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« High risk homes to get fire sprinklers in Essex, England | Main | Guest blogger Cecil Bilbo on the importance of NFPA 13D »

10/15/2013

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Yea I wish the FSS that I am required to have installed cost $3,000. My house is only going to be 1148 sq. ft. The cost of my FSS is $5650 plus $625 for a special valve required by the fire dept. Total $6275. I keep reading that the average cost is suppose to be $1.35 a sq. ft. What's wrong with this picture. If this is a state law, then why isn't it being implimented everywhere and not just here and there at fire departments whimsy.

Ms. Banthrall,
There are many variables that can impact system cost. Sometimes authorities ask for more than is required in the standard. We conduct numerous outreach activities trying to educate policy makers to avoid unnecessary requirements. I am guessing that the special valve required for your system is a backflow prevention device. The requirement of this device also triggers a yearly inspection by qualified persons. Multipurpose systems that are incorporated into the home's plumbing system do not require this type of valve. Stand alone or antifreeze systems do. Still $5.46 per square feet is way above the prices we found in the communities and the systems studied, revealing an average cost of $1.35.

You state that you "conduct numerous outreach activities trying to educate policy makers to avoid unnecessary requirements." How effective have those efforts been? In Minnesota, the proposal to adopt sprinklers in residences includes requirements for sprinklers in garages and at covered porches, decks, and patios. Have you contacted anyone in Minnesota to inquire why costs are being unnecessarily increased with these additional requirements that are occurring with no justification?

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