Urban Fold

Then: Seat Belts; Now: Home Sprinkler Systems

Proponents argue that sprinklers should be mandatory for all new single-family homes, and predict a revolution in consumer safety.

Those "pushing for laws requiring sprinkler systems in all new single-family homes...contend the $5,000 to $20,000 tab is worth it.

But opponents of mandatory sprinklers say they aren't necessary because smoke alarms have dramatically reduced the death rate from house fires. Opponents maintain the decision to install such a big-ticket item as a sprinkler should be left to the consumer. The real problem, they say, is in older residences with antiquated electrical systems, not new houses."

Full Story: Fountain of conflict

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