08202017Headline:

Lansing, Michigan

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Grand Rapids Considers Mandatory Residential Sprinklers

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The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan is in the early stages of investigating whether to incentivize or require interior sprinklers in new homes. Although early studies indicate fire suppression is safer and cheaper than traditional fire response in the long run, some people are balking at the estimated price tag of $250 million.

Interior sprinklers are not the only alternative officials are looking at. City commissioners recently approved spending $900,000 on three small “quick response” fire trucks in a unanimous vote. The quick response trucks should be easier to mobilize in an emergency and are part of a trial program aimed at building an adequate yet financially sustainable approach to fighting fires. Although the pilot program was adopted unanimously, many in the community remain skeptical about the change.

Last year in Grand Rapids, 5 people died and nearly 30 were injured in fires that also caused about $9 million in property damage. The city has experienced a rash of house fires in recent years, necessitating a cost-effective approach to a long term solution for West Michigan’s hub.