[OPINION] Elizabeth Fire Highlights Need For Residential Fire Sprinklers

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by David Kurasz, executive director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board

A 17-year-old girl tragically lost her life in a quick moving fire that struck a rooming house on Saturday, June 15, in Elizabeth. A man in his 60s was also critically injured in the blaze when he jumped from the third floor of the house in an effort to escape the extreme smoke and fire conditions. Firefighters acted quickly and courageously but were unable to enter the structure due to the intensity of the blaze. The other tenants were able to escape without injury

The New Jersey Assembly passed bill A1570 in January and has recently introduced Senate bill S2273, which would make it mandatory for all newly constructed one- and two-family homes as well as condominiums and townhomes to be equipped with fire sprinklers. Fire sprinklers are the only proactive form of fire protection and can provide residents the time they need to get out and first responders the time they need to safely enter the structure.

I urge you to check your smoke detectors and to educate yourselves on how fire sprinkler systems can provide your family the time needed to escape and protections against the dangers of fire. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time.


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