Baltimore has become the largest American city to require automatic sprinklers in new single family homes and duplexes, after a law change signed earlier this month.
The law change goes into effect July 1.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. that the “legislation, combined with other efforts, including reduced rotating firehouse closures effective July 1 and continued outreach to provide free smoke alarms to City residents, we can continue to reduce fire related deaths.”
Residential fire sprinklers have proven their effectiveness in saving lives across Maryland, according to city officials. Since the early 1990’s when state law mandated sprinklers in new multi-family homes and townhouses, there have been no fire deaths in these protected structures. More than half of Maryland’s municipalities and nine counties have adopted similar requirements for one- and two-family homes.
“Sprinklers save lives,” added Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, who sponsored the bill to add the sprinklers. “This bill is a step in the right direction of safer homes for all our citizens.”
The city is also increasing funding for its free smoke alarm program. Funding was increased from $80,000 last year to $100,000 for this upcoming year. The Fire Department has installed over 15,000 lithium battery smoke alarms as part of this program.
Source: Baltimore City
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