ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) – February 14, 2018 – Since 2009, the international fire code has called for fire sprinkler systems in newly constructed residential homes.
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Cities can make changes to the code before adopting it to their jurisdiction. In November, the city of Rock Island adopted the code in its entirety.
Effective January 1st, newly constructed residential homes are required to have a sprinkler system.
“We feel like sprinklers is that next step that is needed to further reduce home fire deaths,” says Rock Island Fire Marshal Greg Marty.
Marty says the policy is a way to keep up with the changes over times to building construction materials.
“In the same way airbags were added to cars in addition to seatbelts,” explains Marty. “We believe this is the best place to protect people from fire where they are still dying in their own home.”
Marty says more materials are engineered.
“They are much lighter weight and they’re very strong,” he explains. “They’re also much cheaper which is good for building and they can be constructed easier.”
However, modern homes are more susceptible to collapse.
“Often those collapses happen when the fire department arrives and is entering that home,” he adds.
Traco Fire Protection, a fire sprinkler contractor, says the cost isn’t as high as some might think.
“The national average is anywhere from a dollar to two dollars a square foot,” says Tony Bossio, Vice President of Traco Fire Protection.
The Quad City Realtor Association expressed concerns of a sprinkler. You can read their reaction here: