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Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association comprised of fire safety professionals, engineers, architects and industry experts committed to strengthening the nation’s building codes and building more resilient communities, congratulate New Jersey Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo and Craig Coughlin, along with State Senators Steve Sweeney and Brian Stack on their recent election victories.

“The election victories for these state lawmakers are a win for the firefighting community in New Jersey,” said Ed Donnelly, president of the New Jersey State Firefighters’ Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA). “New Jersey faces a number of challenges in the years ahead, but I feel confident that with the right leadership in Trenton, we can make fire safety a priority in the Garden State.”

In addition to the FMBA, the Build with Strength coalition includes: The Professional Fire Fighters Association of New Jersey; the New Jersey State Association of County Fire Marshals; the Brigantine Beach Fire Company; Burlington County Fire Marshal Bob Carr; and Retired FDNY Fire Fighter and Wall Township Councilman Kevin P. Orender.

Recently, New Jersey has been the site of major fires at wood-framed apartment complexes and structures, most notably in Lakewood, Maplewood, and Edgewater – the latter displacing more than 500 residents.

Statewide legislation (Assembly Bill 5196/ Senate Bill 3490) sponsored by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo and State Senator Brian Stack, respectively, to protect residents and firefighters alike from the vulnerabilities that stem from the use of combustible materials would amend New Jersey’s construction code for fire safety reasons. Specifically, the legislation calls for the installation of an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with NFPA 13; measuring the number of stories from the grade plane; using noncombustible materials for construction; and installing a fire barrier with a fire resistance rating of at least two hours that extends from the foundation to the roof.

The legislation has been supported by a number of organizations and voting bodies throughout the state, including, most recently, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the governing body for the County of Essex, which adopted a resolution on November 1st supporting the bill and stronger building codes for the state.

"The election victories of Messrs. DeAngelo, Coughlin, Sweeney and Stack present New Jersey with an opportunity to lead on fire safety measures,” said Dominick Marino, president of the Professional Fire Fighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ). “We look forward to working with these gentlemen to establish a resilient and durable New Jersey that protects state residents and the firefighting community, alike.”

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