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New Jersey Apartment Fire Exposes Inadequate Safety Codes

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A huge fire that destroyed a 408-unit apartment complex in Edgewater, New Jersey, last month is causing public officials to re-examine building codes governing multi-family construction and the safety of combustible wood-frame construction.

Fire protection provisions in new construction reduce the use of non-combustible materials like concrete in favor of sprinkler systems alone. However, reliance on a single system results in less protection than the addition of passive fire resistant materials like concrete, masonry and steel. PCA and other concrete interests have long advocated for balanced design for safety and property protection.

Following this fire, New Jersey officials are re-thinking the appropriateness of light-frame construction for multi-family dwellings.

Read more at Think Harder.Blog. Source: Portland Cement Association Executive Report e-newsletter for March 2.

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