FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 10, 2018


This Year’s Theme: LOOK. LISTEN. LEARN: Be Aware. Fire Can Happen Anywhere.

Trenton, NJ – During National Fire Prevention Week, which runs October 7-13, 2018, the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety and Office of the State Marshal are joining local career and volunteer fire departments throughout New Jersey to raise awareness about the importance of fire safety and use of smoke alarms in the home.

Throughout the week, the Division and local fire departments will distribute free smoke alarms to senior citizens, people of limited financial means, and people with disabilities as part of the WABC-TV Operation 7 Save a Life smoke alarm distribution program. The Division has distributed nearly 300,000 alarms in major cities and counties in New Jersey over the past 20 years.

“National Fire Prevention Week serves as an important reminder to our residents of the many basic things we can do to help prevent fire-related injuries and deaths,” said Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “The Division of Fire Safety works hard to help keep you and your family safe, paying special attention to our most vulnerable residents; the children, elderly and disadvantaged.”

In addition to hosting educational events throughout the state, the Division will also partner with the New Jersey Fire Protection and Prevention Association to kick off the annual Scholastic Fire Safety Poster Contest art competition in schools with a different theme each year.

“National Fire Prevention Week calls special attention to the efforts of our local career and volunteer fire departments, including open house events and school visits, to educate about fire safety and the importance of installing home smoke alarms,” said New Jersey Division of Fire Safety Director and State Fire Marshal Richard Mikutsky. 

Mikutsky added that this year’s theme is a reminder to look, listen and learn to remain safe from fire:

  • Look for places where fire could start.
  • Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
  • Learn two ways out of every room.

National Fire Protection Association statistics show that the number of home fires in the United States have been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate, per 1,000 home fires reported to fire departments, was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.

To reduce the rate of casualties, fire experts suggest the following steps to protect your family:

  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure your house number is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

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 engaging the public on community risk reduction strategies, assisting in fire department preparedness, and conducting firefighter training programs.


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Tammori Petty
Lisa Ryan
Gina Trish
(609) 292-6055