New Fire Safety Rule Affects Jerome Daycare Centers
Jerome, Idaho (KMVT-TV) A new law has gone into effect in the City of Jerome that could affect some medium sized daycares. It's part of an effort to make sure that everyone's "playing by the rules" and being safe, as well.
Two and a half years ago, the City of Jerome adopted the 2009 International Fire Code. Recent rulings and interpretations now require daycares taking care of between six and 16 children to have fire sprinklers installed. That could be roughly $2500 if you're building a new house, but a lot more to install in your existing home.
Jeni McCool, Owner of School's Out Daycare, says, "When we got the letter, that definitely made it to where we have to move. Because we were in need of an upgrade, we can't downgrade."
McCool will be moving her daycare to a much larger building on First Avenue East in Jerome. That's obviously so she can take care of more kids, but she also can't afford to install fire sprinklers in her private home.
Jerome City Fire Chief Mike Hatfield says, "That's the question that a lot of them have to answer right now, those that have to come into compliance with this code. Can they make enough money from the government subsidy to be able to retrofit their homes with sprinklers, or do they need to look at other alternatives?"
Hatfield says smaller daycares could cut back to a total of five children and not have to install the fire sprinklers. But McCool says many business owners may have to make cutbacks they can't afford to make. Hatfield says he's working with the daycares in jerome, and the city planning director to see what other options the daycares can take.
McCool says, "I don't need to have sprinklers in the new facility, because it was open and used as a daycare prior to August 2009. So I don't have to have sprinklers in the new and larger, huger facility. But I have to have them in my tiny house?"
Hatfield says he understands the hardship the new rule is causing. So he says he's allowing seven of the 21 Jerome day care businesses to until the end of their current two year licensing period to come into compliance with the new ordinance.
Sept. 4, 2012.