Advertisement

Previous   Next

Do you think the city should require fire sprinklers in all new single-family homes?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on November 2, 2008

Browse the archives

Photo of Ericka Schreiner

“No. I don’t think they should require them to spend the extra money. I think it should be up to the person paying for the home.”

Photo of Adam Waybright

“As someone who’s had a fire in his home, I would give a big yes to that. It would have really saved me a lot of money, and I wouldn’t have had to move.”

Photo of Brandon Whightsil

“For new housing, I don’t see a problem with it. They already have so many requirements, why not throw in another one if it could save some lives?”

Photo of Althea Schnacke

“Yes. It’s important for families’ safety. You can’t always hear the fire alarm, so at least they can kick in as a backup.”

Related story

Comments

figrod 5 years, 5 months ago

"There are certainly buildings that need sprinkler systems, but they are high-rise buildings, large buildings with complicated exiting, and buildings where lots of flammables are stored. I wouldn't want one in my house" This statement is completely contradictory to the facts. Here are the facts:The U.S. has one of the highest fire death rates in the industrialized world. For 1998, the U.S. fire death rate was 14.9 deaths per million population. Between 1994 and 1998, an average of 4,400 Americans lost their lives and another 25,100 were injured annually as the result of fire. About 100 firefighters are killed each year in duty-related incidents. 90% of these died in a home fire.Each year, fire kills more Americans than all natural disasters combined. Fire is the third leading cause of accidental death in the home; at least 80 percent of all fire deaths occur in residences. Of those, approximately 85 percent occur in single-family homes and duplexes.Do you still want to live in an unsprinklered home? For the price you pay to upgrade flooring, kitchen cabinets, or countertops, you could pay to protect yours' or your loved ones lives.Home fire sprinklers save lives!!! The time to mandate fire sprinklers was yesterday.For more information about home sprinklers visit: http://www.homefiresprinkler.org/Consumer/ConsumerHome.html

0

rantor 5 years, 5 months ago

I'm building my new house out of metal and asbestos

0

George_Braziller 5 years, 5 months ago

Newell_Post - If your system froze then you had the wrong one installed. Dry systems don't contain any water at all and are intended for areas that will freeze. It's all compresssed air that only has water pumped into the the lines when there is a fire.

0

LA_Ex 5 years, 5 months ago

Newell, don't they make flush mounted sprinkler heads so the child/ball scenario is less likely to happen? Don't they use the dry systems in areas where there is a risk of pipes freezing? That was what I've gathered in what research I've done.

0

spiderman 5 years, 5 months ago

how about mandatory fire extinguisher placements and training classes first?

0

Multidisciplinary 5 years, 5 months ago

Imagine, they put it in the code..and new home sales tank.

0

scott_webb 5 years, 5 months ago

Flush the Dylan quotes, he has an annoying voice. If you want to worship him, why not do it on your my space or facebook page. Give us a break.

0

Newell_Post 5 years, 5 months ago

LA_Ex and George are correct about how sprinklers work. What sprinkler advocates don't tell you is the amount of property damage caused by fire sprinklers when there is no fire. I have had two buildings heavily damaged by sprinklers when the pipes froze and ruptured. I had another with minor damage when kids threw a ball that broke the glass bulb in a sprinkler head. Does anyone remember when Watson Library was damaged by frozen/ruptured sprinkler lines some years ago?Also, sprinkler systems have to be inspected, tested, and flushed periodically, all at the owner's expense. There are certainly buildings that need sprinkler systems, but they are high-rise buildings, large buildings with complicated exiting, and buildings where lots of flammables are stored. I wouldn't want one in my house.

0

Multidisciplinary 5 years, 5 months ago

lunacy..Our neihgborhood lost a quite new home, perhaps 2 yrs old.

0

Linda Endicott 5 years, 5 months ago

And what kind of damage does 8-25 gallons of water per minute do to your clothes, photos and family heirlooms? Not to mention your computer or any other electronic device...(I think the family dog or cat could survive it without much damage.)If the vial breaking due to heat is what activates the sprinkler, then do they have to be replaced every time they go off?Does homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance cover water damage caused by a sprinkler system?

0

spiderman 5 years, 5 months ago

NOof course not.that's carrying the "Joe the Plumber thing" way too far!

0

George_Braziller 5 years, 5 months ago

nobody1793 - You and other posters obviously don't have an understanding of how sprinker systems work. Smoke detectors are only the first line of defense and only emit an audiable alarm. Sprinkler systems are not triggered by smoke, they are triggered by high heat. If you take a look at a sprinker head you will notice a small (toothpick sized) red cylinder in the middle. That is a small glass vial containing an alcohol solution that when it is exposed to high heat expands and breaks the glass vial. THAT is what will activate the sprinkler and only that sprinkler. It doesn't activate all of them. An important piece of information that isn't mentioned in the article is the thousands and thousand of dollars that would be saved in insurance premiums on a residence with overhead sprinklers. If I was building a house I'd include a sprinker system without even giving it a second thought. I'd rather clean up water damage in a couple of rooms than come home to find that every thing I owned was charcoal. Not just the house but every article of clothing, every photograph, every pet, every heirloom, everything in your daily life that you take for granted -- gone.

0

LA_Ex 5 years, 5 months ago

Go back and read the actual articles. I posted a link I found that answers most of these myths that sprinklers work off heat, can flood your house, expensive to install, etc.Just to answer some of these questions.1. They work off heat. Usually set at temps between 135 and 165, smoke doesn't factor in at all.2. Depending on the system, only onesprinkler head activates putting out 8 to 25 gallons per minute. (Compared to 50 to 125 gallons per minute from a fire hose.)3. 1 in 16 million heads may accidentally discharge.4. Cost is around $1.65 per square foot.5. Smoke detectors save your life, sprinklers save your belongings and your life.

0

hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 5 months ago

Reticent, thanks for the info about the padded floors / walls, etc. I am way ahead of all of you. My digs have been padded for years and the helmet issued to me is a nifty color. It is green , merrill green , to be exact. Kinda green like the color of skunk urine. You know, the stuff that is smelled downtown every Sunday morning after a long night of bar hopping. Those bar hoppers who get to park for free. Please don't make me put a fire sprinkler in the house. I want the padding to go first. It is the best combustible stuff made.Vote NO on sales tax all three of them.

0

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 5 months ago

Molly: "I don't want all my stuff getting soaked just because I suck at cooking."I'm with Molly on this one.I can stand a little rain, but some weeks my smoke alarm goes off daily.( A maaaaaaaaaaaaid... a man needs a maid. )AND I've already posted my birthday condolences AND I too find myself in Bob Dylan.( So there. )

0

lunacydetector 5 years, 5 months ago

are there any new homes being built during these tough financial times? this is a ridiculous proposal. who proposed it anyway, some loon wanting to put a damper on any future home construction for when the market returns? the 2' freeboard must've not been enough. someone has some long range plans in store for us. i am trying to remember the last time a newer home burned to the ground. funny, i can't remember.propose putting sprinkler systems in homes 50+ years old since those are the homes people die in from fires. then you'd hear some real screaming.

0

Pywacket 5 years, 5 months ago

Absolutely. And they should put a stop to grandfathering in any exceptions for apartment complexes, so many of which are fire traps. Obviously, owners are not going to do the right thing, so they should be forced. It could be something that was implemented over a period of time, tax breaks could be built in for every unit that was retrofitted, etc, but they should all be brought up to current code and made to adapt to whatever code is passed in the future. At the VERY least, this should happen whenever the buildings change hands.

0

RETICENT_IRREVERENT 5 years, 5 months ago

Sure. The city should also require padded coffee tables, outlaw stairs, and require the use of bicycle helmets while sleeping unless your bed surface is not taller than 8" above the floor, and confiscate all steak knifes.My question of the day...Why do all these Chinook helicopters overfly my family unit compound at 300'?

0

sdinges 5 years, 5 months ago

Absolutely not. When you make requirements like this, the builder just puts in the cheapest system possible, which ends up being more of a nuisance than a help to the homeowner.

0

beatrice 5 years, 5 months ago

No. Instead, I think they should ban fires. That should take care of it. Happy b-day, multi!

0

bennyoates 5 years, 5 months ago

Anonymous userrantor (Anonymous) says:Basically, Bob Dylan is a over-toked dimwit++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Then the world could use a lot more "over-toked dimwits"!

0

hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 5 months ago

Only if they are hooked up to a backup system connected to a 500 gallon gasoline storage tank. After all, who wants to rebuild any of the new houses. And dare they last for 50 years, the neighborhood groups will claim they are historic !.Yeah, at least build a box under the slab, so pot can be grown during non tornado season and even a meth lab would work also. Who needs a window in a basement for meth or pot.Pot cellars, kinda like a root cellar.

0

Kookamooka 5 years, 5 months ago

Wouldn't a better question be...."Should the City of Lawrence require new single family homes be built with basements or tornado shelters?" I can't believe how many slab homes were built in the 1990's and early 2000's! For Petes sake....we live in Kansas!

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Multidisciplinary (Anonymous) says: "I turn 49 today."Funny, your profile doesn't look a day over 43.(Happy Birthday!)***I have no objection in principle to sprinklers in new construction - I wonder who's going to have to pick up the tab for periodic inspections to make sure they're working.

0

yoornotmee 5 years, 5 months ago

I'm okay with the fire sprinklers but I'd want them to have a delay on them so they could be turned off if there wasn't actually a fire. I don't want all my stuff getting soaked just because I suck at cooking. I would also want it to understand that there is a difference between fire smoke and hookah smoke.

0

autie 5 years, 5 months ago

What about acg? did we get a halloween baby??

0

Multidisciplinary 5 years, 5 months ago

Ruprecht!Thanks everyone. Looking back, that Dylan line is absolutely true about everything in my life. dajudge..the problem with your idea?I already look 65!Have to go dye my hair now.Later..

0

SMe 5 years, 5 months ago

Catch 22 on this one.If you answer yes you're suggesting you'd be willing to pay possibly $6,000 or so more for a home.If you answer no then you're putting money above safety.Me? I say heck no. I'll trust my fire alarms.

0

Deja Coffin 5 years, 5 months ago

MultiD, Happy Birthday!!! I hope you have a great one!

0

jonas_opines 5 years, 5 months ago

A better question might be: "Do you think, in light of the mortgage crisis, that we should be building any more single-family homes?"multiD: Shengri kuai le!

0

classclown 5 years, 5 months ago

The city paid to install them in the downtown buildings. Will they pay to install them in our houses as well?

0

spiderman 5 years, 5 months ago

NOautomatic sprinkler systems are traditionally required in many areas for homes abovea certain size (5,000 sq. ft.) or in an area with a volunteer only fire department.rural douglas county homes over this size should perhaps be required to be have a sprinkler system. in town NO.

0

nobody1793 5 years, 5 months ago

Now if the sprinklers malfunctioned, or went off inadvertantly from a cigar-filled poker night, would you have to have "flood insurance" on top of homeowners insurance? Water damage is nasty nasty stuff.And seriously, enough with the bob dylan.

0

dajudge 5 years, 5 months ago

I like to lie "up" my age, then the personcan say I don't look that old. So, Multid,just tell people you're 57 and they'llmarvel at how young you look. They'llswear you don't look over 45.Oh, and yeah, probably a good idea about the sprinklers.

0

rantor 5 years, 5 months ago

Basically, Bob Dylan is a over-toked dimwit

0

autie 5 years, 5 months ago

Happy B day multi! Yes, the new 29...I will have biscuits with my chicken tonight in honor of November 2 birthdays...

0

spacehog 5 years, 5 months ago

Basically you have to suppress your own ambitions in order to be who you need to be.-bob dylan

0

prospector 5 years, 5 months ago

Inside and outside.Multi, They say that 49 in the new 29. Just be a Jack Benny when it comes to this B-day thing (so I'm dating myself by referencing him here). Anyway, enjoy the day, it looks like it will be a glorious one.

0

Multidisciplinary 5 years, 5 months ago

I turn 49 today..and I'm feeling it. Driving to Topeka to have Red Lobster for lunch with another birthday friend, then to visit a kid.I wonder if acg waited until today to have her baby?Will this be like when, wasn't it TOB that told us it was the day, then was so busy, we hung on the edge of our seats for 3-4 days til he got online for a second to announce?

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.