A story by WCIV News 4 Charleston describes Charles Stewart's one man mission for residential fire sprinklers. Mr. Stewart is the owner of Phoenix Distributing, a plumbing contracting company that installs potable water home fire sprinklers systems. As reported, his direction is derived by his family. Stewart's father was a fire chief and his son is a firefighter for St. Andrews Fire Department.
The South Carolina Building Code Council adopted the 2009 IRC with the home fire sprinkler provision and an implementation date of January 1, 2011. Later, legislation was passed that delayed the enforcement of the requirement until January 1, 2014. The requirement has come under attack by the home building industry.
Mr. Stewart is to be admired for his tenacity but he is not alone in his quest. The entire life safety community and advocates in SC have united under one umbrella, the SC Fire Sprinkler Coalition, to ensure that the requirement stays in the code and to fight any anti-sprinkler legislation. The coalition has defined goals and strategy to ensure a smooth transition as SC gets ready for 2014. The coalition model has been used extensively to tackle community risk reduction. A collective effort that brings all stakeholders to the table is the best way to tackle the issue.