A new law now requires the state's Division of Fire Safety to conduct surveys of fire suppression systems--or lack thereof--for all public and nonpublic school buildings. The results, in turn, will be sent to the state's Department of Education.
"The law provides appropriate agencies with the information necessary to take appropriate action," stated Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, the bill co-sponsor, in a news release. "Many school buildings in the state were constructed decades ago and do not have adequate fire suppression systems, while others have systems that are not fully operational. This is a hazard.
"We cannot properly address this serious problem without accurate information regarding the status of fire suppression systems."
According to the news release, all school surveys need to include:
• whether a fire suppression system is installed and operational
• the year in which an existing fire suppression system was installed and any year in which additional piping or standpipes were added to the system or an additional system was installed in the same structure
• the cost of curing any defect if an installed fire suppression system is not fully operational
• the cost of a re-installation or annual maintenance of a fire suppression system that is inadequate or not fully operational
Praising the new law was Dave Kurasz, a member of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Coalition and executive director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. "This is a great first step in the process of determining the status of fire sprinklers in schools across New Jersey," he says. "Fire Sprinklers save lives, but only if they are installed and working properly."
What are your thoughts on the new law? Does it go far enough in protecting New Jersey residents? Let us know by replying to this post.