Before the Romeoville village board voted to update its building and fire codes on March 1 and exclude single family residences from a fire sprinkler mandate, Illinois REALTORS® made sure decision makers knew about the negative impacts of such a mandate.
During the village board meeting, Gideon Blustein, local government affairs director, acknowledged safety improvements that come with code updates but explained to the Mayor and Village Board our association’s position on residential fire sprinkler mandates. Blustein distributed copies of the Illinois REALTORS® “Impact of Mandating Residential Fire Sprinklers” study and explained to the village board some of the reasons why our members oppose a mandate for single-family residences.
Those reasons include:
- Without sprinklers, newly constructed single-family homes already have a significantly lower instance of fire fatalities than older homes;
- The cost of installing sprinklers makes the price of new homes so high it reduces affordability for consumers;
- Mandates take choice away from home owners;
- Mandates discourage newer, safer housing from being built; and
- Mandates can preserve less safe construction.
Following a positive conversation with the village manager, the fire marshal and fire chief, Blustein says the Romeoville village board voted to update to the 2015 International Building, Residential and Fire codes but not require new single family homes to be built with fire sprinklers.