Fire safety advocates in Palatine, Illinois, gave such a convincing case for home fire sprinklers that its council members recently voted to require them in all new homes. Palatine is the 105th Illinois community with a fire sprinkler ordinance. Rock Island, Illinois, also passed their own requirement this year. (Read our interview with Rock Island's fire marshal on how the ordinance came to be.)
Likely of no surprise to Palatine's fire officials, sprinkler opponents downplayed the importance of this feature; at public hearings, homebuilders and realty representatives tried convincing council members that newer homes have safety features that can safeguard residents as adequately as sprinklers. Fire officials took opponents to task for their misinformed comments.
"You can survive 150 degrees for quite some time," Fire Chief Scott Andersen told the Daily Herald. "You can sit in a sauna for an hour and you'll be fine. You cannot survive a thousand degrees. And if someone's in there, guess who's going in there to get them out? I don't care if it's a thousand degrees or 1,500 degrees at the floor, my guys are going in."
The village requirement to sprinkler single-family homes and townhomes takes effect in January 2019. NFPA commends the advocacy efforts of Palatine's fire service and the village's city council for prioritizing fire safety.