15 years ago. It all burns fast. Did anyone ask you how you wanted your furniture to be made or whether your stairs were made out of particle board/OSB? nope builders make houses cheaper and cheaper than ever before. Their lobbyists are a bazillion times bigger than this little fire sprinkler guy. I don't know which way is better. But I do know that the Home Builders Association lobby's for a lot of stuff in our homes that our grandparents would cry over.

    • mr. robertson

      The key thing to remember is builders already build safe homes. They want to keep them affordable also. If someone wants sprinklers they have had the ability to do so for decades. Homeowners have a RIGHT to put them in just as they have the RIGHT to buy solid wood furniture. Of course most dont because the furniture is too expensive. The HBA lobbies for affordabilty not unsafe practices.

      • JReap

        The first sentance above is misleading, in so far as code has required upgrade, homes are safer. Make no mistake, engineered wood trusses created a profit center for homebuilders at the expense of their customers safety in a fire scenario.

      • mr. robertson

        With less than 1/2 of 1 % chance of the fire starting in the home……. I will take the thousands saved in not installing a sprinkler system and get a life time supply of 9volt batteries for me and every neighbor around me. Smoke detectors save lives.

        To imply builders construct un safe homes is just ignorant.

  • JReap

    No special endorsement with State Farm (or anyone else as far as know). Insurance companies' actuarial analysis long ago determined that the benefit of fire sprinklers outweigh the extremely unlikely possibility of an accidental discharge. State Farm reduced my homeowners by 10% as a result of installing sprinklers in my home.

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      Again, what's even more unlikely than a plumbing leak (yes, sprinklers are plumbing) is a fire in your home.

      And if the plumbing does leak, the 10% discount won't cover the costs of your replacing flood damaged goods.

      But…whatever works for you!

  • FireBuddy

    An Internet search of "Lightweight Construction Fire Safety" will produce over 1.3 million sites that clearly dimension todays fire problems in new homes – the problem sprinklers were added to the national model code to mitigate. Homebuilders say no sprinklers then we should prohibit engineered wood, require fire rated ceilings in all basements, require fire rated overhangs outside all windows, restrict the size of great rooms – the list of positive features afforded the homebuilder is very long. The homebuilders cannot see the liability train coming – they lobby to build unsafe homes because of the want for a greater profit margin. If the State passed a law that seatbelts were not required in new cars would the car builders be exempt from liability? Hope but the lawyers will be too busy with the homebuilders.

    • mr. robertson

      States impose a long enough liability on builders as it is…some states hold builders responsoble for 15 years regardless of who owns the home. A sprinkler system is just another way for your sprinkler company and unions to make more money.

      Homes are safer today than ever before. To say they are not is simply shameful.

  • mr. robertson

    Firebuddy – a response to you in reference to a comment you made states away seems to say it all
    FireBud – It is called Smoke Alarms. stop by Menards or Lowes and pick a few up for $20.00 a piece. I will even buy you the batteries for $1.99. Over 98% of lives are saved in a fire if the smoke alarms work.'Is the consumer given the choice of lightweight construction or legacy products?' – So you are saying that the consumer should NOT have a choice to spend thousands of dollars on their home when the likely hood is less than 1/2 of 1 percent to even have a fire? 'Thus, if fire sprinklers are removed from the codes, so should lightweight construction products such as engineered wood and finger gusset plates used for structural support' – This is how the NFPA can claim such a low overall cost to sprinklers – Developers negotiated less fire stops in the home, higher density housing, moving fire hydrants further apart on the streets etc., etc in order to get to a lower cost. – trading one safety feature for another. Is this what you are after? 'One will quickly realize the national model code decision to require fire sprinklers was the least-cost option to address the fire safety concern clearly described in the 1 million plus sites from an Internet search.' – this is also the reason why 32 states nationally have written out sprinkelrs all together, or give the homeowner an OPTION to put them in. Is this the model you are refering to? 

  • FireBuddy

    Yes an NFPA report says you have a 99.4% chance of surviving a fire when smoke detectors are present but in the same sentence it says you have a 98.7% chance of surviving a fire if no smoke detector is present. What they are stating is every fire is not a fatal fire. The first fire I fought as a firefighter was a fatal fire – a 4-year old boy and the conditions were such a smoke detector would not have done any good. Your answer underscores you know nothing about residential sprinkler installation or costs. And the economic light is turning on as some of those states whose code adoption vote was influeneced by the HBA are now revisiting the bad decision.

    • Mr Robertson

      99%+ with and 98%+ without. your story teachs that the cost of installing a sprinkler is over rated. Use your $1 for posting for the fire sprinkler association and use it somewhere else. Based on your theory no one should have a pool in their back yard either. More deaths from those than fires in homes. stop being a fear monger.

      I know enough about sprinklers to know it isnt worth the cost AND should NEVER be FORCED onto the homeowner.

      You are correct in that the economic light is being turned on. turned onto the NFPA, Spinkler Association and the unions for trying to make a buck. The end cost lies on the shoulder of the Home owner and any city that opts to mandate this as less homes are built and less property taxes are paid.

      Home owners have ALWAYS had a CHOICE to put these in their homes why force it down their throats in order for you to make a buck. spend your money on educating the public. Not forcing them to have something that statistically no VOTING home owner wants.

      • Concerned Citizen

        Why are all of your replies about union contractors making a buck? There are plenty of non-union shops out there who do just the same quality of work.

        To say that sprinklers are expensive proves you know nothing about sprinklers.

        Accoring to the NAHB website a report posted Nov 1, 2011 (http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=169974) the average price to buy a newly constructed home was $310,619 for 2,311 sf of finished area.

        The average cost of installing a residential sprinkler system, again from the NAHB $2,465-$3,698, if we average that, $3,081 for an average 2,271 SF home. (http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=82243)

        If you do the math the cost of a sprinkler system on AVERAGE increases the new home cost by almost 1%.

        Smoke detectors do work and generally allow enough time for the building occupants to exit the structure. Fire sprinklers will only add to that time, not only will they add to the time but they will also reduce the amount of property damage either due to the fire or due to the fire department showing up and dumping thousands of gallons of water in your house.

        Since I know big numbers are hard for for alot of people to digest, break down the cost they give you (which are supposedly accurate) $6,000 for a say a 2,500 sf home, That breaks down to $2.40/SF. Walk around any building supply store and you will easily find flooring that can cost double or even triple that amount. Last time I checked flooring will not help save your life or property in the unlikely event of a home fire.

      • commonsense

        To answer your second question. Let's do some math. using even more conservitive numbers.
        100,000 homes built
        $300,000 avg value of home
        $2000 avg cost to install the sprinkler
        1/2 % chance of a fire
        1/2 of that number for the sprinkler to even go off
        100,000 homes X $2000 = $20 Million dollars in installation costs
        100,000 homes X 1/2% for a fire = 500 x 1/2 for the sprinklers to even go off = 250 Homes

        $20 million cost to install divided by 250 homes = $80,000 cost per spinkler that is set off.
        Of the 250 homes that have a sprinkler go off, according to Firebuddy (the paid blogger) over 99% of the 250 home owners would have gotten out of the house safe and sound with the simple use of working smoke detectors.

        Or another way to look at it is based (assuming total loss from fire) 250 $300,000 homes or $7.5 million worth of property is lost even though $20 million was spent to protect them.

  • Indiana Guest

    I see instantly that the debate has turned vitriolic. It usually does. I have seen these debates over and over again and in Indiana it is the same people over and over again. Fire protection is dependent upon redundant systems to control fire and protect human life. The debate these days has turned from what is best for the country to the other side is no good. I have been involved in public and private fire protection for 39 years. The record is very clear. The vast majority of fire deaths occur in residential occupancies. I understand the concept of not having government tell you what to do, but that ship has already sailed on so many fronts that it is not possible to list them here.
    The USA has the worst fire record in the modern world. It doesn't have to be that way, but so many people do not want to be told what to do that they willingly pay higher and higher insurance premiums because we are burning up billions of dollars of property each year. And of course when someone actually dies in a fire, the local attorneys can't wait to get to the family and sue everyone they can think of. It would be interesting to see how many home builders have ever been sued because their construction was a contributing cause of the fatality. I'm guessing it would be very few.
    The assertion that today's homes are so much safer that sprinklers aren't required is not borne out by actual experience. I truly wish it was. And, you know, I might be swayed to the optional sprinkler installation argument if there were conditions placed on that type of situation. For instance, contractors would be required to provide information and realistic pricing for the optional sprinkler system. In other words, do not artificially price them out of the market. Require all water utilities in the state to provide a low cost hook up mechanism so that sprinklers can actually be installed by those who want them. For those who spend the extra money on this level of protection, provide property tax relief as the fire department will not need as much equipment and manpower to fight a fire in this home.
    I tried just a few years ago to get "Optional" sprinklers in my new home. The homebuilder refused and the local water company wanted to charge me for commercial hookup if I put sprinklers in my home. Not very optional! Smooth the way for sprinklers to be used and we won't have to mandate anything. Every neighborhood I have been in that has experienced a serious fire understands what can happen. People would be knocking themselves out to get that level of protection and slowly most homes would become sprinklered. It is just easier and less expensive to do it when you are building the house than doing a retrofit.
    I would also make a condition of "optional" sprinklers that tort law be changed so that deaths and injuries resulting from a fire in an unsprinklered residential occupancy would trigger exemptions from civil suits for town and city officials, fire department members, fire marshals, and fire protection professionals associated in any way with this structure. The fire protection community has provided clear statistics as to what a "prudent man" would do. For those who would not follow that advice, there should be no course of dragging these people into court and holding them economic hostages.

      • commonsense

        without looking, you imply it is an incentive NOT a mandate. This is plausible by giving the potential home owner a choice.

    • commonsense

      Thank you for your 39 years as a fire fighter. It is a noble profession. You have posted an eloquent message. The assertion that new homes are safer and that fire sprinklers are not needed is in fact true. Any 'prudent firefighter' would tell you that the smoke from fires is the number one cause for residential fire deaths and not the fire itself, to infer that the fire itself is the cause as you have is simply mis leading. The public should also be aware that the majority of fires are in older homes and not in the newly constructed house. If the builder refused to install a simple looped system then you should have worked with a different builder. the public needs to also know that a minimal cost of just $1,000 would be sufficient to have a dramatic and detrimental effect on orginizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the low income home buyer. Smoke detectors are more than adequate. For those that spend the extra money to have a sprinkler system put into their home, more power to them. Check out Bloomington, Ill. where they were able to hit the middle ground and require ALL builders to educate the potential home buyer on the benefits of sprinklers along with what it costs. It needs to stay a choice and not a mandate.

  • Mr. Robertson

    Thank you for your 39 years as a fire fighter. It is a noble profession. You have posted an eloquent message. The assertion that new homes are safer and that fire sprinklers are not needed is in fact true. Any 'prudent firefighter' would tell you that the smoke from fires is the number one cause for residential fire deaths and not the fire itself, to infer that the fire itself is the cause as you have is simply mis leading. The public should also be aware that the majority of fires are in older homes and not in the newly constructed house. If the builder refused to install a simple looped system then you should have worked with a different builder. the public needs to also know that a minimal cost of just $1,000 would be sufficient to have a dramatic and detrimental effect on orginizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the low income home buyer. Smoke detectors are more than adequate. For those that spend the extra money to have a sprinkler system put into their home, more power to them. Check out Bloomington, Ill. where they were able to hit the middle ground and require ALL builders to educate the potential home buyer on the benefits of sprinklers along with what it costs. It needs to stay a choice and not a mandate.

  • JReap

    You assert that new homes are safer but go on to imply that they must eventually become unsafe as they age, if as you further assert, the majority of fires occur in older homes. At what point does the transformation occur? Perhaps at the closing?

    • Mr. Robertson

      Jreap – You are now being belligerent . Pay attention to the posts. My post is a copy/paste from a response made to Indiana Guest. It was a very good reply and deserved being reposted to the forefront. I do not believe Commonsense 'implies' anything; Older homes relative to todays construction standards are in fact not as safe.

      Residential construction is one of the most regulated industries out there. If you are uncomforatble with today's construction standards I would recommend to either 1. Rent or 2. pursue your local city officials to put foward even more stringent building standards. Be forewarned however, The current 2012 IRC and IEC are so radical in their changes that a conservative estimate adds OVER $10,000 to a basic home. It is 'relatively' agreed upon that the residential construction industry is only 2 code cycles away from making new homes completey out of reach for the middle class.

      Knowing that the smoke from a fire will cause a fatality long before a sprinkler goes off, IF it goes off, simply goes to validation that the odds of surviving belongs to the Smoke Detector working in the home. Sprinklers must be a choice of the home owner and not a mandate.

  • JReap

    The point is today’s new home will eventually be old. The difference is they now age with lightweight wood construction that fails fast under fire, increased fuel load and increased available oxygen. I am not against innovation in construction technology, but let’s be realistic about the ramifications and require an appropriate countermeasure to ensure undiminished life safety. Residential fire sprinklers will neutralize this dangerous scenario.

    Over the coming months as the citizens of Indiana wrestle with this question, I hope you will seize the opportunity to witness a Side By Side sprinkler demonstration if your fire department hosts one. If you cannot witness one in person, there are plenty on YouTube. Folks, it is not like on TV; fire grows exponentially to flashover. Nothing survives that. Also not like on TV, sprinklers go off one at a time in response to heat (not smoke).

    Making the argument against fire sprinklers solely about money only changes the currency with which you may ultimately pay.

  • Mr. Robertson

    Keep in mind, I am not a builder, remodeler or sub contractor. Just VOTING constituent that undersatnds that the residential home builder is the number one hidden employer in virtually any market. That they add to the tax base of any municipaity and any school district . JReap uses fear. The end result? The home buyer pays for a foced cost of an unessary requirement. I have seen the video showing a WORST case scenerio. The 2012 IEC, if followed, will be sufficient to eliminate ANY oxygen to a fire. 🙂 Are you in support of sprinklers or a home that is built differently to begin with? I am starting to wonder. If you don't like I joists folks, then pursue an avenue that the average potential home owner can afford as opposed to adding to the cost via sprinklers to begin with. It's just ignorant to think otherwise. Keep adding to the cost of homes and you will not have to worry about fires. There will not be any new homes that people could afford. Sadly, money does become a factor. We buy used cars that are less safe than brand new ones because they are what? MORE AFFORDABLE! You mention that sprinklers respond to heat (not smoke). the very reason smoke detectors are the better option.

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