Bill to Require Residential Fire Sprinklers in New NJ Homes Approved by Assembly

construction tlsThe General Assembly on Thursday approved legislation requiring the installation of a fire suppression system in newly-constructed single- and two-family homes in New Jersey. The bill was sponsored by Assembly Democrats John Wisniewski, Jerry Green, Mila Jasey and Shavonda E. Sumter.

Under the bill (A-1698), to be known as the “New Home Fire Safety Act,” a certificate of occupancy would not be issued for a new home until a state or local code enforcement agency determines that the home is equipped with a fire suppression system that meets state standards.

“Requiring fire suppression systems in new home construction is a simple, commonsense step that will save lives, limit property damage and reduce insurance costs,” said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “They should be as commonplace in home construction as windows and doors.”

“Installing fire safety equipment in newly constructed homes is an important step toward improving public safety,” said Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset). “A change like this can go a long way toward saving the lives of both residents and firefighters.”

“Protecting people should always be our first priority,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “Making these fire suppression systems routine will provide peace of mind for families while minimizing the risks for firefighters who put their own lives on the line to protect us.”

“Just earlier this year, a Paterson house fire – unfortunately one of multiple fires in the city in recent months – put the residents, their neighbors and dozens of firefighters in grave danger,” said Sumter (D-Bergen/Passaic). “The severity of that tragic incident and others like it serves as a poignant reminder of why having residential fire sprinklers in new homes is so crucial.”

The legislation provides an exemption for manufactured homes and single- and two-family homes that are not connected to public water systems. The bill permits municipalities and the Commissioner of Community Affairs to each establish a fee that covers the cost of inspection and the cost of a certificate of occupancy.

The bill passed 46-31-1 in the Assembly. [TLS]

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  1. Yea I like to think the same, that it is all the lobbyists and some more money for some manufacture, however doing a little research on this topic (and being a member of Iampo that writes the code books on plumbing etc and made this part of the international code) There is a lot of proven studies showing that these fire suppression systems actually do save lives every time, They do claim that there is not even 1 death reported in homes with this system,

    Just some facts, decide for you self…..

  2. Leah:
    This is one of the better laws out there.
    It protects the safety of the dwellers, neighbors, and firefighters.
    It costs a little bit for yourself, but can save a firefighters life.
    Would you rather a firefighter go in to a inferno.
    This is way better, then making every building have a handicap ramp–
    and you will save on your fire insurance by having a sprinkler.

  3. When are they gonna run out of ideas?? They’re getting worse & worse!! They should set up internet in the state house to keep these politicians um buzy with um entertainment so they don’t have so much time on their hands any more.

  4. Whatever argument you want to bring, it is know that the sprinkler companies lobbied hard for this. And it’s not a few extra dollars. It’s $15k minimum per home. It hurt all residents of this great state.

    If sprinklers were such a great idea, why don’t you see it in any other state in the nation. Not even on the west coast where knee-jerk-nanny-state-eco-friendly folks runs the place.

    It’s pure and simple, the dollar greases the hand, and New Jersian have to pay.

    Texas: get ready for the next Exodus.

  5. It is a very good idea in theory. Anything safer is better. However, if anyone in construction/fire safety can chime in how much the COST will be to have these systems installed, it would be a great help.

  6. The cost of building will go up. And many times the sprinkler system goes off falsely. And causes tremendous damage in the home. Bad idea.

  7. So now you can add $10 thousand to the cost of the house for this. And your insurance will probably go UP because of freezing and/or bursting of the pipes and the water damage that can happen. No thanks, I don’t want this in my house.

  8. I just love this!!!! Paying my association dues finally paid off big time through the lobbyists! I’m counting my money already! La la la la

  9. They should also require sprinklers in the lawns, it will help the lawns grow well, so the rabbits and skunks have what to eat in Lakewood. It’s really sad to see all the under nourished slim animals.

  10. Sprinklers don’t just go off. It needs to be 160 degrees for it to go off. Also they aren’t all connected. Each individual sprinler head will go off when the tempature near it reaches 160 degrees. And yes they save lives. As a fire fighter it makes my job a lot safer and lowers the chances of me dying as I am crawling through your home searching for you and your children.

  11. I really don’t understand why some are complaining about the extra cost.

    The average new house built in lakewood today includes:

    7 bedrooms
    5 bathrooms
    1 study
    1 play rom
    1 office
    2 ovens
    2 dishwashers
    2 fridges
    granite countertops

    All you have to do is cut one or two of the above, and you will have the money to pay for the sprinkler. Sure the neighbors may mock you for only having laminate countertops instead of granite. Sure, the in laws may gasp at your single oven, or the fact that some siblings might actually have to share a bedroom and a bathroom, but im sure they will get over it once they see the safety sprinkly system installed!

  12. What a ridiculous opinion. Your description sure doesn’t match my house. According to your reasoning the law should only apply to these expensive homes. What about the rest of the struggling folks with smaller and less furnished homes. Do we get a break from these new expenses that the lobbyists got paid so handsomely for?? The legislators don’t make any exceptions for cheaper houses. So what on earth are you saying? Or is it that you just want to be jealous and pick on certain people?!!

  13. no sense for this law, no place in the country has this stupid law, it has a major freezing problem on the top floor of the house were there is no heat will need bigger water mains just a big expense with no good reason.

  14. And if your water supply is from a well— fire breaks out – wire insulation melts – electric circuit breakers turn off – electric goes out – no electric to run the pump to get water to the sprinklers. So now you just paid $15,000 for a sprinkler system in your new house which won’t work. Great idea.

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