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Maryland's fire service and other advocates stand ready to defend the state's sprinkler requirement following the filing of a bill this month to eliminate this feature in new, one- and two-family homes. Maryland is one of two states (California is the other) with a statewide, sprinkler requirement.
Sponsoring the bill is Maryland Delegate Chris Adams, who told a local newspaper that this legislation "brings a responsible return of critical decision-making to the local level, where these decisions are best made." Adams also fears sprinklers will halt economic growth, a myth that has been addressed by various reports by NFPA. For example, the report "Comparative Analysis of Housing Costs and Supply Impacts of Sprinkler Ordinances at the Community Level," examined certain counties in the Maryland and Virginia area. It concluded that the enactment of sprinkler ordinances did not cause any detrimental effects on housing supply and costs. Furthermore, the data revealed that fire sprinkler requirements were a minor influence on regional housing costs compared to fees, population and job growth, and land availability.
For more on this story, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.
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