The Las Vegas City Council approved a new ordinance that requires fire sprinklers in all new homes built within its city limits. The move is an effort to better protect against residential fires, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue public information officer Tim Szymanski said.

There were 1.3 million home fires across the country in 2015 that resulted in 3,280 deaths, Szymanski said. When sprinkler systems are present, the survivability of home fires increases to 97 percent.

"Sprinkler systems have provided protection for commercial buildings for more than 100 years and have been long required in local commercial buildings. National building codes have required sprinklers in new homes since 2009. While most industry changes are driven by tragic fire incidents, research indicates that having sprinklers in new homes is worth the extra cost," Szymanski said in a release.

Smoke alarms take about 45 seconds to activate, giving the family no more than two minutes and 45 seconds to evacuate before the fire becomes deadly.

The ordinance will apply to new homes less than 5,000-square-feet, LVFR said. With the increased volume of sales, it is expected that the cost for sprinklers will fall to $1.50 per square foot. Combined with home appreciation values and reduced insurance premiums of $89 to $887 annually, residential sprinkler systems are expected to pay for themselves within 12 to 18 months, Szymanski said.

The city of Henderson also requires sprinkler systems in all new homes.

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