Fire Inspections

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 13, 2009

BFD fire inspections kick off in Batesville

By Jason C. Mattox

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Businesses in the City of Batesville have already begun getting their annual fire inspection, according to inspector Brett Childs of the Batesville Fire Department.

Childs said inspections began last week, and it could take as long as six months to complete the city-wide inspections.

“We have more than 800 businesses in the City of Batesville, and it takes a while to conduct all the inspections,” he said.

Childs added that the city is divided into four sections for the inspections.

Section one is the area north of Highway 6 and east of Highway 51.

Section two is south of Highway 6 and east of Highway 51.

Section 3 is south of Highway 6 and west of Highway 51.

Section four is north of Highway 6 and west of Highway 51.

“Section four is the largest area, because that includes downtown and most of the businesses,” Childs said. “We do want everyone to be prepared for the inspections.

“Make sure to check all of the fire extinguishers, exit signs and make sure no rear exits are blocked.”

In other fire department business:

Aldermen approved the adoption of appendix P of the international fire code that will require new residential construction to be sprinkled.

The matter was met with some opposition before final approval was given.

“I just don’t know with the economy the way it is why we would want to make it more expensive for someone to build homes,” Ward 4 Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders said.

Childs explained again that the national average for sprinklers is $1.50 per square foot in new construction.

“This is only for new construction, so it won’t mean a lot to those who have older homes, but it will make a big difference to your children and grandchildren, and increase their safety when they decide to build,” he said.

The next sticking point was on when to make the appendix effective.

“I would like you to adopt it and make it effective on Jan. 1, 2010,” Childs said.

Pounders told fellow aldermen that she would prefer to see the city wait two years to enact the appendix.

“I don’t know why I have two years in my mind, but if the other board members want to go ahead with it, I will go with the majority,” she said.

Childs explained that usually when an appendix to the code is adopted, it goes into effect after 30 days.

“I want to have one year, so I will have time to go out and meet with contractors and make them more aware of the change that is coming,” he said.

Childs also added that if, prior to the Jan. 1, 2010 deadline, he doesn’t feel contractors have adequate information, the start date can always be changed.

“I am happy that the board is thinking this far into the future,” Childs told The Panolian in an intereview Friday morning. “I was surprised and thought they might wait for the International Code Council to make the decision,” he said.