Indian Hills Fire Protection District Board Meetings of April/May/June 2017 and topics of interest 

During the June 27 Meeting of the Indian Hills Fire Protection District Board of Directors, the topic of an Intergovernmental Agreements was discussed concerning fire hydrant installation, maintenance and testing.

Additional topic of public interest is a new demand being placed onto the public by the Indian Hills Fire Protection District – requiring all new or rebuilt homes to be required to have sprinklers installed along with required water storage tank.  This discussion started during the April 2017 meeting as noted by the Meeting Minutes:  “Fire Marshall — Randy Rudloff
Mr. Rudloff brought the Resolution 18-1 “Sprinkler Requirements”, which would require I.H. district new homes that exceed 1500 square feet to have a sprinkler system. The required system would be NFPA 13D or P2904 with 20 minutes worth of water storage (600-gallon tank). Typical cost 2.50-3.50 per square feet or around $12,000. This helps with
lowering insurance rates.”   While “this may help lower insurance rates”, such savings would certainly not offset the $12,000+ price tag.    

This new Sprinkler requirement may also impact current Indian Hills home owners who one day desire to scrape and build a new replacement home on the same land as well as any new development.   The IHFR Board Meeting agenda for May 2018  indicated IHFR was going to adopt the Sprinkler requirement resolution without holding a specific hearing with public notice on the topic – “Sprinkler Resolution Adoption”.  The Public would not have been notified of the Sprinkler Resolution that was discussed during the April Meeting, as April Meeting minutes are not posted until after the May meeting approves the prior months meeting minutes.   A local Indian Hills Citizen attending the May meeting made a recommendation for a public hearing to be held, obtaining public input prior to adoption of the resolution.  IHFR Board decided to postpone voting and will schedule a future public hearing on the Sprinkler resolution.

Review of the May IHFR Meeting minutes indicates there was discussion by the IHFR Board and the Fire Chief:  “Also, it was discussed the reasoning is that the fire hydrants are outdated with the size of pipe so the pressure is not strong enough. Thus, putting the community at risk of a wildfire from a house fire.”    If the concern is wildland fire and water supplies, why are there not more fire hydrants installed?  If there is a concern about the water main pipe size, why has Indian Hills Water District not heard of these concerns?    

According to the Fire Marshal Randy Rudloff,  Jefferson County adopted the Standard Fire Codes, however they also excluded the Sprinkler requirement for all new homes within Jefferson County.

When pressed by the public about the discussion and noted comments from the May Board meeting, Board President Scott Keller appeared to be unaware of those comments and discussion having occurred. 

Sprinkler systems are a life safety solution, reducing fire deaths and fire destruction of property.  For more information on Sprinkler code requirements please see:  https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Campaigns/Fire-Sprinkler-Initiative/Legislation-and-adoptions/Sprinkler-requirements   and for suggested steps for Adopting a Residential Fire Sprinkler Ordinance please see:  https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Fire-Sprinkler-Initiative/Sprinkler-Coalitions/Colorado/WA-Residential-Fire-Sprinkler-Ordinance-Adoption-Process.ashx?la=en

The attending public did ask for facts to be provided concerning what are the required water main size for hydrants to function, what is the recommended number of and location of hydrants as well as what is the recommended distance between fire hydrants.

Fire Chief Emery indicated the IHFR received an updated and improved ISO rating regardless of any concerns about hydrants maintenance, hydrant placements or water main size.    

IHFR Meeting Minutes are available for public review at:  http://www.ihfr.org/board-meeting-minutes 

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