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On 28 October 2009, the International Code Council (ICC) met in Baltimore, Maryland (USA). The ICC, a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings. After much debate, the Council voted to reject a set of proposals to remove a provision specifying that all new one-family and two-family homes be equipped with a home fire sprinkler system. The vote is a strong endorsement of sprinkler technology, and one that should be of interest to public health professionals. The attention within the ICC to residential sprinklers presents an opportunity for public health professionals who work in injury prevention to lend their expertise to the residential sprinkler effort at a critical point in the history of this technology. We here present a case in support of residential fire sprinkler codes, and offer Injury Prevention readers a brief overview of the ICC process concerning sprinklers for one-family and two-family homes.
Residential fires are a major source of injury worldwide, although rates of residential fire death …
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