This is a letter to the editor written by Mark Dale to The Oklahoman about the mandated fire sprinkler issue.
Council, say no' to mandated fire sprinklers
In reference to the Oklahoman article ("City considers requiring sprinklers in new
homes," March 15), Oklahoma homebuilders, developers and Realtors are not
Mark Dale, Past president
Oklahoma State Home
against life-safety measures. On the contrary, they are among a group of business
professionals and individuals opposed to more government mandates. Too many
folks become focused on an issue and claim it is the end-all solution to a problem.
What is the problem?
The problem is not just fire deaths, but that these fire deaths occur in older
houses. If one follows media reports and hears about a death related to a fire, it is
overwhelmingly in an older home that did not have working smoke alarms.
Current code requirements already mandate hard-wired smoke alarms, fire-rated
Sheetrock, spark-resistant electrical outlets, fire-blocking framing requirements,
and many other fire resistant measures. Hard-wired smoke alarms are by far the
most effective measure to saving lives from fires. It is written on the side of every
firefighting vehicle - "Smoke alarms save lives!"
If a person wants to also add fire sprinklers to their home, it should be their choice.
Homebuilders offer lightning protection, storm shelters, and water purification
systems as options. This is another instance where the consumer can decide what
is best for their situation.
Why consider yet another mandate to fix something that really isn't the problem,
when we should consider instead a way of getting working smoke alarms in every
home? That should be the direction on which we as a community focus and one in
which homebuilders would heartily support.
Former President of COHBA and OSHBA