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Holly Arthur
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Erik Rancatore
Director, Communications
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July 09, 2015

Proposed Bill Strengthens Building Construction in New Jersey

PCA applauds lawmakers for advocating for safer, stronger multiunit structures

A bill introduced in the New Jersey state legislature would require more fire resistant materials to be used in construction, as to avoid disasters seen in the Avalon at Edgewater fire.

Last week Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (R) and Joseph Lagana (D) introduced Bill A4626, which includes several measures for fire-safe construction and building materials in certain multifamily residential buildings. The bill would prohibit the use of light-frame construction, such as wood, for multifamily dwellings in areas with a population density of more than 5,000 persons per square mile. In addition, these buildings would need to have firewalls built using non-combustible materials.

“We applaud the members of the Assembly for introducing this vital bill that protects lives and property," said Patrick W. Reardon Jr., executive director of the PCA Northeast Region. "Non-combustible materials such as concrete, masonry or steel minimize the damage typical of fire disasters and are cost competitive."

The Edgewater fire is just one of many large multifamily developments constructed of lightweight wood throughout the state and nation, which, even when provided with sprinkler systems, have displaced thousands of residents, not just from the project that burned but also from adjacent properties.

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