The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) is urging policymakers to support new residential construction standards that call for the installation of fire sprinkler systems in all new one- and two- family home construction.
All national model codes now include the requirement. Several states have prohibited the adoption through legislation, or have left it up to local governments to adopt.
IBHS President and CEO Julie Rochman said there could be cases of legislators feeling apprehensive of the new design of the sprinkler systems. “There are people who are a little afraid of new technology, perhaps don’t understand how sophisticated it is, how well it works, how efficient it is...” said Rochman. Home fire sprinkler systems are vastly different from the commercial systems most are familiar with. Systems designed and installed in accordance with NFPA 13D standard are cost effective and efficient.
This action by IBHS is mainly due to NFPA’s U.S. Experience with Sprinklers report which reveals that the death rate in homes with sprinklers is 83% lower than homes without sprinklers. The direct property damage in homes with sprinklers is 69% lower than homes without sprinklers. Fire sprinklers respond quickly and effectively to control and often completely extinguish a fire, providing occupants with additional escape time, and a safer environment for responding fire crews.