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NJ Senate Takes Up Measure To Require Sprinklers In New Homes

(File photo by KYW Newsradio)

(File photo by KYW Newsradio)

David Madden David Madden
David Madden is a Philadelphia native with virtually a lifetime of...
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By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey may soon require fire-suppresion sprinkler systems in newly constructed homes statewide, under a bill now being considered by the state senate.

A vote is set this week that would make the Garden State the third in the nation to have such a requirement.  Home sites with well-water service would not be included.

David Kurasz runs the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, which represents the sprinkler industry and is pushing the bill.

“If you’re connected to a municipal water supply and in new construction on a home, you would have to install fire sprinklers in them,” he explains.

Opponents cite the cost of such a requirement, which Kurasz estimates to be about $2.00 per square foot, or about $5,000 for the average home.

He says most insurance companies offer a discount that would help pay for that added cost.  And besides, he adds, it saves lives.

The measure has already passed the Assembly.  Assuming the senate approves, it goes to the governor’s office, where Kurasz labels the interest as “lukewarm.”