Risk Benefit Analysis of a Mandatory Residential Sprinkler System Ordinance in the City of Mercer Island [open pdf - 783KB]
"The City of Mercer Island is considering whether to adopt a mandatory residential sprinkler system ordinance for all new single-family construction. The city's building code official has asked the fire department to help determine the effects of such an ordinance. The problem is that Mercer Island has not conducted a risk/benefit analysis on the effects of instituting a mandatory residential sprinkler system ordinance for new single-family construction, and the impacts it would have on citizen and community safety. The purpose of this applied research project is to assess the possible costs, benefits and impacts from the adoption of a mandatory residential sprinkler system ordinance for new single-family construction by the City of Mercer Island. Research questions were utilized to identify the costs, benefits, existing ordinances and the impacts to stakeholders as well as the fire service, from the adoption of a mandatory residential sprinkler system ordinance for new single-family construction. Descriptive and historical research methods were used to answer the research questions, and included external surveys, personal interviews and an extensive literature review. Recommendations included meetings for stakeholders to identify concerns, the development of a public education program on the benefits of sprinkler systems, drafting of an ordinance for approval by the council, and enlisting the help of fire departments who had previously been successful with this type of ordinance."
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/