In a commentary posted on Newsroom Jersey on October 13, 2009, David Kurasz, executive director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, stands up for proposed regulations that would mandate the installation of automatic fire sprinklers in all new homes beginning in 2012.
"These safety measures will not be adopted if the home builders have anything to say about it," he writes. "Through the years, the home builders have refused to work with the State and fire protection advocates to understand the growing fire problem in New Jersey and to find solutions that effectively protect the lives and property of homeowners. Instead, they continue to sell expensive upgrades, such as granite countertops, to home buyers, yet they claim automatic fire sprinklers, which wouldn't cost more than new carpeting to install, are too expensive for the home buyer."
"In fact, the cost is estimated at $1.61 per square foot, which is approximately 1% of the value of the home, according to the FEMA benefit-cost analysis on residential fire sprinklers." (Editor's note: Read the "Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment" study published by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, PDF, 634 KB). "When the cost is spread over a 30-year mortgage, it comes down to less then the price of a cup of coffee per week," says Mr. Kurasz. "This is a small price to pay when it comes to saving lives."