Fred Durso

Despite valiant effort by safety advocates, New Jersey governor vetoes sprinkler bill

Blog Post created by Fred Durso Employee on May 8, 2015

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb082b0b9f970d-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb082b0b9f970d-320wi|alt=New Jersey|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=New Jersey|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb082b0b9f970d img-responsive!New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered a blow to safety advocates on May 7 by "conditionally vetoing" a bill that would have sprinklered new, one- and two-family homes. Christie vetoed a similar bill last legislative session following its passage in the state Assembly and Senate, but this time has requested a closer look at the benefits of sprinklering the state's new townhomes.


Citing residents' "struggles" to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy, Christie also noted in his veto message that the bill would "further burden New Jerseyans" by "increasing the upfront cost of every new freestanding home by thousands of dollars." Christie added that the bill should be amended so that the state's Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which has the ability to modify the building code, can analyze the appropriateness of sprinklering new townhomes, which he considers having greater fire risks since these dwellings are attached. "If, after comparing the marginal cost of such devices with their marginal benefits, the DCA determines that sprinklers in such structures are warranted, then DCA should amend the Uniform Construction Code as it deems appropriate," stated Christie.


 

This decision, however, does little to protect the state from future fire tragedies, said New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who sponsored the bill and has constantly noted that sprinkler installation is a small fraction of a home's overall cost. Read more by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.


 

 

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