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  • War on Sprinkler Systems

    What are you, your department, your agency, doing to keep residential sprinkler systems in the 2012 codes? What type of opposition have you had and how does it look for your success?

  • #2
    In our case, there is no requirement by the parish for sprinkler systems to be installed in any structure being built in our juridiction, and we have no power to require them.

    That is more often than not the case in the parihes outside of the cities.

    That being said, we only have 2 businesses that have sprinklers.

    I'll also be 100% honest and state that to our department, as well as most fire districts in the parishes in this part of the state, sprinkler systems are really not that big of a deal.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    • #3
      Years ago, the city I work in, in their infinite wisdom, enacted a tax on every sprinkler head, and required water meters on every sprinkler system. I seriously doubt they've ever made a dime of income off of that deal with the administrative costs.

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      • #4
        Pretty much the same thing here that LaFireEducator said (insert city/county in place of parish).

        One of the buildings that is sprinklered is the local Co-op Grain Elevator. However, when they did the cement silos they just did the basement and dump area. They were asked, by our FD, to run a single pipe with a deluge head on it up to the headhouse (very top part of the structure) since this is where most of the problems can occur. They didn't want to spend the money, but there was nothing we could do about it. It would be nice to see some more sprinkler systems, but realistically I don't see it happening around here anytime soon.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by johnsb View Post
          Years ago, the city I work in, in their infinite wisdom, enacted a tax on every sprinkler head, and required water meters on every sprinkler system.
          If that's wisdom I'd hate to see the ideas they think are stupid!

          Our FD has done everything we can do to remove as many costs and barriers from installing sprinklers in any/every building. We'd like our state PUC (Public Utilities Commission) to stop allowing monthly bills for water meters to sprinklers, even if it means passing any after installation costs on to the masses. This is one of the biggest complaints from building owners that have sprinklers.

          As far as residential sprinklers, we passed a local ordinance leaving them in NFPA 101 from the first edition they were required. Our state opted them out, but in this municipality all new dwellings must be sprinklered, sans one loophole made by the state forcing any community to accept a Federal HUD or State HUD stamped prefabricated home without further requirements.

          So our outlook is bright, though there's always a chance it'll be brought back up. Two of us recently attended a stand alone 13D installers program and will be attending another multi-purpose system installation program locally. This allows us to meet with local installers, get their take and be confident that there are people capable of doing the work. One big thing we did was steer away from the $1.61 figure. That number will never be reached in our underpopulated state, thus we didn't need to have our noses rubbed in it when costs started coming in much more typically in the $4.00 sqft. range. Others in our state did not heed this advice and have had much more difficulty when the public thinks they're not being 100% up front on the costs. Sadly, only one side has to tell the whole truth, ours. So builders can play on fears regarding expensive inspections, leaks, bursts, and water damage, all of which can be disproven with a decent public info campaign.
          Last edited by RFDACM02; 03-02-2012, 02:50 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
            all of which can be disproven with a decent public info campaign.
            The key here is CAMPAIGN. The fire service seems to be reactive when it comes to issues like this. We have largely been the modest heroes who quietly go about our jobs. While noble at one time, in this "what have you done for me lately" society that has come back to haunt us. Public relations in the context of campaigns is something we are not very good at.

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            • #7
              The city I volunteer for requires sprinklers in all new homes being built and any type of building more than 200 square feet. In addition, if a pre existing home is going to add on to it and the addition is more than 1/2 the amount of square footage of the house when it was first built, we enforce that they sprinkler the entire house. The city adopted the code several years back. I havent heard very much opposition about it other than the cost and I dont think this code is going to go anywhere anytime soon for us.

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