While we have seen some unfortunate setbacks for home fire sprinklers this year (Connecticut, for example), there have been some major successes on the local level. Recently, the Gorham, Maine, Town Council voted to require sprinklers in all new homes. According to a news story, the new "Fire Suppression Systems Ordinance" takes effect in October. Quoted in the piece was Town Councilor Ronald Shepard, who said sprinklers "are a life-safety issue for firefighters."
The council's decision follows months of dialogue on the issue and included two educational workshops on home fire sprinklers. The new ordinance, which passed with a 5-2 vote, expands on Gorham's existing sprinkler ordinance. Under that law, "only homes built in subdivisions without fire ponds were required to have fire sprinkler systems," states the story, adding that 260 homes in Gorham have already been sprinklered.
Addressing concerns from homeowners on doing self-inspections, the local fire department will offer training courses. (Inspecting a home's fire sprinklers, according to the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, couldn't be simpler.)
Outside of Maine, other communities have embraced sprinkler requirements this year. Via this blog, we've highlighted:
- Las Vegas
- Palatine, Illinois
- Rock Island, Illinois
- Berlin, Massachusetts
- sprinkler-specific efforts following the Marco Polo high-rise fire in Hawaii
Do you know of a town or community that has recently passed a requirement for home fire sprinklers? Please let us know.