Debate/Discuss Residential Sprinkler System Requirement (news story)

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  #1  
Old 05-27-13, 06:21 PM
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Debate/Discuss Residential Sprinkler System Requirement (news story)

Illinois Fire Sprinkler Law: State Could Require Sprinkler System Be Installed In New Homes
 
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Old 05-27-13, 06:23 PM
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I find myself more comfortable in a building with fire sprinklers.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 06:29 PM
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Consider that having a sprinkler system can be more costly - not just the initial installation, but the fact that water damage can be much worse than fire damage. Fire damage stops after the fire is put out, but water damage can continue to occur in the form of mold, mildew and rot. Like many systems of safety and accident prevention, it's give and take. Sometimes you'd be better off, sometimes worse.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 11:37 PM
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I personally think having sprinklers in your home or anywhere as a requirement is much less controversial than gun control or fireworks as has been demonstrated here. Consider that the sprinkler system can get rid of a fire much quicker in many cases than when a fire company can respond because of cutbacks.

On new homes though the price really isn't that much to fuss about as everything is already exposed and adding a separate water line like what they require here isn't a big deal either. Now when you are talking about existing homes or other places then you are talking about big money. In College Park they were going to require that rental homes be retrofitted with with sprinklers something that was eventually tabled and hasn't been brought back since. If it hadn't it could have easily cost $6000.00 or more for a retrofit, definitely something we can't afford.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 04:27 AM
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Another example of government trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. My guess is that somebody with a residential sprinkler company is trying to grow his business.

Fire death rates are most closely tied to type of dwelling type, location and poverty. In my area the vast majority of residential fires are in old, multifamily, wood frame houses. Fires in newer, well maintained homes are rare.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 05:05 AM
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I think single family homes is a bad idea for the most part (as noted by previous posters).
Multi-family homes... This should be a requirement, provided the systems are seporate per unit (i.e. Goes off where the fire is located, not in other units). The trade off of water damage vs. smoke and fire damage would be worth it in this case.

Using something other then water would be much less distructive, but would require a new level of maintenance and inspections.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 06:59 AM
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Maybe they could also use it as a trade off as AFCI vs. sprinkler systems.
 
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Old 05-28-13, 01:34 PM
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I am not entirely opposed to the idea of having a requirement in new construction of single family homes having sprinklers installed. Some of the newer homes until the housing crash were getting bigger and bigger so to put a fire out in such a large structure can be very dangerous.

Also consider this with the I beam flooring joists builders put in now a fire can spread a great deal faster and floors lose their strength very rapidly compared to the older way of putting flooring joists down. So it definitely saves lives especially in newer construction.
 
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Old 05-29-13, 04:29 AM
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I am not entirely opposed to the idea of having a requirement in new construction of single family homes having sprinklers installed. Some of the newer homes until the housing crash were getting bigger and bigger so to put a fire out in such a large structure can be very dangerous.

Also consider this with the I beam flooring joists builders put in now a fire can spread a great deal faster and floors lose their strength very rapidly compared to the older way of putting flooring joists down. So it definitely saves lives especially in newer construction.
Good points.
In the larger homes, a seporated system would be the way to go, but would cost a lot more then the minimum required.

If my home ever goes up, and I can't put it out myself, the local boy (VFF) will only be able to keep it from affecting the neighbors. 1930's lumber (tall boxy house) will require more then what we have for equipment and men.
 
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Old 07-24-13, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick D. View Post
Consider that having a sprinkler system can be more costly - not just the initial installation, but the fact that water damage can be much worse than fire damage. Fire damage stops after the fire is put out, but water damage can continue to occur in the form of mold, mildew and rot. Like many systems of safety and accident prevention, it's give and take. Sometimes you'd be better off, sometimes worse.
Fire sprinkler systems are for saving lives not homes.
 
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Old 07-24-13, 04:35 PM
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It's much more difficult to retrofit a system in a older home then a new home. Some state required houses have to have a stand alone system and some are grandfathered in where then do not need to have them. NY is cracking down on this. Most of the typical systems installed are in new built homes and are multi purpose meaning all the sprinklers are tied to all fixtures. And can be done by a general plumber but not the drawings for the install requiring this system can only be done in a 200sqr foot or less house. A stand alone system requires union sprinkler installer and a sprinkler command to draw the plans.
 
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Old 07-25-13, 07:51 AM
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Well stated...

Fire sprinkler systems are for saving lives not homes.


My Two (Common) Cents. Without all the politics and governmental B/S aside... Installations and requirements as it pertains to Multiple attached dwellings and all public buildings. Not single residences.

Properly designed, installed & operating fire sprinkler system only turns on the sprinkler(s) in the effected area(s) in an attempt to either suppress the fire to allow escape time or totally extinguish the fire in the effected area(s). Not all the sprinklers in the entire system.

Smoke alarms due the same without the water. Smoke alarms are an early warning system when installed and maintained properly. Required in all multiple dwellings and public buildings out this way. As are fire sprinkler systems, clearly marked exists and wall mounted fire extinguishers, etc.

If and when the fire department arrives, there will not only be more water damages since they often hose from a distance at first then entire and hose down the entire area(s) and all surrounding areas as well.

Bottom line is water damage will result either way. But the sprinkler system will warn and help with the suppression of the fire hopefully long enough to allow residents to escape and save lives. As accurately stated above...

 
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Old 07-25-13, 09:37 AM
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Good point! In addition to that I will have to say that a lot of contractors just use the standard 155 Pendents which is standard grade unless you have them in attic or kitchens. But what happens is there is a small fire and one head goes off and the fire is small enough for that head to control but when it goes off the water spray will push the heat toward the next head in result setting off the next head when it technically doesn't need to be.
So bumping the tempiture to 200 will make sure the heads go off when the flam reaches that point.

Smoke detectors will be for getting the system up and running to be activated.
 
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Old 07-25-13, 01:42 PM
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Hello: Isola96

Points well stated and well made...

The usual circumstances are in single small rooms with only one sprinkler. Example: One bedroom. Larger rooms in the home may require two or more. In which case one can set off another sprinkler. Therefore, setting each sprinkler to different temp activation settings by room size and location would be an improvement. Example: Living rooms and or other larger family rooms, rec rooms, dens, etc.

Not sure if customer has that optional temp sprinkler settings or is aware there are different temp heads... Nor if they are offered a choice or any code requires all the same or some may be different temp settings......

Which now can become a code issue in some areas of the country. Not a political issue but rather a local code issue as it pertains in single residential homes temp choices if allowed. Then multiple residential units and public buildings, etc. In which lower temp settings (155+ or minus) makes more sense.

Anyone whom knows for sure on each, should post a reply with the "FACTS." I.E. local codes and state laws.

In my state all homes resold and built new must have smoke detectors. Been a law here for many years and makes plenty of sense. Except to some whom oppose any governmental laws for any reasons... That's another entire issue all of it's own...
 
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Old 07-25-13, 02:18 PM
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One thing I see that hasn't been discussed but really should be is carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors are not a requirement yet in every state but they really should be as they save lives. I know that for a fact as one I installed in my tenants house went off and alerted the family to carbon monoxide. The boiler wasn't getting enough air and there were other problems to so we replaced the whole thing and haven't had any new problems. I installed one in that house way before any mandates in my state as I knew it could save a life. Now they have a requirement for every home to have one here in Maryland and I am glad they do.
 
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Old 07-25-13, 02:42 PM
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If someone could develop (and they probably have already) a dry pipe system zoned from a manifold with the alarm system tied to it, allowing only that portion of the system to energize with water, then when the temperature subsides, shut down. Having a dry pipe system will eliminate ongoing problems with joints leaking, heads popping at inopportune times. Allow the alarm system to handle it, rather than little wax bits of chewing gum.
 
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Old 07-26-13, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
If someone could develop (and they probably have already) a dry pipe system zoned from a manifold with the alarm system tied to it, allowing only that portion of the system to energize with water, then when the temperature subsides, shut down. Having a dry pipe system will eliminate ongoing problems with joints leaking, heads popping at inopportune times. Allow the alarm system to handle it, rather than little wax bits of chewing gum.
There are similar systems for commercial use were there are dry heads that are compressed with air. Although the hole system can not be dry, for residental it's either standing water in the system or circulating through the entire house. For commercial systems there is a shut off outside we're the fire department can tie into.
 
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Old 07-26-13, 11:26 AM
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A tie in to an alarm system sounds good Larry on paper but what happens if something happens to the alarm system? The alarm system should definitely be monitored and the fire department called from the monitoring station but I don't think it should control when the sprinkler goes off. I certainly can understand your feelings about that being a contractor and wanting to save people a great deal of grief. I would like what you would like but would also want to make sure the fire was out without some kind of malfunction happening. It might also not pass fire codes either.
 
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Old 07-26-13, 12:27 PM
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To answer to your property damage is good insurance. Smoke/fire detectors and sprinkler systems are there to save lives, not property. The fire department shows up to save the neighborhood, not the house that's on fire.

When houses burn, they burn fast and hot. It only takes a few minutes for a home to become fully involved. I would trade a destroyed house for my family's lives any day.
 
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