WEB ONLY: South Brunswick mulls new fire testing rules

FIrms testing equipment will need township approval.

By: Joe Harvie
   The Township Council is considering an ordinance that would require any commercial or industrial facility performing fire suppression system tests to get township approval at least 48 hours beforehand.
   The date, time and type of fire suppression system test must be approved by the township director of utilities and the fire marshal before the test can be administered, according to the ordinance.
   The Township Council agreed Tuesday to introduce the ordinance Jan. 31. They also agreed to levy the stiffest fine possible, $2,000, if a business performs a test without notifying the township.
   The council is also considering an ordinance that would increase the fines for violating zoning and housing regulations such as failing to maintain one’s house or property, from $1,250 to $2,000.
   Township Attorney Don Sears said the ordinance was drafted because the governor signed a bill on Jan. 5 that allowed municipalities to make the increases. The council also agreed to move forward with this ordinance.
   The discussion of the fire suppression regulations ordinance came two weeks after the Children’s Place warehouse on Davidsons Mill Road performed three tests, which are required under the state fire code, without notifying the township.
   The Dec. 28 test caused the water level in the municipal water system pipes on Davidsons Mill Road to drop, causing sediment and rust to drop from the pipes and into the water supply, township public affairs coordinator Ron Schmalz said.
   Residents complained that their water smelled bad and rust and mud came out of their faucets from about 4 p.m. Dec. 28 to early morning on Dec. 29, Mr. Schmalz said.
   If approved, the ordinances will go before the council again for a vote on Feb. 28. If approved the ordinance will go into effect March 20.