Will County's board opted not to include a fire sprinkler mandate for new single-family and townhome dwellings. (Image: Bigstock)

A multi-year effort to make sure that a fire sprinkler mandate was not part of changes to the building code used in Will County proved successful.

The Will County Board voted 25-0 on May 15 to adopt the new codes, but notable in the package of changes was the absence of any requirement that new single-family or townhouse dwellings have the fire suppression systems installed.

The campaign to avoid the costly sprinkler mandate involved the Illinois Association of REALTORS®, the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS®, the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®. The campaign involved mailings, a website, brochures and telephone calls to make sure Will County residents knew the high price tag that could come with a fire sprinkler mandate.

The county held six public hearings on the issue. Despite strong lobbying by the pro-sprinkler lobby and local fire chiefs, the mandate was left out.

Illinois REALTORS® are wary of mandates for the fire suppression systems in single-family homes due to the costs of installing and maintaining the systems.

IAR thanks the Will County Board for their consideration on this important issue for our members.

And the campaign would not have been successful without Karen Robertson and Jim Sim from the Three Rivers Association; and Ron Flatt and Tim Ryan from the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®. Also, thanks to the South Suburban Will Grundy Home Builders Association.