N.J. Bill Requiring New Homes Be Equipped With Fire Suppression Systems Advances

December 13, 2013
Fire Safety

In New Jersey, legislation sponsored by state Sen. Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) that would increase public safety by requiring that certain new homes are equipped with a fire suppression system was approved Thursday by the N.J. Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

“The fire safety community has advocated this measure as a way to save lives and increase safety for residents and first responders alike,” said Sen. Norcross. “It took a major fire at Seton Hall for us to enact the first mandatory residence hall fire sprinkler law. We shouldn’t legislate around tragedies when we can avoid them with commonsense safeguards.”

According to the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, there were more than 16,477 structure fires reported in New Jersey in 2010, with an overwhelming majority of them occurring in residential structures. A total of 1,130 injuries were reported, with 737 of them suffered by firefighters. There were also 75 fatalities recorded.

The “New Home Fire Safety Act” (S-2273) would require the installation of fire suppression systems in new single and two-family homes during construction. In such systems, an extinguishing agent is discharged through fixed pipes and nozzles into or over a potential fire hazard. The systems may include containers, nozzles, controls, automatic detection, manual releases, equipment shut downs, and alarms.

“When a fire breaks out in a residential structure, it can take mere seconds for a small flame to spread out of control. Anything we can do to protect our residents and emergency responders is worth the price tag,” said Sen. Norcross. “This is an investment in public safety that will ultimately cost less than rebuilding after a terrible tragedy.”

The bill was approved by a vote of 3-0-1. It next heads to the N.J. Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for consideration.

Source: New Jersey Senate Democrats


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Latest Comments

  • December 16, 2013 at 9:15 am
    Lew Candura says:
    The cost of installing a sprinkler system while a new home is being built is less than the cost of wall to wall carpeting or granite kitchen counter tops & that cost will ... read more
  • December 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm
    Ken says:
    This looks like it is a sure way to depress the construction of new houses and increase the price of home ownership. The housing costs and taxes already make NJ unaffordable ... read more
  • December 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm
    Wayne says:
    As a NJ firefighter for decades and as a former fire chief, I think it is a great idea. As an insurance agent, I can only imagine the ensuing water damage claims from accident... read more
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