Media stories have been filtering out of Illinois following the passage of a fire sprinkler requirement for new homes in Rock Island. Late last year, its city council voted on a building code update which included adopting a provision to sprinkler one- and two-family dwellings. Rock Island already requires fire sprinklering three-family homes and commercial developments.
Mirroring a trend across the U.S., Rock Island Fire Marshal Greg Marty told an Illinois news station that "fire deaths are not decreasing at the rate we'd like to see. [Installing home fire sprinklers] is really the most effective step you can take to protect your family."
The opposition immediately lambasted the new requirement, telling news outlets that installation costs will impact housing starts. The local fire service and city officials disagreed, yet recently met with real estate agents and builders to hear their concerns. However, based on a report of the meeting obtained by NFPA, the city is not reconsidering the new sprinkler requirement.
Rock Island now joins more than 100 Illinois communities with a fire sprinkler ordinance.
NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative commends the safety advocates who pushed for this requirement, and congratulates the Rock Island City Council for passing it.