Estero, Florida, is proposing to sprinkler all of its new homes, and it's getting an informative lesson on the ease of installation from one of its own communities.
Described on its website as a "beautiful, gated enclave," the Pebble Pointe at The Brooks development in Estero includes 90, fully sprinklered homes. Initially hesitant to include this life-saving feature, homebuilding company Taylor Morrison was eventually persuaded by expedited inspections and lower insurance rates that will offset the installation cost over time.
"With the benefits of personal safety and a discount in insurance, it really is a win all the way around," Taylor Morrison sales representative Dawnn Dollar told the Naples Daily News. "With as many seasonal homeowners as we have here, [the sprinklers] really served to be a piece-of-mind thing. We've had a positive response to it."
Estero's fire safety officials are banking on an ordinance to bolster these "wins" throughout the town while tackling its home fire problem. The news story reports that an economic impact study commissioned by Estero Fire Rescue concluded that Estero has a high percentage of elderly living in expensive homes. Therefore, notes the study, fires there will lead to more deaths, injuries, and damage than what's statistically seen across the state or U.S.
Home fire sprinklers, notes the study, have the ability to "reduce fire fatalities from 25 expected deaths per 10,000 fires to less than five deaths," states the news report. Since many of Estero's homes are new and likely built with lightweight construction materials that burn hotter and faster than traditional lumber, sprinklers can rapidly cut the risk of fire death or injury.
Public hearings on the ordinance have been scheduled.