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Texas homebuilders lobby to block sprinkler requirement law

The National Institute on Money in State Politics said homebuilders have spent $24 million since 2014 to block sprinkler laws


By FireRescue1 Staff

DALLAS — Fire officials said homebuilders have been lobbying against laws requiring sprinklers in new homes.

CBS DFW reported that state lawmakers have made it illegal to require sprinklers in all new homes, despite the International Code Council recommending every new home should have them.

“The statistics tell the story,” Texas Fire Marshal Chris Connealy said. “No one has died in sprinkler occupancy anywhere in Texas.”

Advocates for fire sprinkler requirement laws said homebuilders have been lobbying against them, and the National Institute on Money in State Politics shows that homebuilders spent over $24 million in lobbying since 2014.

Homebuilders said they think homeowners should have the right to choose.

“One of the main reasons people are moving (to North Texas) are not for our beaches and mountains, it’s because we have affordable housing,” Dallas Builders Association Phil Crone said.

The installation of fire sprinklers to new homes adds about $6,000 to the price.

Fire officials said the extra money is worth it.

“The truth of the matter is these are lifesaving devices both for the public and the firefighters,” Plano Fire Marshal David Kerry said. “It’s worth everything. It’s worth your life and your materials. It’s worth your family.”

 

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