posted on Thursday, September 27, 2007 6:35 PM by klehan

NJ Fire Officials Want Sprinklers in All High Rises

New Jersey fire officials are proposing retroactive fire sprinkler installations be required in all business and residential high-rise occupancies. The state is the first in the nation to propose such a requirement, according to a newspaper report. 

“Most fire departments have ladder trucks that can go up 75 feet. Above that, the only way for firefighters to get access is up the stairs lugging everything,” Fire Commissioner Arthur Londensky told the The Star-Ledger. Londensky is also president of the New Jersey Fire Protection & Prevention Association (NJFPPA).

To illustrate his point, firefighters ignited waste paper cans in two tiny model bedrooms. The first room was engulfed in 1,000-degree flames in less than three minutes, faster than firefighters might arrive at the scene, the newspaper reported. In the second demonstration, a fire sprinkler doused the flames in 30 seconds. 

The state Department of Community Affairs is considering the proposal to require all high-rise buildings be fitted with full systems.