Sprinklers required in new Maryland homes

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A new Maryland law will help extinguish the consequences of quick-moving  fires.

A demonstration of what can happen to a house without a sprinkler system. (Photo: Kris Van Cleave)

The state joins Prince George's County in requiring the installation of sprinkler systems in new homes. The law has been effect in the county for 20 years.

A demonstration put on by the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Academy showed the difference a sprinkler system can make.

"The unsprinklered fire is fatal in a minute or two, the sprinklered model is absolutely survivable," U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchel said.

Maryland State Fire Marshal William Barnard added, "Smoke alarms just aren't enough anymore."

Maryland is just the second state in the nation to require sprinklers in new homes. The law will go into effect over the next few years, and officials say it will save lives.

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