All 3-Story and Higher Buildings to Require Sprinklers by 2017

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – By 2017 in West Virginia, all buildings that are three stories or taller will need to have water sprinklers. Otherwise they will be shut down, Huntington Fire Chief Carl Eastham says.

A new code introduced by the National Fire Protection Association was adopted by West Virginia in December of 2013.

Eastham says his office has already begun working with several property owners in Huntington on getting sprinklers put in.

"If you have a sprinkler system in place at the Morris Building, we wouldn't be having this conversation because it would've been a very minor,” Eastham said.

The chief says different variables will determine which buildings will require what types of systems.

"We're working with all the business owners and building owners to make sure that it makes an easy transition for them,” Eastham said. “There are different style sprinkler systems they can put in. Some are a whole lot less expensive than what used to be out there that had to be used."

Eastham says there have never been multiple fatalities in a building that had a working sprinkler system.

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