Bill Allowing Homeowner Choice On Fire Sprinklers Moves Forward
JEFFERSON CITY - A bill that gives all home builders the ability to choose whether or not to install fire sprinklers in homes is moving forward Monday after passing the state House of Representatives last week. The bill extends previous legislation for another 8 years.
Inspector Charles Skornia from the Jefferson City Fire Department said he has never had to respond to a home with a sprinkler system installed in his 29 years in the city. He says he has seen sprinkler systems work effectively in commercial buildings.
"The commercial application has really good results. There is no reason to believe that it wouldn't carry over to homes," Skornia said.
Opposition in the House came from Democratic Representative Jill Schupp from St. Louis. She says she would prefer individual districts to assign their own home building codes apart from the state. The Jefferson City Home Buyers Association also opposed the bill, saying that there is less of a fire risk because of the way newer homes are built.
A source who asked to remain nameless said he thinks the long-term benefits of having sprinklers outweigh short-term costs. He said that he believes over time the insurance money saved will outweigh the cost of the installation. The bill still faces a vote from the senate.