Fire Officials in MA Argue Over Fire Safety

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fires in the newsBoston, MA -- The board that administers fire safety laws is disagreeing over fire sprinkler and alarm requirements.  They are considering repealing a law requiring fire sprinklers and fire alarms in 3-6 unit buildings.  The state fire marshal is pushing the repeal.

If the repeal went through, only 7+ unit buildings would require fire sprinklers and alarms.

"He's one vote on the Board of Building Regulations and Standards and every time he tries to improve fire safety, particularly sprinklers, it's him and the fire chief and they go down in defeat," said Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for Fire Marshal Stephen Coan.

Advocates for the repeal say that eliminating fire sprinkler and alarm requirements in 3-6 units buildings would, on average, save building's $27,450; thusly, reducing the cost of housing for residents.

Massachusetts also doesn't require fire sprinklers in one and two family homes, which is recommended by the NFPA.

So far this year, Massachusetts has had 48 fire-related deaths, more than all of 2013.  Is this the time to repeal fire sprinkler and alarm requirements?  Yes, maybe housing will be slightly cheaper, but at what cost?