If there's one myth fire sprinkler advocates hear ad nauseum, it's the one about fire sprinkler ordinances driving up housing costs and forcing homeowners to seek cheaper alternatives in neighboring communities or states. A recent article in The New York Times notes that this couldn't be further from the truth.
California has been requiring sprinklers in new homes since 2011, and has not seen a negative impact on housing stock or affordability. In fact, as the story states, "there's a robust demand for housing." Take into consideration these figures highlighted in the story:
- the Sacramento region has approved more than 280,000 housing units for construction
- Shafter, California, is expecting to build an additional 3,000 homes
- Newport Beach will see more than 1,300 new homes
- Coachella is weighing a proposal to build 7,800 new homes
For a state that's expected to swell to 50 million people by 2050, protecting its growing population with this level of home protection aims to have a positive impact on reducing home fire deaths in decades to come.
A more immediate benefit is a fire sprinkler's ability to reduce the amount of water needed to fight fires, something seen as a necessity in drought-stricken California. Research by FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition has proven the environmental benefits of fire sprinklers via its groundbreaking study.