In California, where I live, hundreds of towns and cities now mandate
sprinklers in new residential construction. But this is not just another
West Coast trend. Small towns across the country — like Gorham,
Maine, for example — concerned about the distance to remote homes
from fire stations and a lack of rural fire
hydrants, are also requiring sprinkler systems.
Occupants of a house with a sprinkler system
and working smoke detector have a 76% chance of surviving a fire in their
home (see Figure 1, next page).
While commercial sprinklers have been around for years, their response
times are too slow for residential construction. It wasn't until 1979, as