In a recent commentary, the Sauk Valley Media Editorial Board addressed the home fire sprinkler debate. They foresee the day when "sprinkler systems in new homes are as common as smoke alarms," and adds that "politics" is only delaying the inevitable.
"The National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative is gaining momentum, but it’s a tough battle trying to reach everyone at the local level," states the board's commentary. "The cost is a legitimate concern, but according to the NFPA, sprinklers can reduce the risk of death from home fires by 80 percent and property loss by 70 percent."
The commentary points to Rock Island, Illinois, which recently passed a fire sprinkler ordinance for new homes. (Read NFPA's interview with the town's fire marshal.) "While detractors had predicted that the extra cost would be $4 a square foot, the actual cost has come in closer to $2 a square foot," states the board, adding that sprinklers have a life-saving impact that should put the cost debate to rest.
NFPA also addressed the question, "how long before all new home are sprinklered?" in this feature story for NFPA Journal. Please give it a read, and submit your comments via this post.