UNLV Urges City to Require Residential Automatic Sprinklers in New Single-Family Homes

A study out of the University of Nevada Las Vegas is hoping to have the Las Vegas City Council agree to require automatic sprinklers in all new homes. The plan for these new, single-family homes has been up in the air for months on end.

The city has already given the green light on the business impact statement, which happened back in May of 2017. The statement is a precursor to the ordinance voting. However, since then, everything has been at a standstill.

According to The Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman says she doesn’t see any reason this shouldn’t be passed. She says she has yet to hear an argument that should prevent automatic sprinklers from being required.

The sprinklers could be a lot of help in the homes. In fact, automatic sprinklers and early warning systems could reduce overall injuries, loss of life, and property damage by at least 50%. With that in mind, it’s hard to see why someone might be opposed. However, some are concerned that installing the sprinklers is going to raise the prices of the homes altogether.

In early 2017, the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association sent a letter to the city stating that the homebuilders would need to pass along some — if not all — the costs just to install the sprinklers. They also questioned if the benefits of having them installed would be worth the price.

The city of Las Vegas asked UNLV’s Greenspun College of Urban Affairs to conduct an analysis of the laws for new single-family homes in the city to have a sprinkler system. Each time a fire ordinance is being proposed, the state law requires a cost-effective analysis to be completed.

That study found that even though the sprinklers may cost more money initially, they would pay for themselves in just a few months. Goodman believes that while the developer may be upset with the sprinkler costs, they will pass that along to the buyer. The residential sprinklers will activate when the temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit. They will put out about 13 gallons a minute.

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