Summit promotes open discussion about residential sprinklers
A summit was held on Thursday to discuss the use of sprinkler systems in residential housing.
Essa fire chief Cynthia Ross Tustin led the first ever Residential Sprinkler Summit in Toronto. It’s an opportunity for home builders, developers, engineers, fire officials and advocates to openly discuss sprinkler systems in homes.
"It is truly the beginning of real dialogue,” Ross Tustin says. “We're not going to solve all the problems, but these groups have never been in a room together before."
Fire officials have been promoting the benefits of residential sprinklers for years. They've even tried to back up their message through burn demonstrations.
They say it’s clear – sprinklers can save homes and potentially lives.
"A lot of people have conflicting opinions, some of it is because of misinformation,” Ross Tustin says. ”So if we can clear up the misconceptions, that all the parties have, and then work together as a team."
Joe Vaccaro, CEO of the Ontario Home Builders Association, says he finally got some answers to questions he has been asking for years.
“It's important from a builder perspective that what we add to the home makes sense, but also makes sense in terms of the consumers’ ability to utilize it and operate it."
Organizers of the summit say it's not about pushing for change in legislation, but rather education and informing the public. The motto here is an “educated consumer, is the best customer.”
"Air bags are not mandatory in a vehicle; they're consumer driven,” says Stephen Hernen, president of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs. “There's no codes or requirements for it, and we see sprinklers will be the same way."