Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Indoor Sprinklers Must Stay Connected Ordinance Allowing Shutoff Is Defeated

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Indoor Sprinklers Must Stay Connected Ordinance Allowing Shutoff Is Defeated

Article excerpt

Peters residents whose homes have automatic indoor sprinkler systems will not be allowed to disconnect them. Council voted Monday against a proposed ordinance that would have allowed the systems to be temporarily shut off during extended absences.

Since the beginning of this year, homeowners living in patio home developments have lobbied council to permit them the option of leaving the systems on or off after several of them experienced millions of dollars in water damage when water pipes broke last winter.

"I'm 70 years old. I want less government in my life, not more," resident John Stoneberg said.

Although they expressed sympathy, council members listened to objections from township fire Chief Dan Coyle, who said shutting off the systems could endanger the lives of firefighters.

Chief Coyle said he wasn't aware of any deaths in structures with functioning sprinkler systems, but he cited statistics showing that 35 percent of fire fatalities have occurred in structures protected by only smoke detectors.

"What about us? We're the guys responding there trying to help people we don't even know," said Chief Coyle, who leads a 33- eeeeeemember force consisting of professional and volunteer firefighters.

"I have a responsibility to make sure my firefighters are safe," he said. "I feel very uncomfortable shutting these systems off."

Firefighters responding in an emergency wouldn't be able to quickly discern whether the systems were on or off, he said.

The proposed ordinance would have allowed homeowners to complete an application before shutting down the systems to leave town. The systems are required only for residents living in patio homes because the structures are closer to each other than a typical dwelling.

Councilman Robert Lewis, a forensic engineer, said he had investigated more than two dozen home sites with severe water damage caused by sprinklers and said in each case, the damage could have been prevented by proper installation or insulation or by using anti-freeze in the waterlines. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.