Myths cloud debate over sprinklers in Illinois community

Blog Post created by mikehazell Employee on Jul 25, 2014

Lightweight constructionFire sprinkler requirements for new homes in Crest Hill (IL) have been repealed by the community’s city council.

According to a report on MySuburbanLife.com, fire officials say the lack of a fire sprinkler system decreases the safety of future homes. Lockport Township Fire Chief Dave Skoryi said that city council's decision was unwise, and that the sprinkler systems are necessary for today’s homes.

Tom Lia from the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board said the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) and home builder groups presented the city with misinformation about the impact of fire sprinkler units in homes.

In the report, an official from IAR is quoted as saying that the cost of a fire suppression system is "a conservative $10,000 for a 3,000-square-foot building".

However, according to a recent national survey that looked at 51 homes in 17 communities, the average cost to install a sprinkler system is $1.35 per sprinklered square foot. That would put the price for a 3,000-square-foot home at $4,050.

Mr. Lia also stated that new lightweight construction and open construction designs are making homes susceptible to more dangerous conditions compared to older, lumber-based construction. Learn more about the dangers of lightweight construction under fire conditions.