New Paltz, N.Y., is considering a new law that would require fire sprinklers in new housing construction.
The community’s fire chief recently said at a public meeting that current technology is more affordable and that it wouldn’t require visible pipes and sockets, Hudson Valley One reports. With insurance premium reductions, the cost of sprinklers would be offset over time, he added. New Paltz, which hosts a state university, has a high level of student occupancy in its rental stock, with landlords generally living offsite. These properties are of particular concern to firefighters.
Having sprinklers “doesn’t take [firefighters’] place,” the chief explained; rather, they increase the chance that residents will get out safely before help even arrives. Reducing rescues saves lives not only of those residents, but also potentially of firefighters themselves. On the other hand, since modern sprinklers also trigger alarms when activated, Wirthmann anticipates that more calls would actually result.