The district is still pushing very hard for laws that force all new single family homes built in the state to have sprinkler systems installed.

At the meet the legislature meeting today, several actions were discussed that the Washington Fire Commissioners Association (WFCA) would like to see enacted into law. While some made sense, others were just not so easy.

But this one has been on the plate for years and single family home Sprinkler Systems is back. Although, if it is such a primary safety item, why is it listed fifth on a sheet of five Priority Issues? (Second on the list is establishing a state Volunteer Firefighter License Plate. Obviously more important.)

Walk the Talk

These issues were discussed at the first meeting of the day and included in the handouts was the Priority Issues sheet and a Residential Fire Sprinkler Myth and Facts sheet.

Quoting from the undated handout:

– Myth: “Sprinklers are just too expensive to install.”

-BUT IN FACT: With the development of quick-response sprinkler systems which can be supplied by a home’s domestic water supply, a 2,000 square-foot home under construction can be protected today be a system costing as little as $2,500 to $4,000 and an older home of comparable size can be retrofitted for about 50 percent more.

So according the the material offered to the legislators, only *$6,000 for an existing 2,000 square-foot home to be sprinkler ready.

The Caveat

Since the commissioners are pushing so damned hard to force each and every new home in the state to have a sprinkler system installed, and it is a mere pittance of *$6,000 to retrofit an older home, how many commissioners have sprinkler systems installed in THEIR homes?

I asked the question and was not surprise in the least at the response. Commissioner Fossos bowed his head and refused to participate in the request but not one of the other four commissioners live in a home with a sprinkler system! Murmuring about how old their houses are, they all confirmed that not one had this must-have life saving device installed.

Commissioner Freitas said that while his home is not so equipped, should he remodel, he would probably have one installed.


It is beginning to look like another simple case of pure hypocrisy. Essentially, these commissioners won’t spend $6,000 for their own safety, but by God, the WFCA says let’s pass a law that you have to!

So much for taking care of business in your own house before dictating how others live. And how many years has each commissioner served on the board, all the while pushing to have residential sprinklers mandatory?

William Bill Gates was originally elected in November of 2001

James Fossos was originally elected in November of 1993

Mark Freitas was originally elected in November of 1997

Mark Thompson was originally elected in November 1999

John Rickert was elected in January 2010 with previous service as a Fire Commissioner for one term from 2002 to 2007


Footnote – *$6,000 for an existing 2,000 square-foot home to be sprinkler ready was based on data provided at the 1/6/11 10am Special Commissioners meeting . I am using the data handed out by the commissioners to our elected officials for these cost estimates because at this time, not much else to base the sprinkler installation estimates on.

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