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MU Greek houses granted more time to install sprinkler systems

The Columbia City Council approved an extension to a city ordinance that requires Greek organizations to have sprinkler systems installed in their houses.

Council members unanimously voted in favor of the three-year extension at Monday’s meeting. University of Missouri fraternity and sorority houses now have until June 1, 2019 to be in compliance with the sprinkler code.

The ordinance was enacted in 2009 and the original deadline was set for March 16, 2016.

In July, five Greek houses did not have a sprinkler system installed and said they needed more time to have them installed.

At Monday’s city council meeting representatives from two campus fraternities discussed their current housing situations and their need for more time to get the sprinklers installed, which included building completely new houses.

Chief Randy White, with the Columbia Fire Department said they’re willing to work with each organization to make sure their homes are safe.

“It’s difficult sometime to meet the fire code, especially in a situation where you’re retrofitting buildings to fit this new requirement,” he said. “I think this was a win-win to get that compliance.”

Those houses that don’t have a sprinkler system installed by June 1, 2016 will be working with the fire department to implement temporary safety measures.

CFD said this could include occupancy restrictions, special event restrictions and monthly fire alarm battery checks.

This is the first extension to the ordinance since it was enacted in 2009.

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