• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A bill to un-require fire sprinklers in many new homes in Pennsylvania is moving through the legislature, much to the dismay of those who say sprinklers save lives.

Builders complained about the sprinkler requirement before, during and after its passage, saying the expense will hurt home construction when it’s already soft. Optional sprinklers, fine: mandatory, no.

But Patsy Porter, president and CEO of The Burn Foundation, says you don’t get the option to pick cheaper less-safe electrical outlets, while on wheels.

“You can’t say, I’d like the car but hold the airbags. Can you imagine buying a car without seat belts? We don’t get a choice because we know they keep you safer.”

Porter says smoke detectors aren’t the whole answer because today’s fires don’t burn, they erupt, and “Twenty years ago you had an average of 20 minutes to get out of a burning structure. Today you have an average of three minutes.”

That is because of how modern homes are built and furnished.

Reported By John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio.

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