ORLAND PARK, Ill., April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The State of Illinois has reached a fire safety milestone with 90 communities now requiring fire sprinklers in new construction one- and two-family homes. The number was reached after Hazel Crest and Niles recently passed home fire sprinkler requirements that will result in safer homes for residents and firefighters.
Long Grove was the first Illinois community to pass a fire sprinkler ordinance in 1988. In the 2000s, a surge of communities upgraded their codes to include home fire sprinkler ordinances. With California and Maryland having adopted statewide codes for fire sprinklers in new construction homes, Illinois is the leading state for the number of communities that have such requirements.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal's goal is to require fire sprinklers in new construction one- and two-family homes and townhomes statewide by updating the state's current edition of NFPA 101 Life Safety Code.
Fire service leaders across Illinois and the U.S. assert that life safety for both residents and firefighters is the main motivation for requiring home fire sprinklers. They cite National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) studies, which report that 84% of all civilian fire deaths in the U.S. occur in homes. The U.S. Fire Administration's "Fire is Everyone's Fight" campaign aims to reduce the number of home fires, and the resulting deaths, injuries and loss of property through fire prevention. Home fire sprinklers are an instrumental part of the fire prevention needed.
Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, says requiring home fire sprinklers in communities not only makes sense in terms of life safety, but also financially for residents and the communities themselves. Due to the protection they provide, home fire sprinklers reduce insurance rates for homeowners. Communities that are not current with new editions of national model codes from the International Code Council and NFPA that include home fire sprinklers begin losing grading points from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) and pay more for insurance.
"We congratulate the building, fire and elected officials in Hazel Crest, Niles and all previous communities for adopting the latest codes and standards for new construction homes and recognizing the life safety that home fire sprinklers offer," adds Lia.
Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB): www.firesprinklerassoc.org.
SOURCE Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board