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Letter to the Editor: Fire Sprinklers Should be Mandatory in New Homes

The writer is David Kurasz, executive director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board.

On Tuesday, July 3, 2012, a fire broke out, in South Brunswick, N.J. destroyed or damaged, and at least six people displaced.

After a protracted battle which pitted more than two dozen firefighters against a rapidly-growing fire, the six people who lived in the home where the fire originated escaped without any injuries. That home, however, was destroyed and the two adjacent homes sustained considerable damage.

Fire spreads quickly in newer homes, such as those in the Dean’s Pond Crossing development, because they are constructed with lightweight building materials. This was likely a contributing factor to the speed with which this fire engulfed the home at 30 Revere Rd. and the damage it inflicted on two adjacent homes before firefighters had a chance to get it under control.

New Jersey has seen an increase in the number of house and apartment fires recently resulting in catastrophic property loss and/or tragic fatalities. In many cases, properly installed and maintained fire sprinklers control and possibly even extinguish a fire before the fire department even arrives on the scene. 

More importantly, the presence of fire sprinklers could have mitigated the risk to individuals affected by the blaze, including firefighters who fought the fire.

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. 

Best Regards,

David Kurasz, Executive Director

New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board

North Brunswick

 

David Smith August 27, 2012 at 12:11 AM
We can barley afford homes now we don't need added expense and the possibility of our entire house being flooded by a malfunction. It's overboard. Moreover, how much will it cost to maintain and service this type of system?

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