BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
- The Legislature finds and declares:
The Essex County Grand Jury, Panel 11, of the 2001 term was empanelled to investigate the circumstances of a fire on January 19, 2000, at Boland Hall on the campus of Seton Hall University in South Orange, that killed three students and injured many others.
The Grand Jury concluded that the flammability of the couches in the lounge of Boland Hall "was a major contributing factor to the death of the three young men, as well as to the injuries sustained by others."
The Grand Jury returned a Presentment, dated June 5, 2003, specifically recommending that legislation be enacted requiring the Commissioner of Community Affairs to promulgate regulations embodying the requirements of California Technical Bulletin 133 for all public buildings and California Technical Bulletins 116 and 117 for residential occupancies.
It is therefore appropriate for the Legislature to enact legislation to implement the recommendation of the Grand Jury Presentment.
a. The Commissioner of Community Affairs, in consultation with the fire safety commission, shall promulgate regulations to require that furniture and furnishings which are purchased for use in residential premises and public buildings meet the combustibility requirements specified in the State of California, Bureau of Home Furnishings Technical Bulletin Numbers 116, 117 and 133.
b. For the purposes of this section:
- "Furniture" includes all upholstered articles of furniture used inside a house or office, including chairs, tables, beds, desks, wardrobes, dressers, bureaus, cupboards, cabinets, bookcases, sofas, couches, and related items; and materials especially designed and prepared for assembly into furniture.
- "Furnishings" includes items of equipment and furnishings used in a home or office, such as floor coverings, household linens, drapes, blinds, curtains, mattresses, and bed coverings.
- "Public building" means any building, structure, facility or complex used by the general public, including, but not limited to, theaters, concert halls, auditoriums, museums, schools, libraries, recreation facilities, public transportation terminals and stations, factories, office buildings, business establishments, passenger vehicle service stations, shopping centers, hotels or motels and public eating places, owned by any State, county or municipal government agency or instrumentality or any private individual, partnership, association or corporation
- This act shall take effect immediately.
The bill directs the Commissioner of Community Affairs, in consultation with the fire safety commission, to promulgate regulations to require that upholstered furniture and furnishings which are purchased for use in residential premises or public buildings meet the combustibility requirements specified in the State of California, Bureau of Home Furnishings Technical Bulletin Numbers 116 and 117, for residential occupancies, and Bulletin Number 133, for public buildings.