Douglas County OKs sprinklering new homes |

Douglas County OKs sprinklering new homes

An ordinance requiring new homes more than 1,000 feet from a fire hydrant to install a sprinkler system in East Fork Township was approved by Douglas County commissioners on Thursday.

County commissioners found that the benefits of having sprinklers outweighed the costs, which East Fork Fire Marshal Steve Eisele estimated at $3-5 a square foot for new construction.

Retired East Fork Fire Investigator Terry Taylor said he supported requiring sprinklers, saying 86 percent of fire deaths occur in homes.

Intero Broker-Owner Dennis McDuffee disputed the price tag for installing a system.

“A lot of numbers have been thrown around here today,” he said. “These numbers for fire suppression systems are much higher than being quoted.”

Eisele said that sprinklers in Northern Nevada are more expensive than the national average because the colder climate means systems need to survive freezing temperatures in attics, but stuck to his $3-5 estimate per square foot.

Commissioner John Engels said he believed all new homes should be required to have sprinkler systems.

Eisele said that he felt it would eventually come to that, but that East Fork was phasing in the requirement, which will take effect July 1.

Homes larger than 5,000 square feet, apartments and commercial structures are currently required to install sprinklers. In addition, certain projects in the wildland interface have been required to include sprinklers, including Jobs Peak Ranch and Clear Creek.