County Approves Mandatory Sprinklers Law for New Homes


Fayette County, Tenn., has passed a law that will require new one- and two-family residential structures to have fire sprinklers beginning in April 2008. Fayette is the second county in Tennessee to mandate fire sprinklers in new residential housing.

The new code will not require current homeowners to retrofit their houses, but it does require any additions to existing sprinkled homes to include fire sprinklers. Existing homes in the county that do not have sprinklers would not be required to install sprinklers if homeowners decide to add-on, reported The Commercial Appeal.

“I think it will save property and lives in the future,” says Commissioner Ronnie Harris. “It won’t help us that much right now, but since this county is one of the fastest-growing in the state, whoever’s sitting up there as a commissioner 10 years from now will be glad we did this.”

During the past few months, some commissioners voiced concerns about the cost of fire sprinklers and water damage to homes if a sprinkler went off inadvertently.

Commissioner Ed Allen said that after talking to some of his constituents about sprinklers and hearing the reasons why they supported them, he switched his vote to support the sprinklers, reported the newspaper.

“It was understood that down the road, something needed to be in place to shift the cost of fire protection from the taxpayer,” says Allen. “It takes some of the burden of future fire protection costs off existing homeowners.”

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