Debate over fire sprinklers in town's new homes reaches crucial vote

Blog Post created by freddurso Employee on Oct 11, 2016

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Arguments from proponents and opponents of home fire sprinklers will culminate in a crucial vote by the city council for Gig Harbor, Washington, on whether to sprinkler its new dwellings. Not requiring this life-safety technology would be "shortsighted," according to local fire officials who hope Gig Harbor joins more than a half-dozen Washington towns with a sprinkler ordinance.


For months, both sides have debated the necessity of sprinklering Gig Harbor's homes. According to a local news story, city officials and building industry representatives opposed to sprinkler requirements met over the summer to see if they could agree to a compromise. "No common ground was reached on the fire sprinkler debate," according to the story.


“[The Master Builders Association of Pierce County] looks at the national fire protection statistics and sees them one way, and we see them the other way,” Paul rice, Gig Harbor's building official and fire marshal told The News Tribune. “The main statistic we look at is that home fire sprinklers reduce the chance of death by 80 percent, and that is a huge, huge number for us.”


Countering another popular claim that fire sprinklers aren't on homebuyers' must-have lists is a 2014 survey conducted on behalf of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition that the majority of respondents were more likely to buy a home with fire sprinklers than without them.


The Gig Harbor vote on the sprinkler requirement is set for Oct. 24. Check this blog for updates to this story.