In a letter to the editor published today on Capegazette.com, Delaware Fire Sprinkler Coalition chairman, Paul Eichler, addressed the conversation about home fire sprinklers that is taking place in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. On behalf of the Delaware Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters' Association (DVFA) Fire Sprinkler Committee, Paul Eichler voiced support for the commissioners' review of the residential building codes. He also strongly encouraged that the commissioners leave the home fire sprinkler requirements intact.
“The requirement was part of the 2012 code adopted by the city,” read an earlier editorial, “but commissioners opted to exempt that requirement from the code at that time.”
Fire and life safety were among the many benefits of requiring sprinklers that Paul outlined in his letter. Here are some of the key points he shared:
-Residential fire sprinklers will protect many people and significantly reduce property damages. Certainly, the homeowners, any tenants, their pets, and their possessions will be protected by the 24-hour coverage. When a property is protected by a fire sprinkler system, fires are kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time, and sprinklers use 90 percent less water than what is flowed by a firefighter’s hose.
-First responders are protected due to responding to less severe conditions. Neighbors are protected since an interior fire will be held in check and not extend to neighboring properties.
-Insurance claims will be considerably lower, as well as the aspect that the affected occupants will most likely be able to stay in the same occupancy after the fire instead of being displaced for months.
The article also briefly mentions concerns raised about cost. According to a report by The Fire Protection Research Foundation the cost is, on average, $1.35 per sprinklered square foot - an amount that is similar to what people pay for carpet upgrades, whirlpool baths, or granite countertops.