Proposed Burr Ridge code changes won’t include sprinkers
Updated: December 19, 2012 11:10AM
BURR RIDGE — Members of the Burr Ridge Village Board said Monday homeowners should not be required to buy sprinklers.
“Quite frankly, I really think that a sprinkler system in a single-family residence should be elective,” Trustee Robert Grela said following presentations by representatives from Tri-State and Pleasantview fire protection districts.
The question arose as the village prepares to adopt a new set of building codes. The 2012 model codes, prepared by the International Building Council, calls for sprinkler systems to be included in every new residential structure.
Dave Zalesiak, Tri-State fire marshal, said damage from a residential fire in a home protected by sprinklers averages $2,100. That same fire without sprinklers would cause $45,000 damage.
“That would be much higher in homes like those in Burr Ridge,” he said.
Zalesiak said a sprinkler system can put out a fire with far less water than a fire crew, further lessening damage to the home.
Property isn’t the only thing protected by a sprinkler system.
“I don’t want to attend a firefighter’s wake (because a home didn’t have a sprinkler system),” Zalesiak said.
Seventy-eight Illinois towns require fire sprinkler systems in new homes. But Burr Ridge’s new codes will be drawn up without the requirement.
“I think they’re a good idea,” Trustee Maureen Wott said. “However, I cannot see mandating the sprinkler systems.”
With two trustees absent Monday, discussion of the proposed new building codes will continue Nov. 26.