Establishing a fire sprinkler ordinance seems like the next logical step for the town of Camas, Washington. Its city council will vote in April to require this form of protection in all new homes--a protection that's fairly widespread in Camas.
"We manage to get fire sprinklers installed mandatorily in almost all new construction because of our fire code," Fire Chief Nick Swinhart told the Camas-Washougal Post Record. "It has to do with certain things like access to water, access and egress to fire vehicles, and road width." (With the help of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative has pieced together a list of these trade-ups that can reduce home construction costs if sprinklers are considered.)
Washington already has a half-dozen towns with a sprinkler ordinance. (Get the full list by visiting the Washington Fire Sprinkler Coalition webpage.) Adding Camas to the list would increase the number of sprinklered homes there, which is currently estimated to be about 2,000.
"We already have sprinklers installed in over 90 percent of new construction," Swinhart told the paper. "[The ordinance] would be a very small change. But it would be very cool, as far as I'm concerned, to get our names on the list with cities like Olympia and some of the bigger ones up north in King County that have had ordinances like this on the books for several years."
Download the NFPA report, "Incentives for the Use of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in U.S. Communities," for more information on the benefits of this life-saving device.