Whether or not fire sprinklers should be required by law to be installed in residential properties has been a hot topic for debate across the country. There are many businesses, organizations, and individuals who firmly believe that a sprinkler system in every home would save lives each and every year. We happen to fall on that side of the debate, and so do several people who spoke at the Construction Commission’s meeting about this issue in Peoria, Illinois.
Phillip Maclin, the division chief of the town’s fire department, said that is all comes down to life safety. Construction costs should not be a top priority when discussing matters of life and death. He argued that the city should adopt a policy that would see a sprinkler system installed in every new building. Some of his major concerns were that modern construction materials and home styles are much more susceptible to fires, making the need for a sprinkler system more important than ever before.
Of course, several people on the construction and real estate side disagreed with this assessment, and worried that the inclusion of fire sprinklers would drive up construction costs and real estate prices, making the area less competitive compared to nearby towns. However, there have already been around 100 neighborhoods throughout Illinois that have required the installation of sprinkler systems in new residential properties.
While it’s clear that this debate is just getting started in Peoria and many areas of the country, we’re glad that this is finally something people are really talking about. We just hope that the debate doesn’t last too long and that sprinklers can be used to save more lives than ever before.