The morning of Saturday, February 27th saw ten Bayonne residents displaced from their homes on Avenue E, after a fire engulfed a three-story residential building. The blaze was difficult for firefighters to contain because of how close together the homes were built. Eventually, the fire did spread nearby to an adjacent building. Luckily, other than a minor eye injury and some first-degree burns, none of the residents or firefighters were severely injured in the fire. We at the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NJFSAB) would like the stress the life-saving impact of residential fire sprinklers, especially in cases where homes are built so close together. Fire sprinklers could have helped to contain the flames before they spread, eventually reaching the neighboring house. While some are hesitant to install fire sprinklers retroactively, the New Jersey fire code has not changed to mandate residential fire sprinklers in newly constructed homes, despite the International Residential Code calling for automatic fire suppression systems as a minimum life safety code. Once rebuilt, this property will likely still be vulnerable to a similar fate.
Residential fire sprinklers are proven to reduce the risk of injuries or fatalities to residents, firefighters and other first responders. In fact, if there is a fire in your home, the risk of fatality decreases about 80 percent when fire sprinklers and smoke detectors are present. Witnessing the destructive power of a home fire can be alarming, which is why we ask that all residents research the available options to protect themselves and their loved ones from the ravages of fire.
Executive Director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board