CLIFFSIDE PARK – Returning to the elementary school where a student provided Senator Joseph Coniglio with the original idea, Governor Richard Codey today signed legislation which would require fire extinguishers be present in any single or double occupancy home, upon sale, lease or transfer.
“This most basic of safety precautions has the potential to save thousands of lives and millions of dollars in New Jersey,” said Senator Joseph Coniglio, D-Bergen. “By having a fire extinguisher in the home, our families can put out small fires before they become major disasters. Combined with the State’s continued commitment to fire safety education programs, this new law seeks to make New Jersey’s homes as safe as possible and reduce the disruption caused by house fires.”
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.
“Fire prevention is a safety issue that we must address in several ways. In addition to fire extinguishers, homeowners, landlords and tenants need to make sure that they have and adequate number of smoke alarms installed and that they always have fresh batteries. Parents also need to reinforce the lessons our children learn at school 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 idea for this law came from the question a student asked him during a visit to Cliffside Elementary School.
“He asked me why every home in this state does not have a fire extinguisher,” recalled Senator Coniglio. “One of the most important things that can be learned in the passage of this legislation is that even our youngest citizens have ideas that can benefit the entire State. I hope that more young people will reach out to elected officials with their ideas in the future.”