08172017Headline:

St. Cloud, Minnesota

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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
Attorney • (800) 770-7008

Should New Homes All Come With Fire Sprinklers?

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Every three years, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry updates the state’s fire code. At this time, they are working on the rules that will be used in 2011. They are considering a recommendation from the International Code Council, an advisory group that recommends fire sprinklers, for all new homes and businesses. Presently, the code requires sprinklers only in new residential buildings larger than 9,250 square feet — which usually means buildings with three or more living units.

The biggest concern is that this requirement may add as much as $4,000 to each house. There is also an argument that good fire alarms can do the job and with so few new houses each year it would take 40 years to make a difference. Of the 40 Minnesotans who die each year in fires, 11 are in houses with working fire alarms. Proponents see sprinklers as saving lives.

Other fire statistics from the 2007 Fire Marshel’s report:

  • Deaths in single-family homes — 19

  • Estimated deaths in single-family homes with working smoke detectors — 11

  • Statewide property loss — $173 million

  • Firefighter deaths in 10 years — 5, all from traffic accidents

  • Residential fires — 74 percent of all fires and 78 percent of deaths. M
  • Minnesota’s per capita fire death rate — 29 percent below national average

More information can be found at www.IRCFireSprinkler.org.