Otoe County commissioners are considering updating building codes, but will not include 2009 regulations that require fire suppression sprinklers in new homes.

Building Inspector Alan Viox said he is all for the sprinklers, but said the county is not ready to to make them mandatory.

Otoe County commissioners were asked Tuesday to update its building codes after a requirement for fire suppression sprinklers in new houses was dropped.

Building Inspector Alan Viox asked the county to adopt the 2009 building codes that were adopted by Nebraska City in 2011.

The new codes will add some requirements for energy efficiency in new houses, such as extra insulation and high-efficiency furnaces.

Viox said 2009 requirements for fire-suppression sprinklers in all new construction, including houses, has been removed from the code.

Tim Nelsen, county board chairman, said it is evident that most of rural Otoe County does not have the water pressure needed for the sprinkler systems to function properly. He said each property would have to have some sort of storage tank on the property and it would have to be higher than the house.

Viox, also the Nebraska City fire chief, said he would like to see homes protected with sprinklers.

“It would be great to have homes sprinkled and I think that is coming in the future, but it's a situation where we will have to grow into it,” he said.