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Coniglio Bill Protecting Safety Of Renters Passes Assembly

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Joseph Coniglio, which would require fire extinguishers be present in any single, double or triple occupancy home, upon sale, lease or transfer, received final legislative approval today as it passed the Assembly, 65-8.

“Each year, there are thousands of fires in New Jersey homes,” said Senator Coniglio, D-Bergen. “A good portion of those fires are kitchen fires or caused by candles or cigarettes – the types of fires that can be put out with a fire extinguisher before major damage can occur. By making sure that homeowners and tenants are equipped with the fire extinguishers necessary to fight these small fires, we can help prevent millions of dollars

The bill, S-1294, would require that upon the sale, lease or transfer of a building with three or fewer dwelling units, each unit would be equipped with at least one portable fire extinguisher. It further states that the extinguisher is to be provided at the expense of the seller, landlord or transferor. Rules and regulations specifying the location, classifications, and maintenance of the portable units would be set by the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.

“This is only one piece of the puzzle in our efforts to improve fire safety around the state. In addition to fire extinguishers, residents need to make sure that they have smoke alarms installed and that they always have fresh batteries. We also need to educate children from an early age about how to prevent fires from starting and how to safely leave a building that has caught on fire,” explained Senator Coniglio.

Senator Coniglio noted that the inspiration for this piece of legislation was the suggestion by a student at Cliffside Park Elementary School that New Jersey residents would be safer if they had access to a fire extinguisher.

The bill now heads to Governor Codey’s desk for his signature.

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