Building on momentum taking place in support of sprinklering new homes, a possible regulation in British Columbia aims to give communities the option to make this feature a requirement.
Fully supporting this proposed regulation is Fire Chief Don Jolley with the Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue Services in British Columbia. His community, which has a sprinkler requirement for new homes, was one of the 17 communities highlighted in NFPA's 2013 "Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment" report. This study placed sprinkler installation costs in that town at under a dollar per sprinklered square foot. "I'm an advocate for fire sprinklers in all residential properties," says Jolley, also vice president of the Fire Chiefs' Association of British Columbia. "I think every place where people sleep should have a fire sprinkler."
According to a recent news story, the chiefs' association is working with the Office of the Fire Commissioner and Building and Safety Standards Branch on drafting regulation that would give local governments the option to make fire sprinklers mandatory in new homes. Before taking effect, the regulation would require approval from Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing.
Mirroring data found in the U.S., a study produced by the University of Fraser Valley in British Columbia found that a person was 12 times likelier of dying in a building without sprinklers than in a sprinklered building. A homeowner interviewed for the news story did not need this statistic to convince her she's safer in a sprinklered home. "They're reliable...they're cost-effective...and they should be in every home," said Ashley Pavich, who received a 10 percent discount on her homeowner's insurance thanks to the fire sprinkler installation.
Check this blog often for updates to this story.