ABC Uses Fire Tragedy to Push More Government Regulation
While the tragic death of nine
â€śSo why do so many buildings, like the one where nine
There may be cost benefits from having a sprinkler system, like lower insurance rates â€“ but it is something many professionals say should be left up to individual choice. Thatâ€™s a perspective ABC completely ignored.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says there are more effective ways to promote fire safety â€“ including fire alarms. In a press release issued in March, the NAHB stated the costs of mandatory sprinklers donâ€™t equal the benefits. â€śInstalling residential fire sprinkler systems significantly increases the cost of a new home, and is neither a practical nor cost effective means of reducing fire fatalities.â€ť
One ABC source advocated a more militant requirement. â€śWe should have sprinklers in all public structures, period,â€ť said Philip Schaenman, identified as an â€śEmergency preparedness analyst.â€ť
The ABC story also relied heavily on data from the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA). But, the NFSA isnâ€™t an organization that is dedicated solely to promoting fire safety â€“ as this report portrayed it, nor is it an unbiased source.
In fact, the NSFA is an agenda-driven organization interested in promoting the sales of sprinkler systems. According to the organization â€śMission Statementâ€ť on its Web site, the purpose of the NFSA is â€śto create a market for the widespread acceptance of competently installed automatic fire sprinkler systems in both new and existing construction, from homes to high-rise.â€ť
However, ABCâ€™s estimate is based on the cost for a much larger building than the one that burned down in
The prohibitive cost of mandatory sprinkler system could even make family less safe. â€śWhen sprinklers cost $2 to $3 per square foot, youâ€™re pricing out the families who would most benefit from an affordable new home, and allowing them to remain in an older, poorly maintained home thatâ€™s demonstrably less safe,â€ť said Lee Schwartz, executive vice president for government relations at the Michigan Home Buildersâ€™ Association in Nationâ€™s Building News, a publication put out by the NAHB. That is the paradox of mandatory sprinkler requirements â€“ you end up putting even more people at risk.â€ť