Assembly Housing And Local Gov Committee To Consider Bill Requiring Fire Suppression Systems For New Homes

[UPDATED] The Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee will consider legislation today to require fire suppression systems in new single- and two-family homes. The Legislation, known as the New Home Fire Safety Act, is sponsored by Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Speaker Pro Tem Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset) and Mila Jasey (D-Essex).

The “Fire suppression system”, would mean an engineered or pre-engineered system that suppresses a fire using an extinguishing agent distributed through fixed piping and nozzles that are activated either manually or automatically. The system may include containers, nozzles, controls, automatic detection, manual releases, equipment shut downs, and alarms. In such systems, an extinguishing agent is discharged through fixed pipes and nozzles into or over a potential fire hazard.

This bill would require the installation of a fire suppression system in new single and two family homes during the home’s construction. This requirement would be instituted by a municipal ordinance. In order to ensure compliance with an ordinance requiring the installation of a fire suppression system in new single and two family homes, this bill would condition the issuance of a certificate of occupancy upon the installation of the system. All fire suppression systems required by such ordinances would have to conform to the requirements promulgated by the Commissioner of Community Affairs.

The Committee will consider the bill when they meet this afternoon. TLS.

UPDATE 3:45 PM

The legislation was released Monday by an Assembly panel.

“This is a simple, commonsense step that will quite simply save lives and property,” said Deputy Speaker Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “We know these suppression systems are effective, so there’s really no reason why they shouldn’t be as commonplace in new construction as windows and doors.”

“Ensuring public safety is among our top priorities, and this would be an important step toward ensuring fire safety in new construction,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset). “A change like this can go a long way toward saving lives of residents and firefighters, and that’s always a good thing.”

“Protecting lives is a priority,” said Jasey (D-Essex). “Making these fire suppression systems routine is quite simply the right thing to do for both our residents and firefighters.”

In order to ensure compliance with an ordinance requiring the installation of a fire suppression system in new single and two family homes, this bill would condition the issuance of a certificate of occupancy upon the installation of the system.

All fire suppression systems required by such ordinances would have to conform to the requirements promulgated by the Commissioner of Community Affairs.

The bill was released by the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee. TLS.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. thats a great idea , in this econmy when most people cant afford the homes they already have lets make it more expencive to purchase a new home . we will never start to recover when we make it harder to sell homes . we need the housing market to recover folks . you do not over regulate in times of recission , we easy regs … they will never learn

  2. This is how the Democrats create JOBS!! Jobs that is for the public sector. Just what we need in this poor economy more laws and more INSPECTORS. No one is buying new homes now, so what do the Democrats want to do, make them more expensive. Great plan guys, I have a better one GO FIX SOCIAL SECURITY.

  3. to wow says
    while I understand your concern about the housing market , in t he long run it would not only protect property , it also would save lives!
    I’m not in favor having Government over regulation either , however there are already many regulation that control new home construction ,I believe this is a really valid regulation . There is no information here as to the added cost involved . We have seen many other intrusiions that government has forced upon us that are questionable ,I could live with this one and I’m sure anyone who has had a home fire would agree with me

  4. Keep the government out of this and let them solve their own debt ridden management style first. Almost all the rental propeties that have them, the tenants take out the battery to use for their own use. A total waste.

  5. people in lakewood ARE buying new houses left and right, have you seen the new homes pop up that are built in a week? If you are worried about the extra cost, just reduce the number of bathrooms from 7 to 6 , or use formica instead of granite on your countertops and you can find the money for this live saving device.Yes, your neighbors will judge you for having less bathrooms than they do, and having white appliances instead of stainless steel, but you will survive, I promise

  6. Never lost a life in home that had a sprinkler system installed .Love when someone puts a price on our safety. The builder is always looking out for you and your loved ones, believe that and I’ll sell you a bridge. Being built to code means it meets MINIMUM requirements. It’s time that we demand that all new homes have sprinkler systems and not another person will be lost to a fire. The Builders across the country have fought this tooth and nail because it cuts into their profit margin. It cost pennies when spread out over a 20 or 30 year home loan. If I was building a new house, no question I want it installed.

  7. And when you go to Florida for the winter and winterize your house so no pipes burst, how do you prevent this system from freezing? You can’t, unless you shut off the water and drain the system, thereby rendering the system useless while you are gone.

  8. There’s a Yiddishe perspective of doing everything we can to protect and preserve life, within reason. Within reason cannot be exactly defined, but it has to mean there are limits to how much we do to protect life. We have to live in the world, so we drive cars, we use electricity, we have chemicals in our homes for cleaning, etc. We take precautions with these and many other things, as we should. But, in the end of the day, there is a risk inherent in almost every human activity and everything we use.

    So, the question might be, how far do we go with regard to each particular risk? How far is within reason? Is this fire safety equipment beyond reason? To try and answer the question, one would have to know a number of things: how much does the system cost? how many injuries and fatalities stem from the absence of such a system across the whole population (ie: how many lives would it save to install this in every new home, while leaving the far greater number of existing homes unprotected)? What would be the indirect costs in terms of people who would not be able to afford a home because of the increased cost? Likewise, how many construction jobs, supplier jobs, manufacturing jobs, etc. related to new home construction will be gained or lost because of a) the installation of the new equipment or b) the new homes not built because the added cost eliminates a certain percentage of buyers.

    Beyond this, there is the political question: is this the proper role of government, imposing every conceivable safety measure on the private sector? There will inevitably follow more ideas to make life safer, which can always justify more laws, regulations and costs.

    Its a kind of complicated question overall. I instinctively don’t like the government getting involved in every aspect of our lives and imposing not only their will, but the costs of every new brainstorm, constantly driving up prices for everything and stifling the economy as they have already been doing for years. I would instead favor a public awareness campaign, informing people of the benefits of such a system and allowing them to choose whether to have it installed. People who can afford it will very likely opt for the system, while those who can’t can still enjoy the benefits of being able to purchase a home and the many industries and jobs that depend on new home construction will not suffer.

  9. Sprinklers can be installed by any plumber as part if original installation. Not a major expense. Only realtors fight it because they need to move houses. I agree that gov shouldn’t dictate, but if not, the builders would give you a cardboard box and call it a fully upgraded beauty

  10. Genius: I have a background in construction and I am somewhat familiar with the kind of equipment they are talking about. It would require a parallel iron or other fire resistant piping system, and, as the article says:

    ” The system may include containers, nozzles, controls, automatic detection, manual releases, equipment shut downs, and alarms.”

    Without question, each fire suppression system as described would add thousands to the cost of a house and I wouldn’t be surprised if the number could run 10 to 20,000 given that amount of material and add the work of a licensed plumber and helper. That is a substantial add-on to the price of a house, especially in today’s depressed housing market.

  11. In addition a ‘suppression system’ is used over cooking areas in food service establishments. When a ‘soft metal’ link is exposed to temperture it breaks which releases a cable and opens a valve to release the powder. there is no water in a system that is pictured above. Do you have any idea how many tanks of powder it would take to cover an entire house? A ‘sprinkler system’ is water filled. the heads can run off your domestic plumbing lines. only the head exposed to heat will open. still a very costly proposition.

  12. there is no such thing as a depressed real estate market in lakewood. houses are being built and sold at the speed of light; and no, they are not sitting vacant. houses are being built with zero setbacks which makes this sprinkler system idea a good one. you can literally reach outside your window and touch the house next to yours. would you want to be responsible for your neighbors house burning down?

  13. hey #17
    A dry system means the the sprinkler pipes are filled with compressed air. Now you need to buy an air compressor and maintain it. There is also a pressure differential valve that monitors the sprinkler air pressure so that when a head goes off it lets the water flow. If you are away and the air compressor quits the pressure valve will think a sprinkler head opened and will allow water to flow, now its winter and all your sprinkler pipes are full of water, we can all figure what is going to happen next : )

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