Fire safety issue erupts in 2 Des Moines suburbs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Fire officials and developers are squabbling over whether fire sprinklers ought to be required in Waukee and Johnston.

The Des Moines Register says fire officials argue that the sprinklers are vital for residents’ safety from fires in their units and to protect them from blazes in adjoining units.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines and developers say the systems aren’t needed and that the costly requirement would be passed to buyers. Estimates run from $4,000 to $6,000 per unit.

The Waukee City Council is scheduled to make one last vote on an ordinance that would require any town house development of 8,000 square feet or more to install a sprinkler system.

Johnston already has that requirement and is considering tougher requirements as it updates its building codes.