Washington State residents are celebrating a victory this month after the Camas City Council approved an ordinance to sprinkler the town's new, one- and two-family homes. This town is the first in Southwest Washington to pass such an ordinance and joins a half-dozen others in Washington with a sprinkler requirement.
Sprinkler opponents in Camas submitted testimony during a public hearing claiming sprinkler installations can exceed $10,000 per home. Safety advocates, however, provided actual costs; Ron Schumacher, fire marshal of the Camas Fire Department, noted that installation in his city hovered between $1.25 and $1.50 per sprinklered square foot. Backing these statements on sprinkler affordability at the hearing was homeowner Mark Sundeth, who paid $2,000 to install sprinklers in his 2,500-square-foot home. "These are not an expensive item to install," Sundeth told the Camas-Washougal Post-Record.
The article also notes that Camas has a high number of sprinkler installations when compared with other areas in the state. "Fire sprinklers are a tool that we've seen work," says Schumacher.