The county Board of Supervisors didn't do much last Wednesday to soften the image that it is too builder-oriented. The issue was the installation of fire sprinklers in multiple-family units (like apartments). Pushing for the sprinklers was Larry Holms, county director of fire service. Holms talked of fire safety. Opposing him was the Building Industry Assn. It spoke of cost.
As it turned out, it was no contest: Supervisors delayed any action on the fire sprinklers until 1989. It wouldn't even give Holms the 90-day extension he sought to try to work out some compromise with the builders' group. That was a mistake.
Sprinklers save lives, property and firefighting costs. The delay means that hundreds, if not thousands, of apartments and condominiums will be built without that added protection until the issue comes back before the board in two years.