Ill. Fire Marshal Withdraws Plan Requiring Sprinklers In New Homes

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A stock photo of a sprinkler, via Flickr.

A stock photo of a sprinkler, via Flickr.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Fire Marshal says he’s shelving a plan that would have required sprinklers to be added to older high-rise apartment buildings as well as all new home construction.

The change would have been the first update to the state’s fire code in 11 years.

Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says Friday that he received an “unprecedented amount” of public comment on his proposals, which were slated to be heard by a state panel next week.

In Chicago, city leaders said the proposal would lead to massive rent hikes and condo special assessments that could cost some property owners as much as $35,000 per unit. The cost of retrofitting entire apartment buildings was pegged at millions of dollars.

The proposal also required sprinklers in all new-residential construction and some renovations.

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