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

new constructionLegislation requiring the installation of fire suppression systems in newly-constructed single- and two-family homes advanced in the Senate on Monday.

Under the bill (A-1698), sponsored by Assembly Democrats John Wisniewski, Jerry Green, Mila Jasey and Shavonda Sumter, 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, which has already been approved by the full Assembly, was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today and now awaits final legislative approval by the full Senate.


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  1. Yes, this is very important. Especially with today’s cheaper building construction, homes are much more vulnerable to fire and unsafe for fire fighters to enter at times. Having a sprinkler system will only enhance the safety of life and property.

  2. Totally disagree- on many fronts: 1) Who needs the added cost/aggravation with the system; 2) Looks terrible in a residential house; 3) and the biggest, why hand over another element of our lives to the government and their regulations.
    The cost/benefit may not add up- at least to make it mandatory- if it is so crucial people would decide on their own.

  3. Hey lebron- I am with you on this. Their also saying they build houses so cheap all wood is one reason why. They probably get some sort of tax revenue off this.

  4. The fact that it’s adding Another fat regulation is worrisome but I have a cousin that’s a high ranking in the NYFD . In ny all buildings have sprinklers. He tells me sprinklers are eliminating most fires , saves a lot of lives.

  5. Welcome to the Democratic Jobs Program. Make a Law, create new fees/taxes to support the new Government employees. This is just BIG Government getting bigger. When will this stop?!
    Why not make it an option for the home buyer. Also is the Insurance Co. going to cover you when you have more water damage than fire damage?

  6. That’s what everyone says until their house is on fire and the fire department can’t save your house or worse get in to save a life. Face it, a fire in today’s cheaply built houses is more dangerous and devastating. Not everything has to be about polotics. Letting everyone decide for themselves is not a good idea as it effects others. Your house goes on fire, you put other life and property in harms way and you expect fire fighters to risk life to save you/your property. Can you guarantee a fire in your house won’t hurt anyone else? Will you allow the fire department to focus on exposure (surrounding property) and let your house burn down? Are you serioisly more concerned with how your house looks than your own life?

  7. LeBron is right. Its a stupid, stupid law. U wanna have exposed pipe in ur living room ? This should be required for multi-family homes only.

  8. I don’t understand they are passing a law to reduce damage and insurance cost?! wanna say it saves lives is one thing but leave it at that!!! Yanyone who Just does a drop of research will find out that companies that manufacture/install sprinklers have been lobbying for years to get this passed and it looks like they’re gonna succeed! Todays housing btw jbw(do u install sprinkler systems!??)r alot safer fire wise then homes built 100 years ago cheap does not mean the house will burn faster this is all propaganda that these sprinkler manufacturers want u to believe and convince the public that its a must

  9. jbw- thank you for your service. But as a fire fighter, you only see fires, some really bad, in homes- you are forgetting that the overwhelming majority of homes do not have fires- so like I said before- the cost/benefit may not add up. Yes- other people are involved, but everything we do involves other people- it’s part of life. We have to make the decision that makes the most sense-

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