published Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

City defers action again on new sprinkler law

Chattanooga Fire Marshal James Whitmire and the City Council agreed Tuesday to defer action on enacting the most restrictive fire code rules in city history, after confusion reigned during a meeting to discuss the measure.

The rule, which would have required existing sports bars, restaurants with live entertainment, dance halls, discotheques, nightclubs and "assembly occupancies with festival seating" install sprinkler systems, came under fire from all corners.

Club owners, code officials and citizens gathered to listen to, and often participate in, the spirited debate.

Council members repeatedly expressed confusion as to whether the law in question had been previously passed. Additionally, they were unable to get a clear answer on the city¹s liability, and it was not apparent if the measure was required by federal or state law.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of tomorrow's Times Free press.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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jpo3136 said...

We need those sprinkler systems.

Allow a hearing to have each individual store owner stand up and tell us what other structural factors he's provided which are equivalent.

Sprinklers reduce death by fire and poison gas. If store owners cannot provide for the immediate, less than 60 second, safe egress of their total allowed and common occupancies, then they're setting up those people for entrapment.

Provide for the immediate extinguishing of fires and swift emergency egress. Especially in places where fires and flames are maintained in kitchens, where bulk combustibles are sold and stored in the same rooms as customers, and where there are no other reasonable alternatives that provide for customer safety.

Require sprinklers, fire extinguishers, exit marking, emergency lighting and bulk emergency egress.

January 25, 2011 at 8:34 p.m.
slr3 said...

If you feel unsafe in a non sprinklered bar , DON"T GO IN!! Go to one that does have sprinklers. Let the free market and individual choice determine the final outcome of this issue - not more government regulation.

January 26, 2011 at 4:24 a.m.
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