Proposed Bill In New Jersey Aimed at Preventing Campus Fires

TRENTON, N.J. – On Oct. 23, a New Jersey Senate committee approved new legislation that will require New Jersey universities and colleges to include fire-resistant furniture in their student housing structures and classrooms. The bill will next be considered by the full Senate.

The proposed legislation is aimed at preventing school fires, such as the one that occurred in a dormitory at Seton Hall University in January 2000. The fire, which was allegedly set by two former Seton Hall students, killed three students and injured dozens.

The bill establishes standards for fireproof furniture set by the California Bureau of Home Furnishings. Rather than igniting, fireproof furniture melts. The standards will be enforced by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

Since the 2000 deadly fire, Seton Hall University has complied with the California standards. Rutgers University has also been complying with the California standards for three years now.

The New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities, which comprises nine schools, is in the process of meeting the standard.

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