Assembly Pass Bill To Require Sprinklers In New Homes

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TRENTON – Fire safety legislation that would require the installation of a fire suppression system in new single and two-family homes was approved Monday by the General Assembly.

“This is a simple, commonsense step that will quite simply save lives and property,” said Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), a sponsor of the bill. “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 Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset), another sponsor of the bill. “A change like this can go a long way toward saving lives of residents and firefighters, and that’s always a good thing.”

The bill, named the “New Home Fire Safety Act”, requires the installation of a fire suppression system in new single and two-family homes. Under the bill (A-1570), a certificate of occupancy would not be issued for a new home until the state or local code enforcement agency determines that the home is equipped with a fire suppression system that conforms to State Uniform Construction Code systems promulgated by the Commissioner of Community Affairs.

The bill would exempt 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 issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

The bill was approved 44-30 by the Assembly and now awaits further consideration by the Senate.

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