NJ fares well in home safety report

By Asia J Martin / The Cranford Chronicle Cranford Chronicle

CRANFORD — Today the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety released their 2012 report on how states along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast rank in terms of life safety and property protection.

New Jersey is rated as one of the highest out of 18 states along the coasts. States could earn up to 100 points, and NJ received 93 points, two points behind Florida and Virginia who were first and second place with 95. The points were based on 47 questions under three main subjects; building code adoptions and enforcements (NJ scored 49 points), trainings and certifications for code officials (NJ scored 23), and the licensing requirements for construction trades (NJ scored 21).

The report praised NJ for adopting many codes and enforcing them, having a state program to become a certified code official, and having builders and contractors registered with the state. It also said that “state has a good system in place for licensing.” However, the report then criticized NJ for not requiring sprinklers in homes and townhomes. It also mentioned the state’s lack of hours towards continued code official training and that the state does not require some contractors and builders to take an exam or continue their education in order to obtain a license.

“The report goes beyond just evaluating each state’s code system,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. “The report offers each state the detailed information and tools it needs to improve its building code process to better protect its citizens. It also gives interested citizens useful information so that they can understand the need for, and demand, better building codes.”

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