Pantagraph.com reports that in January, Bloomington, IL aldermen rejected mandatory sprinkler installation, instead opting for the “mandatory option,” pushed by the Bloomington-Normal Area Home Builders Association.
Guy DiCiaula, project manager for Kaisner Homes, claims that customers are turned off by the extra cost and that they don’t see the value. Mark Huber, Bloomington’s director of Planning and Code Enforcement, said he doesn’t think homebuilders are working very hard to market sprinkler systems but are pushing other amenities, like granite countertops.
Should fire sprinklers systems, included in all minimum fire, life safety and construction national model codes be sold as an amenity like granite countertops? Di Caula says that features like granite countertops are driven by the market and that customers want them, no matter the cost.
Bill Wetzel, chairman of the Construction Board of Contruction said; “it’s clear the market must drive any change to city codes but…the mandatory option could help change the market.”
What do you think? Should safety codes be market driven? Why? Why not? The debate continues and this issue will come up again. Are you prepared to make the case either way? Share your comments here with us.