You may recall the story we ran in 2008 about Habitat for Humanity International supporting the National Association of Home Builders in opposing residential sprinklers. At the time Elizabeth Blake, senior vice president of advocacy, government affairs and legal with Habitat for Humanity said, "Our affiliates build all across the country and around the world. Mandating fire sprinklers fails to recognize their varying needs, and runs the risk of requiring something that may be impractical for some of our partner families. Habitat's mission is to provide simple, decent and affordable shelter for families. Each home we don't build due to an added and unjustified regulatory requirement such as this can leave yet another family in substandard housing."
Some state affiliates of Habitat have not followed the International's lead and have embraced sprinklers have had them installed in Habitat homes. Apparently that's not the case in Maryland and firefighters are taking a stand. Here's the story from the AP (with special thanks to my former colleague Jessica Glasser for sending us the story):
Some western Maryland firefighters are refusing to help Habitat for Humanity build a house meant to honor them unless a sprinkler system is added to the plans.
The Herald-Mail newspaper of Hagerstown reports that the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association is standing firm to make a point.
Volunteer firefighter Blaine Snyder said Wednesday that sprinklers save lives. The fire and rescue association wants local governmental bodies to require them in new homes.
Washington County and the city of Hagerstown require sprinklers for some new construction but not for single-family detached homes like the "Heroes House" that Habitat is planning.
Local Habitat official Sherry Brown Cooper says the "Heroes House" project will proceed, with or without the fire and rescue association's help.