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. It 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.
State Sen. Robert Singer (R-Ocean, Monmouth) opposes the bill, saying, “Government should not decide how families spend their personal income or force them to spend thousands of dollars more for things in their homes. Plenty of New Jersey families feel safe with the regulations we have already put in place requiring smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Where does it stop? Do you make people pay for their cars to have sensors and cameras; do you make all homeowners buy burglar alarms?”
The bill was approved 44-30 by the Assembly in January. It was released 3-1-1 on Thursday by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee and now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration.
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