Friday, March 22, 2013

Fire marshal wants sprinklers inside homes


Ed Note: My first week in the residential fire sprinkler business brought a call from the Montclaire fire department, wanting me to verify that it costs five thousand dollars per house that the building industries had asserted to the city council. "Not one third of that" I replied. Puzzled, I asked ; why would they lie?  
His reply was passionate: "Because they do not carry out the charred bodies". Enough said. Ever since, I have found these type of arguments self serving and naive. 

Fire marshal wants sprinklers inside homes

Posted: Mar 22, 2013 1:50 PM PDTUpdated: Mar 22, 2013 3:11 PM PDT
Cape Coral officials are preparing to debate family safetyagainst a struggling economy. An ordinance would require single-family homes to be installed with a sprinkler system.
They're proven to save lives, but a local Realtor says the proposal will smother the recovering construction business.
Typically, you’ll find Phil Green fighting fires in Estero. But lately he's been in Cape Coral fighting for another cause.
“You are safer at a shopping mall, a theater, a restaurant because all of those places are sprinklered,” said Green, an Estero Fire Marshal.
He, along with the Cape's fire marshal, hopes to mandate fire sprinklers in new home construction there.
“Eighty-five percent of homes that are sprinklered one head will extinguish the fire,” Green said.
The ordinance is simple. It would require newly constructed single family and duplex homes like this one to have fire sprinklers installed.
“There are only five communities in all of Florida - Cape Coral would be number six,” said Green.
Council will consider it Monday. Green says he believes leaders will pass it in two weeks. Then he'll move toward making sprinklers a requirement in new construction in Lee County.
“I think it would send a message across the state how important the county thinks residents are,” Green said.
But those within the Lee County construction industry are fighting it.
“I think it would be a grave mistake to mandate fire sprinklers,” said politician and Realtor Gary Aubuchon.
He says he believes it should be up to the homeowner and that requiring sprinklers will mean more money to build a new home.
“If this gained any momentum at all the Florida Legislature would step in,” Aubuchon said.
With that, Green says he'll fight even harder.

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