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Why Fire Sprinklers Should Not Be Mandated in One and Two-family Construction

  1. Smoke alarms & education are the most practical, effective and proven approach to reducing home fire incidents, injury and fatalities, not mandates for home fire sprinklers.

    Reducing residential fires incidents, injuries and fatalities must remain a top priority through education and programs to ensure every home has and maintains working smoke alarms. Sprinkler mandates in new construction is not the solution.

  2. Building requirements for new homes adequately provide for fire safety for the life of the home. New homes do not become more hazardous as they age.

  3. Installation costs are far greater than what advocates state and there is no data to support that mandatory requirements are cost effective approach to reducing fire incident, injury and fatalities.

    Builder costs of those installations were $2.66 per square foot on average and ranged as high as $6.88 per square foot. When overhead and any other factors are added in, installation costs to home buyers escalate further. For homes on wells, the results show that the typical costs are even higher because of the need for additional components such as storage tanks and larger pumps.

    Your City Council needs to determine and thoroughly consider what the true total cost to home buyers will be in their community (including additional fees that may be charged by water purveyors, fees for testing and annual inspections of backflow prevention devices, etc.) and what their constituents will pay collectively, before making any decision to mandate sprinklers.

  4. Homebuyers are not sold and should not be forced to pay for systems they do not want and that will not significantly improve their safety.

    When asked in a survey of 800 likely voters by Public Opinion Strategies if fire sprinklers should be required in new homes, an overwhelming 89 percent of consumers said that smoke detectors already do an adequate job of protecting them in their homes and 28 percent do not want sprinklers at all, even if they were provided free of charge.

This information from the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines.