NJFSAB Offers Best Practices for Essential Workers During Pandemic
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order (#122) that went into effect on April 10, 2020 at 8 p.m., that required all non-essential construction in the state of New Jersey to be shut down in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. During this shutdown, certain projects deemed essential, as well as maintenance work, will be allowed to continue. Some essential construction projects include:
- Hospitals and health care facilities.
- Transportation projects
- Energy and utility projects
- Affordable housing projects
- Educational facility projects
- Current projects on single-family homes with a maximum of five construction workers
- Residential projects where an individual was contracted for a specific move-in date
- Projects involving facilities that service online retailers
- Data centers that are essential for businesses
- Social services buildings
- Any project necessary to support first responders in their response to the pandemic
- Any project that must be completed to meet a deadline established by the Federal government
- Any work on a non-essential site to minimize hazards and physically secure the site
- Any emergency repairs necessary to ensure the health and safety of residents
Inspection, testing and maintenance services are crucial during this time, as they indirectly lessen the burden on emergency services through reduced false alarms and sprinkler mishaps. During this time fire safety cannot be ignored, especially now since many buildings are either not in use or are being filled to capacity as makeshift hospitals. As such, individuals who are in charge of or contracted to perform ITM services on a building should keep to their current schedule. Many of the workers and property owners who performs such services should also take extra care to practice social distancing, wash their hands, and wear gloves and masks, as their frequent travel from site-to-site or building-to-building could put them into contact with the virus.
Resources for Essential Workers During the COVID-19 Outbreak
The New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board offers itself as a free resource to any contractor, property owner, or any other individual who works in fire safety. Our members have compiled the below resources from NFPA, NFSA and the CDC in the hope that it will aid in navigating through these unprecedented times. All in the fire safety industry should utilize https://nfsa.org/covid-19/ as a free resource during this time.
NFSA State-by-State offers information on the status of construction across the country. This is constantly changing, so be sure to check regularly.
NFPA Guidelines for Government Officials offers building owners and government officials insight and information on the importance of fire safety in the midst of this pandemic.
The New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board is Your Free Resource During this Pandemic
While these are unprecedented times, the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board and the National Fire Sprinkler Association are working diligently to protect the fire sprinkler industry. This pandemic has already had an effect on the economy and will no doubt affect any future legislation and codes and standards. The NJFSAB hopes to stay ahead of all of this and advocate for a stronger industry and a safer world.