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Wisniewski, Green & Jasey Bill to Require Fire Suppression Systems in New Homes Approved by Assembly Panel

Fire safety legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John Wisniewski, Jerry Green and Mila Jasey requiring the installation of a fire suppression system in new single and two-family homes was approved by an Assembly panel on Thursday.

“Requiring fire suppression systems in new home construction is a simple, commonsense step that will save lives, limit property damage and reduce insurance costs,” said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “They should be as commonplace in home construction as windows and doors.”

The bill, named the “New Home Fire Safety Act,” requires the installation of a fire suppression system in new single and two-family homes.

“Installing fire safety equipment in newly constructed homes is an important step towards improving public safety,” said Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset). “A change like this can go a long way toward saving the lives of both residents and firefighters, and that’s always a good thing.”

“Protecting lives should always be our first priority,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “Making these fire suppression systems routine will provide peace of mind for families while minimizing the risks for firefighters who put their own lives on the line to protect us.”

Under the bill (A-1698), 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 by the Assembly Housing Committee. The requirements of the bill would go into effect the first day of the seventh month after final enactment.