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Fire Official Urges Passage Of Bill That Would Require Fire Sprinklers In Newly Constructed Homes

Sprinkler systems save lives, reduce risk to firefighters

 

Letter to the Editor submitted by David Kurasz, Executive Director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board:

Tragedy struck Berkeley, N.J. on the early morning of September 9, 2012, when a quick-moving fire claimed the life of an elderly man reported to be in his seventies and injured one firefighter.

Despite heroic efforts by the fire department and first responders, the fire grew too intense too quickly, making it difficult to enter the residence.

New Jersey has seen an increase in the number of house and apartment fires recently. The results are often catastrophic property loss and in this case a tragic loss of life.

However, these tragedies can be prevented. Properly installed and maintained fire sprinklers control and typically extinguish a fire before the fire department even arrives on the scene.

More importantly, the presence of fire sprinklers mitigates the risk to individuals affected by the blaze, including both occupants of the home and the firefighters who respond to battle the fire.

Fire doesn’t discriminate and can strike at any time and in any type of home, including one-and two-family homes, condominiums, townhomes and apartments.

Currently, there is pending legislation in New Jersey - bill A1570 in the Assembly - 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.

If passed, this legislation would help to reduce the devastating effects of fires and help protect New Jersey residents in the places where they should feel safest -- their homes. 

Fire sprinklers are the only proactive form of fire protection, providing firefighters the time they need to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible, while helping to avoid potential injuries and devastating tragedies like this one.

Mr. Robertson September 21, 2012 at 04:21 PM
A resident - curious. How is a sprinkler head tested? How much does it cost to check a back flow preventor or the system as a whole every year? What does it cost the schools when the home starts drop in the community that forces this on potential home owners. If you think its hard for someone to spend 99 cents to buy a battery for a smoke detector what are the odds of spending hundreds every year to almost test a complete fire sprinkler system. What is Habitats answer to these requirements? What is the answer from those that receive local tax credits for building in a particular area when it is literally elimanted as a result of the added costs associated with this mandate? Get a developer, a builder, and municipalities willing to put in wider roads (extra cost, less hydrants at a higher risk of bonding and insurance... get the local water supplier or HOA not to charge extra for back flow preventer inspections or to increase water pressure or not to add additional water meters.... then get code officals to retract or ammend some fire barriers and or ratings to build homes, and then banks to finance when there is no percieved value added to the home .... at that point you 'might' see a $400 - $500 cost increase to the home. (at least according to the NFPA propaganda video they send out). Until then leave the home owners alone. it is their home and their choice! I know my smoke alarms work every time I make a pizza. :-)
Mr. Robertson September 21, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Bob - hardship for most is correct. trust anyone that goes to get a home loan. $5,000-$20,000 to the price of a home is certainly felt. if the home owner wants to go from granite to laminate to get sprinklers put in their new home the go for it. there is now reason for forcing this on the backs of potential home owners.
Mr. Robertson September 21, 2012 at 04:30 PM
When the intial 2012 internatioanl code was being discussed, retro fitting was in fact a part of the discussion. sprinklers go from commercial to MF residential to SF residential to eventually remodels....make it choice for the home owner.
A Resident September 21, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Mr. Robertson, guess you'd have to ask a sprinkler company what the costs are. I don't know. Back flow preventers? I have them now on my sewer system...cost a couple dollars. Wider roads? That has what to do with sprinkler systems? Higher water pressure....they can work with normal household pressures. Sounds like a lot of builder/developer propaganda....
A Resident September 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM
"Kinda like the Sprinkler Association / Plumbers Union did to get this through to begin with" And the builders associations did the same as well....

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