Jury: New Homes Need Sprinklers


New homes built in Orange County should be equipped with automatic sprinkler systems to combat fires, the Orange County Grand Jury recommended Thursday.

Such fire sprinklers, installed in the ceilings of new one- and two-family residences, could reduce fire-related property damage countywide by at least 60%, according to a grand jury report.

"We began digging and the more we dug, the more it looked like this was something we should get behind," said Chuck Chodzko, a spokesman for the grand jury and one of the authors of the report.

Most California counties--including Orange--adhere to the state building code, which requires sprinklers in commercial buildings but not residential structures, Chodzko said.

Buena Park, Dana Point, Placentia, San Clemente and Stanton already have local residential sprinkler ordinances.

The report also says supervisors should encourage cities without sprinkler ordinances to adopt them and should require that sprinklers be installed during major remodels of residences.

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