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PTC passes on fire sprinkler mandate for new homes

A proposal to require fire sprinkler systems to be installed in all new single family homes in Peachtree City failed on a 4-1 vote at Thursday night’s City Council meeting.

Fire Chief Ed Eiswerth gave an impassioned plea urging approval of the ordinance, citing recent construction techniques that have caused quicker building collapses when they are exposed to fire. He also noted that sprinklers dramatically increase a person’s chances of surviving a fire.

Several representatives of the home building industry argued against the fire sprinkler requirement, saying that residents can currently opt to put in fire sprinkler systems currently if they choose.

Language that would have required fire sprinklers to be retrofitted for single family homes used for day care or health care businesses was removed from the staff-recommended ordinance prior to the council meeting.

The ordinance change was denied by council on a 4-1 vote at the meeting April 1. The only council member in favor of the sprinkler requirement was Kim Learnard, who said the matter wasn’t about money, rather it was about saving lives.

Councilmember Vanessa Fleisch, who is a Realtor, said she didn’t think it was up to the government “to save us from ourselves.”

“There’s no doubt it saves lives, but in the end I’m tired of government thinking for me, so I’m for the choice,” Fleisch said.

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