Set to vote on a requirement to sprinkler its new homes, the Palatine, Illinois, Village Council decided to postpone the vote after local builders argued they "were given little advance warning about the vote" and could "improve fire safety [in new homes] using cheaper methods," according to a recent news story.
The Illinois village had considered a sprinkler ordinance in 2011, but it was rejected following concerns that it would deter new construction projects. Now that neighboring towns have had success in adopting their own fire sprinkler requirements, the vote is back on the table, reports the news story.
Local homebuilders were quick to question Palatine's proposal, stating fire sprinkler requirements would spike home prices, drive up insurance costs, and ignore more affordable--and equally effective--fire prevention methods. However, extensive research has proven the affordability of fire sprinkler installation, particularly in communities that have embraced fire sprinkler ordinances. Moreover, no other technology responds to and helps extinguish a fire as rapidly as fire sprinklers. "[With] sprinklers, you can afford people opportunities to get out," local Fire Marshal Jay Atherton told the publication. He also informed the council that fire sprinkler installations lead to insurance discounts.
The council tabled the vote until August so the local homebuilders can submit their input. However, a councilman offered a bit of good news to safety advocates. "I don't want to [be] ambiguous at all--sprinklers are going to be part of our code," said Councilman Scott Lamerand, according to the news story. "Certainly in townhomes and maybe some portion of single-family homes."