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mark handler
March 5th, 2011, 12:29
Fire chiefs want sprinklers in all new single-family homes
The construction industry balks at the expense of the safety requirement

By Andrew Gomes
http://www.staradvertiser.com/business/businessnews/20110305_fire_chiefs_want_sprinklers_in_all_new_si ngle_family_homes.html

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Mar 05, 2011

Protecting single-family homes with fire-protection sprinklers makes good sense when it comes to safety, but is it worth the cost?

That's the question local government and building industry officials are wrestling with in an initiative to require sprinkler systems in all new single-family homes and duplexes built in Hawaii.

A state panel responsible for updating building codes in Hawaii is considering adopting the regulation, which would make homes safer but could add $5,000 to $6,000 to the cost of a 1,000-square-foot house.

The State Fire Council, which represents Hawaii's four county fire chiefs, is trying to broaden public support of the issue through a legislative resolution asking the Building Code Council to adopt the sprinkler requirement. The House Committee on Public Safety and Military Affairs passed the resolution Thursday with an 8-0 vote. The resolution advances to committees on Housing and Water, Land and Ocean Resources.

Local county fire chiefs testified in favor of the measure. The Building Industry Association-Hawaii testified in opposition, suggesting that sprinklers could be an option for homebuyers. A trade alliance between contractors and the Hawaii Carpenters Union supports the intent of mandatory sprinklers in new homes, but expresses concern over its impact on affordable housing.


FOR MORE INFORMATION
...on fire sprinklers in homes, visit firesprinklerinitiative.org.

To see simulations of burning homes with and without sprinklers, visit youtube.com/watch?v=CXZQWQfI1iU.


The effort is part of a national movement. Now as the debate heats up locally, there are sparks that suggest the issue could become contentious considering that housing costs in Hawaii are already exorbitant.

Hawaii is one of 16 states where sprinkler systems in single-family homes aren't required in at least one city or county, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Hawaii regulations require sprinkler systems in new construction of high-rises over 75 feet, townhomes and most large commercial buildings. Townhome sprinkler systems were mandated by the state in 2009, though a lag in adoption by counties might still allow some townhomes to be built without sprinklers until later this year.

Extending the requirement to single-family homes should be the next step, said Lloyd Rogers, administrative assistant for the State Fire Council. "It's proven that sprinklers are going to reduce fire loss and fire deaths and injuries," he said. "It really comes down to cost."

The Building Industry Association-Hawaii opposes a single-family home sprinkler requirement and argues that sprinklers will further inflate high prices for new homes that are already built with dramatically superior fire-safety features compared with older homes where sprinklers would make a bigger difference.

"Mandating fire sprinklers in new homes does not target the homes and issues where fire deaths are occurring," the trade association said in a written statement. "As a society, we cannot afford to deny needed housing for the sake of new requirements without proven benefits."

Evan Fujimoto, president of local homebuilder Graham Builders, said that before endorsing a sprinkler requirement, he needs more specifics about costs, designs and other information including how regulations would apply to homes not connected to a water utility system.

However, the Honolulu Fire Department has made what Fujimoto called a compelling case for sprinklers. "This is something we'll be following closely," he said.

Nationally, the movement to require sprinklers in new single-family homes has been growing since an organization in charge of updating U.S. building code standards, the International Code Council, added sprinklers to its minimum safety standards for single-family homes in 2009.

Since then the standard has garnered strong support from local fire departments and the National Fire Protection Association, which have pushed to have the ICC standard adopted by state, city and county building codes.

The NFPA says sprinklers are an affordable, unobtrusive, reliable and maintenance-free way to significantly reduce property and life loss.

Sprinkler systems, which have been in use for many years, activate automatically in reaction to significant heat change but not to smoke, steam or smoke alarm activation. Often, only one sprinkler will deploy in response to a fire and can extinguish flames before spreading. Other times, sprinklers give occupants more time to escape and avoid injury or death. Sprinklers also can reduce the number and duration of responses by firefighters.

The NFPA, based on a 2008 sampling of home sprinkler installations in 10 cities, said costs ranged from 38 cents to $3.66 per square foot of house area covered by the system, or $1.61 on average. Local advocates estimate the cost in Hawaii would be $5 to $6 per square foot.

The national organization has lobbied hard to make sprinklers mandatory in single-family home construction, producing dramatic video demonstrations, publishing a list refuting arguments against home sprinklers and suggesting that opponents don't value the price of saving lives and preventing injuries.

The risk of dying in a home fire is reduced by 50 percent using smoke alarms compared with 80 percent for sprinklers, the NFPA said. The organization also said sprinklers reduce the average property loss by 71 percent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 377,000 home fires in the United States in 2009 which killed 2,565 people and injured another 13,050, not including firefighters.

The NFPA said four states have adopted the requirement for sprinklers in new single-family homes, though 34 states have at least one county or city requiring home sprinklers. California leads the way with 146 cities and counties requiring home sprinklers.

However, opposition, largely from homebuilders, is fighting the initiative in a countermove that has led to anti-sprinkler legislation introduced in 14 mainland states this year.

Those against sprinklers say they are expensive, difficult to maintain, can accidentally activate and aren't a cost-effective safety improvement over smoke alarms.

No anti-sprinkler legislation has been introduced in Hawaii.

Instead, the State Building Code Council has formed an investigative committee that includes building industry representatives to produce a consensus on the issue.

The investigative committee has recommended that sprinklers be required in new homes effective January 2014. The council has yet to vote on the recommendation.

peach
March 5th, 2011, 13:43
what are the stats in HI?

It's not a matter of requiring them.. it's a matter of deleteing the IRC requirement for them.

so I ask.. what are the statistics regarding loss of life for NOT having them? (my guess is really none. .. if there are operable smoke detectors .. a much better idea.. my humble opinion only)..

conarb
March 5th, 2011, 14:57
For some reason Hawaii has the lowest in the nation (http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/statistics/estimates/states.shtm), 10 times lower than the highest.

GHRoberts
March 5th, 2011, 16:23
3000 people die in fires in the US (year 2000).

6000 pedestrians died in the same year.

Perhaps pedestrians should be more regulated.

brudgers
March 5th, 2011, 18:57
3000 people die in fires in the US (year 2000).

6000 pedestrians died in the same year.

Perhaps pedestrians should be more regulated.

Hell 13,000 people a year commit suicide with handguns.

mark handler
March 5th, 2011, 19:02
$3,000 to $10k, a cheap insurance policy to keep your kids/grandkids alive
The average price of a new car sold in the United States is $28,400

incognito
March 6th, 2011, 02:52
It would be interesting to know how many sprinkler advocates have installed sprinklers in their existing homes or the existing homes that their grandkids live in. It may be existing but still far less cost to install than a new car, hot tub or boat. And no BS about sprinklers not being required in existing homes, this is the LIVES of YOUR KIDS and GRANDKIDS that are at risk in an unsprinkled home. I'm guessing talk is cheap and most sprinkler advocates are hypocrites.

mark handler
March 6th, 2011, 12:08
advocates are hypocrites.
Maybe, not "are".
There are no exceptions to the rule that everybody likes to be an exception to the rule."--Charles Osgood,
American radio and TV commentator

conarb
March 6th, 2011, 12:37
861


If you want to save lives put the money where it will do some good, the [/URL][U]2001 Canadian Government study - updated 2005 (http://[URL=%22http://www.smokealarmswork.org/firesprinklers/CHBAPositionPaper.pdf) should have put this sprinkler fraud to bed a long time ago, if it weren't for the massive kickbacks from the sprinkler manufacturers' coalition to the firefighters' unions it would have been dead a long time ago. With all the press about firefighters' exorbitant salaries and pensions you'd think that they would keep their stupid mouths shut.

brudgers
March 6th, 2011, 18:47
$3,000 to $10k, a cheap insurance policy to keep your kids/grandkids alive
The average price of a new car sold in the United States is $28,400

You forgot to factor in the increased homeowner's insurance premiums.

mark handler
March 6th, 2011, 21:56
You forgot to factor in the increased homeowner's insurance premiums.

Once again statements without facts

The National Association of Home Builders determined the insurance premiums, decreased.
5 to 10 percent savings on home insurance premiums in most states

See the National Association of Home Builders chart
http://www.nahb.com/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentTypeID=3&contentID=82243&subContentID=118822

conarb
March 7th, 2011, 00:54
Once again statements without facts

I checked, Farmers wants 40% more even though they don't cover mold damage in the event of an inadvertent release (they do if there is an actual fire), State Farm offers a 10% decrease but only if there is full coverage, including garages, attics, and all closets. Then I called on my house, State Farm was $1,100+, Farmers was $600+, so with sprinklers 10% State Farm wold be at $990 and Farmers with sprinklers would be $840. This was a big issue at Minneapolis, one of the advocates made a big point of insurance company surcharges telling the audience that people have to shop their insurance to find a company that discounts for sprinklers. The main fact is that to get the discount you can't install a simple 13D, you have to pay more for full coverage. And don't forget the additional costs for a large enough meter, here it's $135,880 in the wealthier areas, but only $51,060 in the poorer areas.

If we are going to have to pay all this money to the corrupt sprinkler industry, how about calculating the amount and giving the owner the option of donating the money to the American Cancer Society or something else useful that might actually save lives?


http://www.dickseibert.com/ebmud3.jpg

mark handler
March 7th, 2011, 12:12
Time for you to shop around, different insurers.

As to the meter size, that is based on your McMansion, and the local fire authority having
jurisdiction.

brudgers
March 7th, 2011, 12:16
Once again statements without facts

The National Association of Home Builders determined the insurance premiums, decreased.
5 to 10 percent savings on home insurance premiums in most states

See the National Association of Home Builders chart
http://www.nahb.com/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentTypeID=3&contentID=82243&subContentID=118822

I thank you deeply because the NAHB is famous and revered for their unbiased scientific investigation techniques and lack of self-interest regarding anything that adds to the costs of homes.

conarb
March 7th, 2011, 12:29
Time for you to shop around, different insurers.

Mark:

I did shop around becasue of this fiasco, and it did save me money without sprinklers, I had State Farm and they had jacked my premiums up, my investigation revealed that Farmers without sprinklers was so much cheaper that State Farm without sprinklers that I insured my home and Hummer for less than I was paying for the home alone with State Farm. Obviously State Farm has jacked all of their homeowners' rates up to cover the anticipated losses from sprinklers, so it pays the average guy without sprinklers to look at the companies that don't give discounts for sprinklers.

You addressed neither the exorbitant rates the water companies are levying on meters large enough to handle sprinklers, nor my suggestion that people building a home being allowed to donate the costs of sprinklers to a charity where it might actually do some good and actually save lives.

Since both of us are in California, you are aware that also profiting on this scam are the unions, the sprinkler fitters have got a law passed through the state license board requiring anyone touching a sprinkler system have an apprenticeship certificate, which makes sprinkler installations union jobs. There is a lot of logic to the requirement, a non-union worker nailing studs together can't cause too much irreparable damage, but a non-union sprinkler fitter can cause irreparable damage if the system leaks causing mold growth.

steveray
March 7th, 2011, 13:12
"a non-union worker nailing studs together can't cause too much irreparable damage,"

I disagree......with that part....

incognito
March 8th, 2011, 01:29
What would make anyone think that a lazy, clock-watching union worker is better than a non-union worker. Union workers spend more time trying to figure out how not to work than actually accomplishing anything of value.

brudgers
March 8th, 2011, 10:52
What would make anyone think that a lazy, clock-watching union worker is better than a non-union worker. Union workers spend more time trying to figure out how not to work than actually accomplishing anything of value.

Did you know that many code officials are covered by collective bargaining agreements?

incognito
March 10th, 2011, 02:15
Did you know that many code officials are covered by collective bargaining agreements?

And what's your point? As far as I am concerned union is union regardless of trade. They get no slack from me if they use union BS to NOT do their job.

steveray
March 10th, 2011, 09:59
What would make anyone think that a lazy, clock-watching union worker is better than a non-union worker. Union workers spend more time trying to figure out how not to work than actually accomplishing anything of value.

Unfortunately....these days it seems....a good chunk of americans....union and non.....don't know the meaning of hard work....or being professional...

FM William Burns
March 10th, 2011, 10:46
They get no slack from me if they use union BS to NOT do their job.

Exactly! Some have given us bad raps with you bashers where all of you think we're ***** holes and just want a free ride. Wake up and realize that many groups work with their communities and give concessions each contract cycle. We (those that work with Mgmt) just don't want things to go back to the era of Triangle Shirt Waste Factory where fat cats and admin profit on our sweat and blood. Thanks organizied labor for your work week or overtime pay. You bashers chose to work for whomever you work for like it or not. FYI...I don't support labor abuse either and fight it all the time....proud member LXXXX.

forensics
March 12th, 2011, 09:15
incognito said...
"It would be interesting to know how many sprinkler advocates have installed sprinklers in their existing homes or the existing homes that their grandkids live in. It may be existing but still far less cost to install than a new car, hot tub or boat. And no BS about sprinklers not being required in existing homes, this is the LIVES of YOUR KIDS and GRANDKIDS that are at risk in an unsprinkled home. I'm guessing talk is cheap and most sprinkler advocates are hypocrites."

OK Using that logic how many inspectors who routinely fail homes for noncomplience have....
* Have installed hard wired smokes in thier homes
* Have upgraded all glass to Impact Resistant
* Have installed all required seismic straps and restraints
* Have insulated and energy improved their homes
Etc. Etc. Etc.
"I'm guessing talk is cheap and most building code advocates are hypocrites."


SHEESH!

incognito
March 12th, 2011, 19:12
Forensics,
So sad to see you grasping at straws. But I guess that is what happens when state after state sees through the over-reaching mandate you and others of your ilk tried to force upon the public. I'm guessing you have bought new "toys" but have failed to provide for the safety of your loved ones by installing residential sprinklers in your home. And you being the professional that you are, how will you feel when the bad thing happens when you are away from home.

forensics
March 13th, 2011, 11:42
Actually my home is sprinkled ! THANK YOU FOR PROVING YOU ASSume RATHER THAN INVESTIGATE TO GET THE FACTS.

The trUth is you are paying for fire protection as a matter of fact you are paying the taxes that build and maintain the fire protection that is being used to subsedize the builders profits when they come to your area and build hundreds of unprotected homes

It is obvious that you are bought off by the lying, backward and corrupt HBA and any thinking person (well the ones thinking for themselves anyway) understands that sprinklers at 1.61 per sq ft is the best way to mitigate fire deaths and property damage
My guess is you are in the home repair and remodel industry and you hate the idea of no more expensive rebuilds to line your pockets.

Why dont you tell us what your financial connection is because the real truth is that the NAHB and the CHEAP builders are exchanging dollars for lives! Why do you embrace the lightweight construction methods without sprinkler protection....hmmm could it be that you really don't care how many firefighters and innocent people you kill so long as you can build cheaper homes and make more money

You can be sure that there will be a test in court when a CODE SUBSTANDARD (thats right the sprinklers are in the code and any home without them is SUBSTANDARD) home burns and people die and then the issue will be product liability.
Then only a fool will risk to build without sprinklers and especially when lightweight components are used. Mark my word the lawsuit is inevitable and when the jury hears how cheap these CODE MANDATED system are they will nail the builders and the component manufacturers.

You go ahead and cling to you ignorant position but rest assured that we dont need a mandate we only need to expose the lies and the give the facts to the homebuying public! We will prevail when people realize they are paying for the builders fire responsibilities and they will demand sprinklers in the new homes!
The best way to get the information to the public is to sue the pants off some small local builder who can't afford to defend himself and then use that case to nail the big boys.
This will happen you can bet on it ... so you loose again ... get over it
You will have to come up with some other way to cheapen your housing product cause "this dog ain't gonna hunt !"

THE QUESTION REMAINS .....HAVE YOU UPGRADED YOUR HOME WITH THE ABOVE CODE MANDATED ITEMS OR NOT
DARE YOU ANSWER THAT QUESTION

ROLL CALL HOW MANY OF US AS INSPECTORS HAVE ADDED AT OUR COST ANY OF THE ABOVE ITEMS TO THEIR OWN HOMES THAT THEY DEMAND IN OTHER PEOPLES NEW HOMES!!
Forensics ...... only one SPRINKLERS

incognito
March 14th, 2011, 03:01
Forensics you are truly pathetic. First of all I am not a contractor of any type. I am the building official for my community and proud of the fact that I played a significant role in getting the sprinkler requirements amended out of the State building code. Working with contractors and senators to get this amended out was an honor and a priviledge. We certainly ran across a few egomanics such as yourself in this fight but ultimately your type just make it to easy. As far as my home is concerned it far exceeds the minimum code requirements in 2000 when it was built well as todays minimum requirements. I would not hesitate to repair/correct/modify anything that I felt put my families well being at risk. Now does that include impact resistant glass in every window? Of course not!! It is only required in very specific locations and I am not advocating its use otherwise. While my home required 7 hardwired smoke detectors I had 10 installed because that is what I wanted. From what I can tell my insulation package should exceed insulation requirements beyond 2015. I also installed solid surface countertops and sinks throughout and underground sprinklers for my lawn. Even a fourth stall on the garage for future toys. Checked into residential sprinklers but the expense meant I would have to give up features I wanted. If I was not going to have those features there was no reason to build or move. So for those who want sprinklers I am all for you installing them. Oh and please keep up your asinine ranting and ridiculous examples of cost,etc. along with the rest of the fire boys. You made winning easy and there is nothing better than winning.

beach
March 14th, 2011, 10:34
there is nothing better than winning.

http://www.adventuresinparenting.me/2011/03/01/the-charlie-sheen-rant-dr-seuss-style/

incognito
March 14th, 2011, 11:15
Sorry beach but I am not interested in the Charlie Sheen mess and the media from the land-of-the-out-of-touch(California) covering it in disgusting detail. I am guessing you do not like my reference to winning, which is typical for many once they in fact lose. But if you were trying to make a point that some things are better than "winning", I would agree. Actually many things are. But winning still beats losing and in the public forum sprinkler advocates are getting crushed.

beach
March 14th, 2011, 11:53
I really don't care about your reference to winning..... your rant just seemed very familiar, i.e. the Sheen diatribe. Referring to previous posts, you obviously have other issues than just fire sprinklers, which have become amusing if nothing else.

forensics
March 15th, 2011, 10:06
Incognito said..
I am the building official for my community and proud of the fact that I played a significant role in getting the sprinkler requirements amended out of the State building code.

Please try to be at the next funeral for one of your communities children who is a home fire victim and be sure to let them know that you are so proud of your ignorant and foolish stance on the issue.
You dont have the guts to even show up at a fire scene of the subsequent fuberal because .....You Can't handle the truth !!!! (or even recognize it)

Your personal attacks on me only serve to reveal your inability to present a viable argument for your beloved and murderous homebuilder benefactors!

brudgers
March 15th, 2011, 12:33
Incognito said..
I am the building official for my community and proud of the fact that I played a significant role in getting the sprinkler requirements amended out of the State building code.

Please try to be at the next funeral for one of your communities children who is a home fire victim and be sure to let them know that you are so proud of your ignorant and foolish stance on the issue.
You dont have the guts to even show up at a fire scene of the subsequent fuberal because .....You Can't handle the truth !!!! (or even recognize it)

Your personal attacks on me only serve to reveal your inability to present a viable argument for your beloved and murderous homebuilder benefactors!

You forgot to mention Nazis.

texasbo
March 15th, 2011, 13:01
Forensics said:
You go ahead and cling to you ignorant position but rest assured that we dont need a mandate we only need to expose the lies and the give the facts to the homebuying public! We will prevail when people realize they are paying for the builders fire responsibilities and they will demand sprinklers in the new homes!
The best way to get the information to the public is to sue the pants off some small local builder who can't afford to defend himself and then use that case to nail the big boys.
This will happen you can bet on it ... so you loose again ... get over it
You will have to come up with some other way to cheapen your housing product cause "this dog ain't gonna hunt !"



Wow. This is just a small excerpt from your incoherant rant, but it is enough for us to know that if you are the face of the sprinkler contingent, we have nothing to worry about. Your rambling diatribe is just an example of why people will stay far, far away from whatever you're pushing.

And what are you going to sue for? Complying with adopted laws? What a joke you are. Let me tell you a little secret: The "homebuying public" doesn't want your snake oil, and as long as they don't, they're going to make sure that zealots and profiteers like you don't foist it upon them.

So spare us the bodybags as well as the rhetoric; you're good for entertainment value and little else.

There are members here that can actually speak intelligently on the subject of RFS, and can actually make a point. Maybe you should take a cue from them, or better yet, consider a different line of work; because your rants expose you as nothing more than the crackpot you are.

conarb
March 15th, 2011, 13:11
Forensics:

You keep using the word "ignorant", do you have any idea as to why some states have fire deaths at a rate 10 times as high (http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/statistics/estimates/states.shtm) as others? Does ignorance have anything to do with it? Is it frying food, smoking, or burning wood?

High Desert
March 15th, 2011, 13:37
It would be interesting to know how many sprinkler advocates have installed sprinklers in their existing homes or the existing homes that their grandkids live in. It may be existing but still far less cost to install than a new car, hot tub or boat. And no BS about sprinklers not being required in existing homes, this is the LIVES of YOUR KIDS and GRANDKIDS that are at risk in an unsprinkled home. I'm guessing talk is cheap and most sprinkler advocates are hypocrites.

Not many. All of the ones I have asked said they will sprinkler their next home.