The Warrensburg City Council discussed updating their fire prevention code at Monday night's meeting.

Warrensburg Fire Chief Jim Kushner explained the need for the update:

“The reason that we brought this forth is, every six years, the City of Warrensburg goes through the entire code family to update to newer standards, to be be more technological and update to date in building and fire protection needs. Tonight, I discussed a portion of the fire code upgrade. The International Code Council made a suggestion to be retroactive to install fire sprinklers in certain occupancies such as bars and restaurants, in excess of 5,000 square feet with over 300 people, and serve alcohol,” Chief Kushner explained.

A new ordinance would affect six Warrensburg businesses if passed by Council, including Players, Bodies, Heroes, American Legion, Elks and The District. "The District is being partially installed now and will need to be in the whole bar if passed," Kushner explained.

If passed, the ordinance would go into effect immediately, but there may be a grace period of between three and six months, Kushner noted.  But, he added,“it's time to update … we're trying to make it safer for the public,” he said.

Each business was notified of the upcoming rule changes to the International Fire Code when the City conducted their annual liquor license inspections. “Every year, we do a fire safety inspection, and we notified everybody who has a liquor license of the proposed rule to allow them to do some research and come to Council and let their opinions be known,” the fire chief said.

The expense of installing a new sprinkler system at a business can be costly. One estimate was $6 – 8 per square foot to retroactively install one, it was noted.

Chief Kushner also noted that there are federal tax incentives for for those installing a new sprinkler system, referring to Section 179 of recently-passed tax reform legislation, according to the National Fire Sprinkler Association.

Section 179 includes roofs, HVAC, fire protection and security alarm systems. For more info, go to nfsa.org.

Randy Kirby