Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Residential Sprinklers in *new* construction repealed by Pa. Senate 4/12/2011

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Residential Sprinklers in *new* construction repealed by Pa. Senate 4/12/2011

    http://www.pasenate.com/?p=2952

    Well, the majority of the collectively stupid in Harrisburg have shown that they side with the Home Builder's Associations and have chosen to place profit before lives.

    I now strongly encourage all Pennsylvania Firefighters to think twice before entering a private dwelling constructed of lightweight/unprotected wood framing, unless of course if there is confirmed or reported entrapment of an occupant.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  • #2
    same issue here in Maine, as they adopted a uniform building code but excepted the residential sprinkler requirements in 1 and 2 family dwellings. I wish the insurance industry could take a more active role by pushing for significant premium reductions where sprinklers are present in one and two family dwellings. In the end it comes down to dollars.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
      I wish the insurance industry could take a more active role by pushing for significant premium reductions where sprinklers are present in one and two family dwellings.
      Many insurance companies do. The cost of a typical NFPA 13D sprinkler system in a new residence will pay for itself in insurance savings over the life of a typical 30 year mortgage.

      There is no excuse for removing the residential sprinkler requirements when adopting model fire codes.
      "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
      sigpic
      The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

      Comment


      • #4
        Here in Michigan smoke detectors are now required every level plus in every bedroom. Hopefully this is enough to get everyone out so we can show up and make the decision, based on conditions, on whether we want to put us- back in.
        Believe I'm no 'safety sally', I spent a career making entry on homes built in the '30s - '60s and we didn't have to worry about falling through the floor in the first ten minutes or the roof coming in on our heads within 20 minutes. We have a real problem on our hands in dealing with the lightweight construction, our best tools (besides the TIC) is having the guts to tell our people to NOT make entry if our experience tells us that the fire has taken enough of a hold of lightweight framing members.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
          http://www.pasenate.com/?p=2952

          Well, the majority of the collectively stupid in Harrisburg have shown that they side with the Home Builder's Associations and have chosen to place profit before lives.

          I now strongly encourage all Pennsylvania Firefighters to think twice before entering a private dwelling constructed of lightweight/unprotected wood framing, unless of course if there is confirmed or reported entrapment of an occupant.
          So you choosing to put politics before lives is any better?
          Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

          Comment


          • #6
            Where in his comments does he put politics before lives?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by nmfire View Post
              So you choosing to put politics before lives is any better?
              The Home Builders Associations in Pennsylvania have decided to place profits before lives. They have successfully argued to include allowable lightweight/unprotected construction in the ICC Residential Codes (as adopted by Pa. and many other state and local governments.) They have also successfully fought mandates for residential sprinklers which were effective in the IRC on Jan. 1, 2011.

              The Fire Service and Code Officials have fought valiantly to mandate that they either sprinkler lightweight/unprotected construction, or protect lightweight construction. They have fought and won both of these battles. And now they are beginning to launch attacks on the State of Maryland's sprinkler mandates that have been in place for years.

              I am choosing to place my own life and encouraging other firefighters to place their own lives before politics by merely refusing to enter any dwellings constructed using these methods. Unless, of course there is reported entrapment or the potential for entrapment of occupants.

              Just ask the guys from the Enterprise Fire Company, of Hatboro (Montgomery County, Pa.) that fell through a floor constructed of lightweight/unprotected "I-Joists" back in December. I bet they think twice from now on.

              You see it your way, I see it mine. I will say this though- the schit has to stop somewhere. And maybe if we take a stand and start refusing to offensively fight fires in these death traps, maybe the policticians will notice.
              "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

              Comment


              • #8
                It truly is rediculous that stuff like this happens. It will be the same thing in NY when the legislation decides on it. What the contractors and Home Owners Association don't realize is that by putting in residential sprinklers they can have some exemptions made. Like hydrants can be placed farther apart and the water mains wont have to be as big and in certain areas they would only have to use single slabs of sheetrock instead of having to have two. I am by far no expert in this subject, but I am in school and taking a class on sprinklers and we just went over residential sprinklers. I agree with FWDbuff when he says take caution in these new construction buildings as they aren't safe.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by engineeremtp View Post
                  Here in Michigan smoke detectors are now required every level plus in every bedroom. Hopefully this is enough to get everyone out so we can show up and make the decision, based on conditions, on whether we want to put us- back in.
                  I'd say it's not enough. Studies are showing more kids don't wake to smoke detectors and fires grow much hotter much faster today than ever. Today's poorly constructed new house will too soon become tomorrows poorly constructed and aging old home. if we think old house pose problems for us now, wait 50 years and ask you grand kids how safe it'll have become.

                  Dep.Marshal: you can't prove the "pay's for itself over time" by our numbers. In Maine the cost of installation is far greater than $1.61 and the 10-15% savings on the minor amount we pay for fire insurance to start with, makes for a hard sell. I calculated my savings would be less than $40/yr at 15% of the fire portion of my premium and that was being generous.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post

                    I am choosing to place my own life and encouraging other firefighters to place their own lives before politics by merely refusing to enter any dwellings constructed using these methods. Unless, of course there is reported entrapment or the potential for entrapment of occupants.
                    While I completely understand your disgust, I can't help but think that to do this fails to address "the building is not occupied until we prove it isn't". We still have to do our jobs and this now must include understanding the increased risk on the scale when the fire is in unprotected lightweight construction. Had they passed the proper legislation we'd still face thousands of unprotected homes with lightweight construction but not refuse to enter? We need to focus on better providing proof that this construction is far more damaging by showing the story of every fire where it's encountered. While it may take longer to get there, we'll be far more respected for it. In the meantime, be smart and ensure all members know what to look for and what to avoid.

                    Luckily, while our state failed to provide sprinklers they did determine that they would not allow lightweight construction to be exposed. All basements (and any level) must be finished or sprinklered if the floor system is using any lightweight materials. My understanding is that attics used for living space must be similarly protected.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
                      http://www.pasenate.com/?p=2952

                      Well, the majority of the collectively stupid in Harrisburg have shown that they side with the Home Builder's Associations and have chosen to place profit before lives....
                      Agreed it's shortsighted. But to be accurate is "place price before lives". The profit margin on not selling a house at all (perhaps due to an unaffordable price) is zero. Builders exist to build and sell houses. The increase in retail price is going to be much more significant factor than the tiny additional profit a builder makes of sprinkler install. Loosing the ability to get a $5000 higher mortgage is likely way more of a factor than making an additional $250 profit.

                      I think we largely have to convience the public that spending $x for sprinklers makes more sense than buying mom that stupid granite countertop. Since moms are the leading safety sally's it should be doable. Hard educational project no doubt.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by neiowa View Post
                        The increase in retail price is going to be much more significant factor than the tiny additional profit a builder makes of sprinkler install
                        I don't know how much it costs to install an NFPA 13D system in Iowa, but here in Southeastern Pa. the average cost is $1.60 per square foot.

                        Given the average cost of a newly constructed 3000 Sq Ft. home around here of $400K (and that's a conservative guess) that $4830 bucks is peanuts.

                        Two experienced installers, using approved CPVC piping and components, can have an entire 13D system installed in two working days- thats 16 hours.

                        Peanuts.
                        "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
                          I don't know how much it costs to install an NFPA 13D system in Iowa, but here in Southeastern Pa. the average cost is $1.60 per square foot.

                          Given the average cost of a newly constructed 3000 Sq Ft. home around here of $400K (and that's a conservative guess) that $4830 bucks is peanuts.

                          Two experienced installers, using approved CPVC piping and components, can have an entire 13D system installed in two working days- thats 16 hours.

                          Peanuts.
                          Given an actual requirement and an ever increasing number of certified installers, the lower price would seem to quickly overcome most arguments. At a $1.60/ft. I think we could enact this in my state, but reality is that the number of new home starts is generally far smaller thus fewer installers, less competition, and higher typical cost. Add to this the very rural nature of most of our state (read no public water) and the added cost (just over $1000) for a tank system pushes the per foot cost further up. Not to mention typical new homes are about half of what you're seeing in S.E. PA. Not that any of this makes the safety aspect negligible, just means we'll have to work harder to prove this is the best course of action.

                          The part that makes me ill is the number of firefighters who cannot speak intelligently about the subject or are opponents. Our own Fire Marshal's office has at guys who don't believe in residential sprinklers!When an fire investigator tells me that none of the fatal fires he's been to would have had different outcomes with sprinklers because the occupants died of smoke inhalation, I have to wonder if they understand how fire evolves!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well.............

                            Why is Maryland the only State where we get things like this trashed immediately. Anyone think it might be because we know what we want, we agree on what we want, and we fight like hell to get what we want. And Succeed...........

                            The builders lobby recently tried get an "Opt-Out" provision in the Law regarding Manufactured Homes. Senate and House Bills were both voted down in Committee and never saw the light of Day in the House and Senate Chambers........ The House and Senate bills were identical, and basically would have allowed any local jurisdiction in the State to Opt-out of adopting that portion of the Code that required Sprinklers in Manufactured Homes. Both Hearings on these bills were Standing Room only and were jammed with Uniformed Firefighters. Among those who testified against relaxing any sprinkler requirements was Cathy Hedrick of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Cathy's son Kenny died when the single family home that he was searching flashed over. Her testimony was, as you would expect, quite moving, but firmly focused on our nation's Fire Problem, and what sprinklers can do to save lives.... All the major Fire Service organizations in the State were very well represented, and each had at least one member who testified in opposition to the bill..... As the Legislative Committee Chairman of the Maryland Fire Chief's Association, I delivered the testimony for that group... We had a great day, and things went well for us, but you can't let your guard down for even a minute on stuff like this.......
                            Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                            In memory of
                            Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                            Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                            IACOJ Budget Analyst

                            I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                            www.gdvfd18.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And, if you want to get into "conspiracy theory" type of stuff - a house that doesn't burn doesn't get rebuilt - less work for the construction industry...
                              Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                              Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                              Comment

                              300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

                              Collapse

                              Upper 300x250

                              Collapse

                              Taboola

                              Collapse

                              Leader

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X