The San Antonio City Council has approved a retroactive ordinance requiring 36 to 48 high rise buildings in the city to retrofit with fire sprinklers. These identified buildings were built before a 1982 ordinance requiring them. San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood says the building owners will have 12 years to comply.
"The first year you’re going to have a letter of intent, after three years your’re going to have to have your plans completed, water to the building in six, nine years for 50 percent and then 12 years for total completion of that. We will be enforcing that. So, that is going to cause all of these owners of these highrises, to be retrofitted."
The ordinance stems from the devastating Wedgwood fire last December where 6 people died as a result. While the majority of the affected buildings are offices, eight are residential, three of which house the elderly and disabled through the San Antonio Housing Authority.
Chief Hood says the department traveled to Washington DC last week to talk to House and Senate committees as well as HUD to incentivize retrofitting programs like these.