Homes Could Need Sprinklers for Fire Prevention in 2011

Thursday, February 19th 2009, 12:43 pm
By: News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- To protect your next home from a fire, it may have to be installed with sprinklers.

The state already uses the International Code Councils guidelines for commercial and residential buildings. Now, the ICC's 2009 code book mandates all new homes have sprinkler systems beginning in 2011.

State and local governments must decide whether to use the new version.

Home builders said safety is important, but believe the mandate would hurt business.

"We're just concerned with how something like this would affect costs of homes," said Jeff Click with the Central Oklahoma Home Builders.

Fire officials said it will save lives.

"We're glad to see it coming in the code and is now mandated. On the other hand, we don't really want to feel like it's a power play," said Jerry Lojka with the Central Oklahoma Fire Marshal Association.

A decision is not expected for at least a year. If the state passes the update, local governments can still choose to use a different version.