CHIVUKULA, LAMPITT & EVANS BILL TO HELP IMPROVE CAMPUS FIRE SAFETY SIGNED INTO LAW

(TRENTON) — Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Upendra J. Chivukula, Pamela R. Lampitt and Elease Evans to help improve fire safety is now law.

The new law (formerly A-1570) requires every public and independent higher education institution in the state to disseminate fire safety information about their facilities to students upon enrollment, or, if the student is a minor, to both the student and parent or guardian.

“The beginning of school is a time of chaos and excitement,” said Chivukula (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “Students are deluged with information which may go in one ear and out the other. It’s important to provide them with this life-saving information that they can refer to.”

“It’s hard enough to watch a child go away to college for the first time,” said Lampitt (D-Camden). “Under this law, at least parents can go home with peace of mind, knowing their children are in good hands and equipped with the proper information to deal with emergencies.”

“This is quite simply a law that makes common sense,” said Evans (D-Passaic/Bergen). “With a few simple moves, we can do a lot to improve fire safety for our children when they’re away at college.”

The information must include, but is not limited to, information on sprinkler systems, evacuation plans and other fire safety measures.

The law also requires New Jersey colleges and universities to disseminate this information to all employees upon initial employment.

The Commission on Higher Education, in consultation with the Division of Fire Safety in the Department of Community Affairs, is responsible for developing guidelines to implement this new law, including the identification of other pertinent fire safety information to be disseminated and the appropriate means of disseminating the information to students, parents or guardians, and employees.

The measure was also sponsored by Fred Scalera (D-Essex/Bergen/Passaic) before he retired from the Assembly in November.