Sprinkler mandate shelved

Illinois State Fire Marshal reconsiders proposal to require sprinklers in new construction

Illinois property owners, business owners, high-rise residents and contractors teamed up to share their stories recently with the State Fire Marshal's office.  After hearing about the potential negative impacts, the State is no longer considering a mandate to force all new homes to be built with fire sprinkler systems.

The proposed rule changes in the state would have forced many businesses, residential buildings higher than 10 stories and all new homes to install sprinklers.  The Koontz Builder team was opposed to these new rules.  While we are certainly in favor of building safe homes, the sprinkler systems would add thousands of dollars in costs - and they will not necessarily save any more lives than the proper use of smoke detection systems, which are already being successfully used at a fraction of the cost.

The Fire Marshal's office had been unable to get legislators to pass any laws requiring the installation of sprinklers, so an effort was made to change the State's rules outside of the legislative path.  Many groups stood up to oppose the idea, and it has died due to the outcry.

In more than 40 years of business, we have never had a residential customer request a fire sprinkler system.  If one of our future customers wants to do so, we will gladly get it done.  We just don't think that we should be forced to install one for everybody.

Thanks for reading about this little facet of our world...we are always keeping our eyes open to new products, new techniques - and new rules!