Pros And Cons Of Residential Fire Sprinklers

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Local officials in Richmond, Virginia have yet to mandate the installation of residential fire sprinklers in new housing construction, affecting the level of protection against structure fires in the municipalities. In order to safeguard these citizens, local representatives need to reexamine proof that home sprinkler systems preserve property, and save lives. When engaging fire officials and local Virginia builder’s about the topic of residential sprinkler systems installed in the home, two different viewpoints will be presented. Hazard (2009) stated fire officials credited sprinkler systems for saving people, however, builders argue that the mandating will cause an unjustified increase to homes in an already frail housing market (para 4). …show more content…

For example, Fort Lee’s Fire Department in the Richmond area, expects that all personnel will be dressed, on the apparatus, and in route to the call in eighty seconds as stated by Mike Lecik lead fire inspector at Fort Lee (personal communication, October 19, 2015). Lecik elaborated that a fire grows in size every minute, as it is nurtured by fuel, heat, and oxygen, this is why response times are so important. Mr. Lecik further explained that having the residential home sprinkler system installed reduces that response time to almost instantaneous, by providing water to cool the heat thus putting the fire out, or preventing further growth (personal communication, October 19, 2015). Therefore, this in turn would save lives, reduce damages, and the cost of …show more content…

Home builders associations not only in the Richmond area, but even in other countries are strongly opposed to making residential fire sprinklers mandatory in new housing development. Construction companies are arguing that the materials they are using are fire resistive, and smoke detectors are now wired right in with your electrical system making them more reliable (Jeffery, 2008, para. 31). While these measures taken by builders certainly are a step in the right direction, they simply are not the final destination. Jeffery (2008) further explained that CTV News a local news station in the Ontario area, reported on a story involving children aging from 5 to adolescent, and their response to smoke detectors. The children understood that the smoke alarm would be activated, as well as what they were to do once they heard the alarm, however, when the alarm sounded not a single child got out of bed (para. 22). This illustrates that the systems are not as effective as deemed by the builders. The smoke detector system only identifies and notifies the occupant, it does not extinguish or provide intervention as does the sprinkler system. Another reason builder associations downplay sprinkler systems in the home is because they claim they are unreliable or will accidentally activate (Jeffery, 2008, para. 28). While this is a possibility Jeffery (2008) further stated that the chances of a system inadvertently actuating is

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