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# A proposed ordinance requires the installation

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Verbal Forum Moderator
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A proposed ordinance requires the installation [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2013, 06:11
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Difficulty:

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Question Stats:

90% (01:10) correct 10% (01:14) wrong based on 1182 sessions

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Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, 2nd Edition

Practice Question
Question No.: 31
Page: 127
Difficulty:

A proposed ordinance requires the installation in new homes of sprinklers automatically triggered by the presence of a fire. However, a home builder argued that because more than 90 percent of residential fires are extinguished by a household member, residential sprinklers would only marginally decrease property damage caused by residential fires.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the home builder’s argument?

(A) Most individuals have no formal training in how to extinguish fires.
(B) Since new homes are only a tiny percentage of available housing in the city, the new ordinance would be extremely narrow in scope.
(C) The installation of smoke detectors in new residences costs significantly less than the installation of sprinklers.
(D) In the city where the ordinance was proposed, the average time required by the fire department to respond to a fire was less than the national average.
(E) The largest proportion of property damage that
results from residential fires is caused by fires that start when no household member is present.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: A proposed ordinance requires the installation [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2013, 13:15
Maybe for a novic is a tough question, i understand this but indeed is a sub 600 level question

E straight.
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Re: A proposed ordinance requires the installation [#permalink]

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24 Feb 2015, 12:52
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01:09 straight E... B,C,D are either irrelevant or strengthen the argument. Only A could be a contender here
Most individuals have no formal training in how to extinguish fires - However, 90 percent of residential fires are extinguished by a household member, that means they just don't need any training......
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Re: A proposed ordinance requires the installation [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2015, 07:15
A proposed ordinance requires the installation in new homes of sprinklers automatically triggered by the presence of a fire. However, a home builder argued that because more than 90 percent of residential fires are extinguished by a household member, residential sprinklers would only marginally decrease property damage caused by residential fires.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the home builder’s argument?

(A) Most individuals have no formal training in how to extinguish fires.
(B) Since new homes are only a tiny percentage of available housing in the city, the new ordinance would be extremely narrow in scope.
(C) The installation of smoke detectors in new residences costs significantly less than the installation of sprinklers.
(D) In the city where the ordinance was proposed, the average time required by the fire department to respond to a fire was less than the national average.
(E) The largest proportion of property damage that
results from residential fires is caused by fires that start when no household member is present.

While considering weakening questions focus on the conclusion of the stimulus, here the homebuilder talks about how fires are extinguished by household members 90% of the time and gives additional reasoning saying that the sprinklers would marginally help stopping the fires and decrease the property damage. One way of weakening would be to show or give stats saying that the absence of household members would cause the fire to propagate and perpetuate. Hence we go through the answer options to check if anything matches this consideration.

A> out of scope -- no mention of training so it isnt even tangential so not essential to the stimulus
B>though it would be narrow in scope this option does not address the conclusion and should be eliminated
C>while this does talk about the merit of a smoke detector over a sprinkler it does not talk about damage control so is definitely out of context
D>again out of scope-- we're considering sprinkler installation over household member presence so cannot be considered
E> this is the correct answer, it correctly points out the weakness in the housebuilder's argument and the key here is matching the phrase property damage.

hope this helps!

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Re: A proposed ordinance requires the installation [#permalink]

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14 Apr 2016, 06:49
The homebuilder assumes that ~10% of residential fires would not cause significant damage. Answer choice which undermines this assumption will weaken the argument.

Another way to look at this argument is to negate the conclusion and look for an answer choice that supports this conclusion:
~Conclusion: Res Sprinklers would significantly decrease property damage caused by residential fires.
Now look for an answer choice that supports this conclusion.

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Re: A proposed ordinance requires the installation [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2017, 16:58
A) Most individuals have no formal training in how to extinguish fires.- not relevant here. We have to look for an answer that talks about property damage.
(B) Since new homes are only a tiny percentage of available housing in the city, the new ordinance would be extremely narrow in scope. - not a great pick.
(C) The installation of smoke detectors in new residences costs significantly less than the installation of sprinklers.- there is no mention of cost in the argument.
(D) In the city where the ordinance was proposed, the average time required by the fire department to respond to a fire was less than the national average.- so? It doesn't matter.
(E) The largest proportion of property damage that
results from residential fires is caused by fires that start when no household member is present.- correct. Even though 90%of the times, fire is caused by household member and can be extinguished, the damage to property can be huge in these cases.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: A proposed ordinance requires the installation [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2017, 05:35
E is correct - Identifies a weakness in the home builder's argument by showing that most damage occurs when no household member is present to put out the fire.
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Re: A proposed ordinance requires the installation   [#permalink] 16 Aug 2017, 05:35
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