Builders and Real Estate Agents Conspire to Kill Fire Fighters

Now that I have your attention…let’s talk about the lobbying efforts at the state and national level of the National Builder’s Association and the National Association of Realtors to stop cities, counties, and states from implementing the new IRC requirement of installing sprinkler systems in new homes.

Initially, the argument was that the added cost would put housing out of reach for too many families. I’m still laughing at the thought of real estate salesmen spending their PAC money to keep housing costs (also known as “sales commissions”) down. It’s amazing what the public will accept as fact when it is pounded into their brains long enough.

But now that mortgage rates are at the 1950s level…and homes are now worth up to 40% less than what they sold for a year or two ago…what is the new mantra?

The good news is…the 2012 IRC will have the same requirement…and builders and agents will be forced to spend more money and time to fight the code again…and again in 2015…and so on and so on…

Until then…every firefighter who dies in the act of putting out a fire in a 2011 (or later) home…every child who burns to death in a 2011 home…will have survivors who can thank their local real estate agent and builder for putting their own personal greed before the life of their consumer.

The cost of materials that are NOT installed…like a sprinkler system…is known to a builder as profit.

Way to go, NAHB. Thanks for nothing, NAR.

Drama Queen. :roll:

Barbra Streisand

Let the home buyer/owner decide.

So are you against requiring smoke alarms in houses also?

It seems that you are assuming that most homes are connected to Municipal Water systems.

In areas solely sourced by on-site wells, fire suppression systems installed can be cost prohibitive.

Adding smoke detectors to a home is near negligible and cost effective expense when compared to a fire suppression system.

Now if the insurance companies want to offer a discount for having fire sprinklers that would be fine.

Some systems are self contained.

I’m not sure I understand the difference.

A water-line suppression system installed in your average home (2K sq ft, w/10 rooms) runs in the area of $6K, regardless of the water source.

That’s fair…as long as the local fire department can also “decide” as to whether or not to respond to the fire. After all, if the homeowner has decided to skip the step of protecting his own property…why should they have to risk their lives to protect it?

Of course, they need to be there to protect the homes of any neighbors who installed a suppression system and to keep the fire from spreading to homes protected by such systems.

I mean…as long as we are giving people choices…let’s go all the way.

James, everything you said makes sense from a safety standpoint but what will happen when builders are required to put these systems in is the compromises that will have to be made to keep the profit level up.

IE, low pay for the workers who actually build the house, the quality of material and so on.

To think the builder will let this stand in the way of profits, is naive. In the end it’s the person who buys the home who looses.

Jeff, in cases where there is a well with minimal water pressure a separate tank is required, which provides water solely to the suppression system

I’ll tell you what is even more fair.

Deduct the cost of fire protection services from the property tax bill.:roll:

They should also tax candles to make them prohibitively expensive. :sarcasm:

And gas stoves and should also not be allowed in homes. :shock:

Why is cost benefit analysis so often not included when designing new regulations?

The additional tank (5K gals.) and pump is another $5K roughly, so I can see $11K as “prohibitive” for some areas.

Here’s a pic:

Well Supplied Fire Sprinkler System.jpg

Over the last 20 years we have watched the price of housing inflate on speculation…based on nothing but the greed of lenders and the appraisers who accommodated them. The house that sold for $17,000 when it was built in 1970 sold for $145,000 in 2005…with virtually no improvements.

Is there a better time than now…with houses selling for less than they have in a generation…to add actual life saving value to them? To make them actually worth more to the families who buy them and the insurance companies that insure them for the additional cost?

And let’s compare apples to apples. The cost of building a home with a fire suppression system is less expensive than retrofitting an existing structure.

How about outlawing all flammable materials in the home too.

You know, for the children.

I’d like to see you build a house from scratch, you have no idea what you are talking about.

I have, from site development to the knob on the front door and the profit margin is slim.

I am personally not against suppression systems, I think they are a good idea but the cost figure that Jeff posted is accurate for a rural area.

As far as retrofits are concerned, anybody can understand that building new will be cheaper than adding one during a remodel. which by the way is another issue. When you do a major renovation or simply build a small addition you will have to upgrade the whole house.

That in my mind is wrong.

Thanks Linus, how was level one by the way.

Great. I got a 95% on my final and just have to submit a report within 90 days. It helps to study before you take the course. They cover a lot in 4 days. Next step is Level 2.

There you go!

In my area, the cost of a sprinkler system on a new home is about .50 a square foot on public water. Average size of a new house is no larger than 2,000,
usually only 1,800 square feet. General contractors get great deals from their subs. I remember when I still owed my heating and cooling company about six years ago, complete heating and cooling systems (with ductwork) was being installed between $5,000 - 6,000. We just stayed away from new construction because there was no money to be made as a sub.