South Carolina News

Residential fire sprinklers not required in SC; groups push for changes to law



More than 40 people died in house fires this year and without any kind of state mandate that requires residential fire sprinkler systems, tragedies are imminent.

51 people in total died from fires by July 2018, majority of those fires occurred in a home.

Kyle Minick explained one reason for this data. "Overtime you've seen sprinkler systems in commercial buildings, apartment buildings, and we're naturally progressing to single family dwellings. But there's not a mandate in South Carolina."

State laws don't require residential fire sprinkler systems, but there are some incentives to encourage families to install them.

"Some insurance agencies offer incentives. i know mine did at the time when I had a residential structure it was a new construction, so I got a reduction because of that life saving event," added Minick.

Homeowners can also write off 25% of expenses related to the system on their property and income taxes. It costs about $2 a square foot to install one in your home, but firefighters say it's a small price to pay for your safety.

Minick said, "From the time you detect a fire, to the time you notify the fire department, to the time the fire department is notified to the time we arrive, each minute and second the fire is growing in size and intensity."

Maryland and California both require residential sprinkler systems in new one and two-family homes.
Other states like Florida and Tennessee allow local jurisdictions to adopt their own sprinkler requirements.

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