CAPE CORAL, FL--Home fire sprinklers will not be mandatory in Cape Coral. City council members decided against the idea tonight.
Members said they needed more information before they forced homeowners to install the costly systems.
we've shown you just how effective home fire sprinkler systems can be..
"But making it mandatory, I can't get behind," said Nancy Patti.
Patti was just one of many Cape homeowners who spoke up to council not wanting to be told what to do.
"You reach a saturation point with all of the red tape and fees and it just becomes cost prohibitive," she said.
It's a cost that seemed to be the biggest issue among residents and professionals.
"I just think it is a bad idea. We have much more things we need to focus on?," said Danielle Sharp.
Sharp lives in the Cape and is also a real estate broker. She says the extra $1.78 per square foot cost for new homes plus yearly maintenance would be devastating to construction.
"They are making it seam like we have all these fires and house fires here when we really, really don't. I would like to hear the statistics on that versus nationally," said Sharp.
Lee County fire marshals also presented just how effective the systems are. They said the sprinklers help the fire department because they help contain the fire before anyone arrives. But many here just couldn't get past the cost.
Even Habitat for Humanity says if new homes had to have the sprinkler systems, they would have to find somewhere else to build homes for the needy.
"That is a lot of money and it means fewer houses that we will ultimately be able to produce," said Kitty Green from Habitat for Humanity.