Commissioner in Maryland cites NFPA reports to oppose changes being considered to sprinkler mandate

Blog Post created by ryan.quinn Employee on Jun 22, 2011

Members of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners in Maryland recently gathered to discuss the county's current sprinkler requirement for residences, and the possibility of making changes to that requirement. In support of the mandate as it stands, Commissioner Haven Shoemaker (R-District 2) presented facts that irrefutably support fire sprinklers and urges the Board to leave well enough alone, stating that "we keep going down this path, trying to streamline processes and make it easier for residential developers to build houses. That shouldn't be our focus".

Presenting statistics on actual installation costs in the area (anonymously provided by four different vendors), Mr. Shoemaker states that the average cost is $1.14 per square foot (for properties on public water) and that the national average cost is $1.61 per square foot, as reported by NFPA's Fire Protection Research Foundation.  Proclaiming the life savings effects of residential sprinklers, Mr. Shoemaker continues, "according to the Maryland state fire marshal, during a 6 year period 04 – 09, there has never been a single fire death in the state of Maryland in a one- or two- family dwelling protected by a properly functioning residential sprinkler system."  

Citing a study of Prince George’s county where there has been a sprinkler ordinance for 15 years, Mr. Shoemaker states “of fires occurring in dwellings not protected by sprinklers: 101 fire deaths and 328 civilian injuries, and in contrast, of the 245 fires that occurred in residential dwellings that were protected by sprinklers: 0 fire deaths 6 civilian injuries.”

Use our resources to educate lawmakers in your community. Facts sheets and data are available on our website for use in making the case for the sprinklers.

- Karen Wallingford