NJ Fire Sparks Building Material Debate

NJ Fire Sparks Building Material DebateAfter a massive fire broke out in Edgewater six months ago and destroyed The Avalon residential complex, a new bill is being proposed to ban the use of light-frame construction. The cost-effective building tactic is under heavy scrutiny as the materials allowed for a rapid moving fire and inherently dangerous conditions.  While this bill is being deliberated, it is important to employ your New Jersey Builders Risk insurance.

The fire was caused on January 21st by maintenance workers who were doing plumbing work. Although no one was seriously injured, one thousand occupants had to be evacuated as their homes were destroyed. Assemblyman Joseph Lagana and Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez proposed that building structures not be permitted to use light-frame wood materials for urban construction. Any multi-family housing communities with 5,000 or more people within a square mile would be banned from using these materials.

Light-frame construction is typically used to build quickly and at cheaper costs than other materials. It uses pre-fabricated trusses for quick building. However, its construction creates empty interior wall space, which in turn led to the rapid progression of the fire.

New Jersey.com reported that the bill, A-4626, would permit the use of light-frame wood under the following conditions:

  • The building must be three stories tall or less
  • Fire walls must be built out of concrete or other masonry and must separate adjoining units
  • Horizontal fire barriers in floors would need to sustain at least two hours in a fire
  • An automatic sprinkler system must be in place throughout the building

At Tri-State Insurance Agency, we specialize in builders risk insurance to better protect your firm. We stay current on industry trends and laws to safeguard your practice against any potential liabilities. To learn more about our construction solutions, as well as our other niche offerings, contact us today at (888) 990-0526.

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