The suit also contends that the failure to include the necessary sprinklers has caused the owners of all affected homes to suffer damages including the cost to repair the defect in design, and that the homes pose an imminent threat to the health or safety of their inhabitants.
According to the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Fire Sprinkler Initiative, there are approximately 367,000 home fires in the United States each year, killing 2,500 people. Fire sprinklers reduce property damage by about 70% per fire, and reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by about 80%. Fire sprinklers cost an average of $1.35 per square foot to install.
Following the filing of this class action suit, the Nevada Senate Committee on Government Affairs submitted Senate Bill No. 477, which seeks to limit when builders in the state of Nevada are required to install automatic fire sprinklers in new construction homes. The bill includes language that limits the county or city governing the area where the home is to be built from requiring automatic sprinklers except under specific circumstances.
Homes under 5,000 square feet would be categorically excluded regardless of how many stories, unless there are unique characteristics of the location of the home that would cause an unreasonable delay in firefighter response time. If the residence is more than 5,000 square feet, a cost-benefit analysis of installing the sprinklers would have to be completed, then presented and agreed to at a public hearing before they can be required in the dwelling. If passed, the law would go into effect as of October 1, 2015.
The case is Case No. A-15-714981-D. Plaintiffs are represented by Mark J. Bourassa of the Bourassa Law Group LLC.