Communities must require sprinklers

January 28, 2022

In a very informal review of available information concerning residential fires in Delaware from Jan. 1 through Jan. 19, Delaware has seen three fire fatalities, four civilian fire injuries, at least seven persons displaced from their homes, and one fire apparatus accident while responding to a residential fire. This list of 14 fires has also amounted to an estimated $1,710,000 in damages. We are only three weeks into 2022. 

Communities throughout Delaware need to review and update their requirements for residential fire sprinkler systems, just as Lewes and Milton have done. Milford is currently reviewing their requirements. Newark has required residential fire sprinkler systems since 2002, with no detriment to residential development.

As seen in Middletown, Milton, Townsend and Dagsboro, the proposals for residential development are not slowing down. From the local level to the county levels, now is the time for Delaware communities to update their residential building codes and keep the requirement for residential fire sprinklers in place. Lives will be saved, property will be protected and communities will bounce back much quicker from fire events.

The residential sprinkler requirement has been in the International Residential Code since 2009. Why do we keep delaying the life-saving decision to build with fire sprinklers?

Paul Eichler


Delaware Fire Sprinkler Coalition

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