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Elgin Becomes 83rd Jurisdiction in Illinois to Require Home Fire Sprinklers

On October 23, the City Council of Elgin voted in favor of adopting residential fire sprinkler requirements as part of the City’s code updates. Stemming from a compromise of the International Code Council‘s model 2012 International Residential Code, all new construction one- and two-family homes and townhouses that are to be annexed into Elgin in the future must be protected with fire sprinklers.

According to Richard Dunne, Elgin council member and retired firefighter, new construction homes on property that has already been annexed also may have to be sprinklered in certain cases. If I-joists or open web trusses are used and not protected, such as in unfinished basements, residential fire sprinklers will be required. Also, if a developer changes its current annexation agreement by modifying previously approved square footages of homes in a raw development, a renegotiation with the City of Elgin will be required and will likely result in the addition of fire sprinklers.

The code update makes Elgin the 83rd jurisdiction in Illinois to require home fire sprinklers. It also marks the eighth jurisdiction to enact home fire sprinkler requirements this year alone, which includes Blue Island, Flossmoor, Glencoe, Gurnee, Manhattan Fire Protection District, Norridge, South Holland and Vernon Hills.

“Congratulations to Elgin Fire Chief John Fahy for his successful education efforts, and the Elgin City Council for recognizing FEMA’s ‘America Burning’ guidelines that state that fire sprinklers are a community’s first line of defense against fires,” says Tom Lia, executive director for the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB). “With the City’s Council’s decision to include residential fire sprinkler protection in many of its new homes, Elgin will now be designated as a fire-safe community dedicated to the protection of its residents and firefighters.”

 

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