Lewes Council approves sprinkler systems for new homes

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The Lewes City Council approved restoring a mandate that makes fire sprinkler systems mandatory in newly constructed homes.

The council had been studying the change throughout the summer.

The Delaware Fire Sprinkler Coalition had pushed for the requirement, which has typically been opposed by builders.

When rising new home prices are taken into account home sprinkler systems can amount to the cost of carpeting in a new home, according to State Farm.

The coalition was able to point to a success story with a sprinkler system saving a home in the Lewes area.

While smoke alarms have reduced home fire fatalities over the years, advocates for sprinklers argue that the systems reduce risks to firefighters. They further argue that new homes catch on fire, materials can emit toxic gases.

Finally, new homes in Sussex are often occupied by older residents who may have more trouble evacuating from a fire.

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