Rules Have No Cost-Benefit Analysis

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Editor:

While it is true that many of the fire code rules are the result of significant tragic experience, but many of them aren’t.

One example is the rule that if more than three people can be in a commercial building it must have two exits. Go into your bedroom to see the absurdity of that rule — if at least three people could be in it, does it need a second exit or is that just obviously ridiculous?

Like another writer said, the people making the codes would be out of a job if they didn’t keep making them stricter.

There is no cost-benefit analysis of these rules. No looking at how the total building codes have added a very large amount to the cost of building a house or business. Costs that make home ownership too high for many. Cost that, particularly in smaller communities with fewer customers, make getting enough profit to pay for a building too high to build and have a business.

Example: the Pine/Strawberry Fire Department now requires that any new commercial building 1,000 square feet or larger have a sprinkler system, around $10,000 to install at only 1,000 square feet. There is not enough business to pay for that extra cost that for that size building is a doubtful necessity.

The answer I got about that problem from someone from the fire department, was, “Well don’t build then.” That attitude, which is evident is all these comments, support more costly rules without questioning them.

Teel McClanahan

Comments

Barbara Rasmussen 9 months, 1 week ago

The bedroom in your home is not a commercial building! That is like comparing apples to oranges.

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Pat Randall 9 months, 1 week ago

Teel, It does not matter how many people are in the bedroom, there has to be more than one exit. In a home there is usually a front door and a back door. But each room has to have 2 exits or at least that is the rules in Gilbert and Mesa. The door and a window accessible for an adult and low enough for a child. No not the bathrooms. I bet there has to be 2 exits in any commercial building no matter how many people are in there and the doors have to open out. Maybe you should get the fire code from Payson and read it or talk someone in the fire dept. Don't know who to tell you to talk to as we have no Fire Marshall or Fire Chief. Maybe you could get the information from the mayor, he seems to know everything.

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Pat Randall 9 months, 1 week ago

Teel, Your remark about the fireman saying" well don't build then." He was right. It is his life and other firefighters lives that are put on the line fighting fires and trying to save the neighbors homes that are already there.
The firemen are thinking of the future and what is already here. One big disaster waiting to happen. They want to be able to help everyone, but if something isn't done about the trees and undergrowth and more people building they won't be able to help anyone. Who do you call when you have a medical emergency? The firemen. Who do you call if you have a fire? The firemen. Hug a firefighter, don't hate them for trying to save lives and property.

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