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The Village of Bloomingdale recently upgraded its code to the 2018 International Residential Code, which includes installing fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes.

Building Commissioner Mike Gricus played a vital role in making sure village board members understood the importance of home fire sprinklers during the process of adopting the code. “They are well informed and safety is important to them,” Gricus said.  “That is why we upgrade our codes every three years. For years, all commercial buildings, regardless of size, had to be protected with fire sprinklers. It is satisfying to know that Bloomingdale adopted a code that now protects our residents in their homes.”

Prior to the code upgrade, the village worked with Pulte Homes, offering a trade up to encourage fire sprinkler installations. By installing fire sprinklers in their townhomes, the firewalls could be rated for two hours of protection instead of three, which allowed Pulte to save on construction costs.

Erik Hoffer, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB), said the code upgrade is a win-win for the community and firefighters alike. “In addition to protecting their residents for generations to come, protecting all buildings, both commercial and residential, will address the growing national concern for firefighter health and safety in regard to carcinogen exposure from fires,” Hoffer said.

According to NIFSAB, there are now more than 110 municipalities and fire protection districts in Illinois that require fire sprinklers in all new construction, regardless of building type, through the adoption of ordinances and national model codes provided by the International Code Council and the NFPA.

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