In a letter to the Daily Record, David Kurasz, Executive Director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, says the recent fire death of a 60-year-old woman from Essex Falls underscores a problem that is often overlooked and rarely discussed.
"So often the circumstances surrounding these fatal fires are the same," writes Mr. Kurasz. "A victim or victims are fast asleep and a spark becomes a smolder which begins to smoke and becomes a flame. These flames can double in their size every 45 seconds and can be accelerated by oil-based products and fabrics like furniture. By this point a working smoke alarm should have activated and a thick, black and toxic cloud of smoke would have filled the halls of a home. This would be a conscious and capable person’s last chance to escape. Flashover, the point in which the temperature of a room reaches critical mass and all things combustible ignite, soon follows."
In his letter, Mr. Kurasz urges the New Jersey Senate to join Senator Jim Wheelr in support of S2316 (The New Home Fire Safety Act) which would require residential sprinklers to be installed in all new one- and two-family homes.
"We deserve to live in a state that adopts the minimum life safety code as a proactive measure to save lives from the ravages of fire and protect ourselves and our loved ones in the very places we should feel the safest — our homes," he says.