New Jersey is one step closer to requiring fire sprinkler systems in all new houses, after a pro-sprinkler measure passed a key committee vote, reports the Newark Star-Ledger (for the full report, see: "N.J. Senate panel advances bill to require fire sprinklers in most new homes," by Christopher Baxter).

"A companion bill was passed 44-30 earlier this year by the state Assembly. The Senate version now goes to the Budget and Appropriations Committee for consideration," reports the Star-Ledger. "Fire safety officials overwhelmingly support the legislation, saying the systems have been proven to save lives and limit property damage caused by blazes. But opponents fear adding thousands of dollars to new home construction could hurt the economy."