Bill Requiring Fire Sprinklers In New Townhomes Advances In Legislature

In an effort to combat fast moving fires, the New Jersey Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein, which would require automatic fire sprinkler systems to be installed in new townhomes.

“For years, fire safety experts have recommended that fire sprinkler systems be installed in new construction,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex), “This bill, if enacted, will save lives, equip first responders with another essential tool in fighting fires, and protect people’s homes and property. There is a reason we already require sprinkler systems in larger multi-unit buildings, and it is time to similarly require them in certain conjoined townhomes.”

The bill, S-281, would require automatic fire sprinkler systems to be installed in new townhouses, which are defined under the bill as residential homes that are constructed in a group of three or more attached units wherein each unit extends from foundation to roof and with a yard or public way on at least two sides. If enacted, the construction permit for a new townhouse would not be declared complete without the installation of an automatic fire sprinkler system, though this requirement would not apply to townhouses that begin the approval process prior to the effective date of the bill.

The bill passed the chamber in a 31-1 vote.

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