The council majority at the time, Lee Duboc, Mickie Winkler and Nicholas Jellins, decided that the cost wasn't worth the benefit for home sprinklers, due to the city's low number of fires and fire-related injuries.
Firefighters were unhappy the council did not go along with the proposed sprinkler ordinance, which had passed and is on the books in Atherton and East Palo Alto. Peter Carpenter, then a fire board member, told The Almanac: "I wonder how many people will have to be seriously injured or killed before the Menlo Park City Council reconsiders this ill-advised decision."
Now the council is ready to again consider fire sprinklers. And the cost-benefit ratio will continue to be a focus of the debate. We look forward to hearing the arguments on both sides, including the number of fires and fire-related injuries per year in Menlo Park and an accurate cost estimate of how much sprinklers would add to the cost of new homes and substantial remodels of existing homes.