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On February 14, 2014, five children died in a house fire in Minnesota. The sad truth is the place most people are at the highest risk of getting hurt in a fire is at home, and homes have less fire protection requirements than anywhere else. The solution to protecting people in their homes is simple: require fire sprinklers. However, home builders and owners are wary of the money that needs to be spent to have sprinklers installed.
Firefighters all over the country have been working to add residential sprinklers to building codes. However, opponents claim that modern homes are safe and smoke alarms are sufficient. If this is true, explain why more than 3,400 people die each year in residential fires.
After several years of struggle, fire sprinklers are now due to be added to the Minnesota residential building code. The new residential building code will require newly constructed, single family and duplex homes over 4,500 square feet to be built with fire sprinklers.
St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler said, "I have yet to see a builder at a fire scene making claims about how safe their building is while we're digging through the ashes."