FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 25, 2018


TRENTON, NJ The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Division of Fire Safety and the New Jersey Fire Prevention and Protection Association (NJFPPA) today announced the winners of the 2017-18 NJFPPA-NJDFS Scholastic Fire Safety Poster Contest. The contest is among the longest running community risk reduction-public education programs in the state.

As children return to school each year, the NJFPPA asks K-12 and Special Education students to give their artistic interpretation of the theme advanced each year by the National Fire Protection Association. This year, student artists from school districts in each of the 21 counties, with instructor guidance, submitted entries supporting the theme, ‘Every Second Counts: Have 2 Ways Out.’

The artwork of the overall winner will grace the cover of the yearly NJDFS and NJFPPA Fire Safety calendar, which promotes fire prevention awareness. The calendar is distributed statewide to advance community risk reduction awareness. Winning posters from each division and runners-up are also placed throughout the calendar.

“I would like to congratulate our poster contest winners and recognize all of the students who submitted entries, said Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, Commissioner of DCA. “I would also like to thank the schools, which sponsor the competition, and of course, parents and guardians. This is a worthwhile activity, which promotes and advances fire prevention awareness.”

In addition to the winning artwork, the calendar includes reminders such as the annual time change to check and replace smoke alarm batteries, the dates for significant fire safety events such as National Fire Prevention Week, and seasonal cautions concerning fire safety throughout the year. 

“I am impressed with the depth and breadth of entrants from across the state that I was very familiar with as a departmental fire prevention officer,” said Acting State Fire Marshal and Division of Fire Safety Director Richard Mikutsky. “Congratulations to all our division winners and a special thanks to the men and women of the New Jersey Fire Prevention and Protection Association, who under Rich Silvia’s leadership, continue to make the annual contest one of the great fire prevention efforts we partner with for school age kids.”

The 2017-18 contest winners are as follows:

Division 1 (Grade K-2) - Kayla Simms, Martin Luther King School, Jersey City, Hudson County   

Division 2 (Grade 2-5) - Kelly Compos, Wilson Avenue School, Newark, Essex County

Division 3 (Grade 6-8) - Kevin Zeferino, Martin Luther King Jr. School, Jersey City, Hudson County

Division 4 (Grade 9-12) & Overall Winner - Devak Patel, Morris Hills High School, Rockaway, Morris County

Division 5 (Vocational) - Cameron Ippolito, Cumberland County Technical Education Center, Vineland, Cumberland County

Division 6 (Special Education, Grade K-8) - Dylan Benbow, The Calais School, Whippany, Morris County

Division 7 (Special Education, Grade 9-12) Josue Giron, Jersey City, Hudson County

The Scholastic Fire Safety Poster Contest grew out of the New Jersey Fire Safety Commission, which has, since 1983 by legislative mandate, sought to reduce the instance of civilian and firefighter fatality statewide. Part of this mandate includes participation by schoolchildren resulting in the development of the poster contest.

The Division of Fire Safety serves as the central fire service agency in the State. The Division is responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code, as well as for implementing community risk reduction strategies and firefighter training programs.

Tammori Petty
or Lisa Ryan
(609) 292-6055