Fire code changes could be in store for Georgia motels - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fire code changes could be in store for Georgia motels

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February 20, 2008

Tifton -- At least once a day, Manager Segie Saunders goes through every vacant room at the Quality Inn in Tifton to make sure everything is in order. "I've been here for eight years and never anything."

"We make sure all of the electrical plugs work. We make sure everything is fine in there, no sparks. Maintenance guys go through it too. We stay on top of it," said Saunders.

The hotel has multiple fire extinguishers on every floor and a fire alarm, but they don't have a sprinkler system."The motel was built in the 1980's. There are 90 rooms, exterior rooms so we don't have to have one," said Saunders.

But a new fire code being considered by the Clayton County Commission would require all hotels and motels to have sprinkler systems. 

"A lot of people are not going to agree to it like the hotel owners, They will have a big dispute about that, but I would feel safer if there was one," said Saunders.

"I think there will be heavy resistance because of the costs," said Tift County Fire Chief, Mike Flippo.

The older motels are most affected by a code change. "The fire codes from 50 years ago, even 20 years ago are not the same as the ones in place now," said Flippo. 

"Anytime you have to go in and put in a sprinkler system that is already constructed; it's probably going cost a lot more, and its probably going to be more difficult. 

You can't put a price on a life and it's really unfortunate the way the codes were way back."And this new code aims to correct that.

The Clayton County commission will vote on the new ordinance next month.

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