!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c8026e2a970b-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c8026e2a970b-320wi|alt=Minnesota|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Minnesota|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c8026e2a970b img-responsive!It wasn't the happiest start to the new year for fire officials in Minnesota.
The state's Supreme Court recently announced it will not review the decision made by the state's Court of Appeals to overturn the state's sprinkler requirement. The Supreme Court's inaction means the state requirement to sprinkler new, one- and two-family homes greater than 4,500 square feet can no longer be enforced.
The state's Department of Labor and Industry crafted the requirement that took effect last year. The Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned the ruling in October 2015 after the Builders Association of the Twin Cities sued the department. The court ruled that the 4,500-foot threshold was arbitrary. "We believe there's virtually no safety value to sprinklers, and there's extremely high costs," David Siegal, executive director of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, told a local news outlet.
The Association of Minnesota Fire Chiefs has a different opinion. Speaking on behalf of the association, Saint Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard told the local media that he was baffled by builders who wouldn't want to construct and sell the safest products for their customers. "We have the solution to saving thousands of lives from tragic, painful deaths from fires," he told a local NBC affiliate. "We have the solution. We just need to use it."
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Help spread the word about this "solution." Use these free, downloadable materials from NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative.
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