Public Info

Union County Adopts Fire Safety Resolution in Support of Stronger Building Codes

Joins Counties of Gloucester, Hudson, Camden, Middlesex, Essex and Mercer, and Wall Township, in Calling for Timely Passage of Statewide Legislation

Contact: Kevin Lawlor
Silver Spring, MD – On Thursday evening, the Union County Board of Freeholders voted in support of a resolution to endorse statewide legislation that would amend New Jersey’s construction code for fire safety reasons, and provide an added level of protection for firefighters and residents alike. The decision to do so comes on the heels of similar measures in Gloucester, Hudson, Camden, Middlesex and Essex Counties.
The adopted resolution supports Assembly Bill 135 and Senate Bill 1261, legislation that calls for the installation of an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with NFPA 13, measuring the number of stories from the grade plane, using noncombustible materials for construction, and installing a fire barrier with a fire resistance rating of at least two hours that extends from the foundation to the roof.
“Union County’s decision to join six other counties across New Jersey in support of this legislation is a step toward building a safer state,” said Sergio Granados, Chairman of the Union County Freeholder Board. “We’re hopeful that state lawmakers will concur with their local counterparts and demand stricter building regulations that protect the well-being of residents, their property, as well as our fire fighters that serve them.”
In late December, firefighters responded to a fire at a wood-framed apartment complex in Princeton, New Jersey, that resulted in the death of a 73-year-old resident and the displacement of 35 others. The incident came after a pair of massive fires in the state in buildings constructed with combustible materials over the past couple years – namely in Maplewood and Edgewater. There have been dozens of fires of a similar nature throughout the country over the last several few years.
A September 2016 poll of 400 registered voters in New Jersey found respondents very supportive of the state making changes to building codes following the devastating Edgewater apartment complex fire in January 2015.
Local New Jersey coalition members of Build with Strength include: The New Jersey State Firefighters’ Mutual Benevolent Association, The Professional Association of Fire Fighters in New Jersey, the New Jersey State Association of County Fire Marshals, the Brigantine Beach Fire Company; the Bricklayers and Allied Crafts – New Jersey, and the Fire Departments of Burlington County and West Orange.
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