Last night, NJ Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg hosted a panel of fire safety experts, material and building professionals, and citizen activists to discuss how NJ can improve resident and firefighter safety in light frame multifamily (Type V) construction. Panelists included Jordan Zaretsky – Teaneck Fire Chief, Thomas Jacobson – Edgewater Fire Chief, Thomas Troy – President, NJ Builders Association, Glenn Corbett – NJ Fire Code Advisory Council, Dan Siteman, EIT – NJ Director, International Masonry Institute, and Alexi Assmus, PhD – Citizen Activist. BAC Local 4 President Ken Simone and Field Representative Steve Preziosi were in attendance as well. There is an overwhelming sense that something needs to change to protect NJ’s citizens and firefighters when it comes to large-scale lightweight stick frame construction. IMI’s Dan Siteman emphasized masonry’s unparalleled performance in fire protection. Other members of the panel called for noncombustible masonry construction and more robust NFPA 13R sprinkler systems. Senator Weinberg’s closing remarks included a call for further discussion and progress seeking a higher level of public safety in NJ.