Posted on March 21, 2012 by Guest Post

This is a letter to the editor written by Mark Dale to The Oklahoman about the mandated fire sprinkler issue.

Council, say no' to mandated fire sprinklers

In reference to the Oklahoman article ("City considers requiring sprinklers in new

homes," March 15), Oklahoma homebuilders, developers and Realtors are not

Mark Dale, Past president
Oklahoma State Home
Builders Association

against life-safety measures. On the contrary, they are among a group of business

professionals and individuals opposed to more government mandates. Too many

folks become focused on an issue and claim it is the end-all solution to a problem.

What is the problem?

The problem is not just fire deaths, but that these fire deaths occur in older

houses. If one follows media reports and hears about a death related to a fire, it is

overwhelmingly in an older home that did not have working smoke alarms.

Current code requirements already mandate hard-wired smoke alarms, fire-rated

Sheetrock, spark-resistant electrical outlets, fire-blocking framing requirements,

and many other fire resistant measures. Hard-wired smoke alarms are by far the

most effective measure to saving lives from fires. It is written on the side of every

firefighting vehicle - "Smoke alarms save lives!"

If a person wants to also add fire sprinklers to their home, it should be their choice.

Homebuilders offer lightning protection, storm shelters, and water purification

systems as options. This is another instance where the consumer can decide what

is best for their situation.

Why consider yet another mandate to fix something that really isn't the problem,

when we should consider instead a way of getting working smoke alarms in every

home? That should be the direction on which we as a community focus and one in

which homebuilders would heartily support.

Mark Dale

Former President of COHBA and OSHBA



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