These have been some of the tactics used by Maryland's safety advocates to defend the life-saving capability of the state's sprinkler requirement. Threatened by recent legislation to weaken this requirement, advocates have ramped up their effort to promote sprinklers in new homes. Their efforts seem to be working.
An editorial that appeared in the Carroll County Times stated that it hopes the legislation goes "up in smoke."
"We understand the burden on developers, particularly in recent years as the real estate bubble burst with ever-increasing federal and state regulations on homebuilding have cut into their profits. But this is one regulation we can get behind," stated the editorial.
Addressing cost concerns about installing sprinklers in rural communities that are on well and septic systems, the editorial noted that sprinklers are inexpensive in the grand scheme of home construction. "Spread [the average installation cost of $1.35 per sprinklered square foot] over a 30-year mortgage, and it's likely something you'll barely notice. Having fire sprinklers can also reduce your homeowner's insurance."
For more on this story, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.